Bloomington, Ind. – When news broke on Sunday about a series of improper phone calls made to recruits by the IU men's basketball staff, it didn't come as a surprise to commit Matt Roth.
Before Indiana University issued its press release detailing the infractions as well as its self-imposed sanctions, the IU basketball staff called the 6'3" guard from Washington, Ill., to alert him to what was coming. Roth said IU Assistant Coach Jeff Meyer called him and left a message about what was about to unfold, and he then was able to talk to both Meyer and IU Coach Kelvin Sampson about the situation.
"It was a little concerning in the beginning, but they were able to explain it to me," said Roth. "I think the University did a great job of handling it. It's a little bit of adversity, but it's something you can overcome."
The issues involved include 35 excessive phone calls made to recruits that went undocumented by the IU staff, along with approximately 10 improper three-way calls between Sampson, IU Assistant Coach Rob Senderoff and recruits.
In response to the findings of its internal investigation, IU has stripped itself of one scholarship for 2008-09, has banned Senderoff from making recruiting calls or off-campus recruiting trips until July 2008, and Sampson has foregone a $500,000 raise that was due to him in his second season.
While IU is awaiting word from the NCAA to see if it deems the self-imposed penalties sufficient, Roth said he is comfortable with the coaching staff's explanation of what happened.
"It was really good to be able to talk to them about it, and for them to let us ask any questions we might have," Roth said. "It was a way to put your mind at ease a little bit. It meant a lot that they took it upon themselves to make sure they talked to us about it."
It's an issue that can't go away soon enough for Sampson and the IU program, which got its practice season underway on Friday night. But until the NCAA issues its ruling, it figures to stay in the news.
While others will be keeping a close eye on what unfolds, Roth said he is comfortable with where things stand.
"I've put it behind me and they have too," Roth said. "They're starting their season up and I'm getting close to starting mine up. There's a lot more things that we need to focus on. They've explained it to me, and I'm willing to move forward and continue on."
Roth: Recruits Got Head's Up on News
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