Question: A couple people have mentioned that Coach Sampson, has already received a letter of reprimand about a prior recruiting violation from Mr. Greenspan. Is this correct? I haven't seen anything before this.
Answer: While I haven't heard anything about that specifically, it's not uncommon for an athletic director to do that so that it's in a coach's file. I haven't heard about any other recruiting violations than what's been discussed in recent days, but it's possible that Greenspan had already given Sampson a letter of reprimand when this issue first surfaced in July.
Question: Do you know if Sampson was able to give the recruits a heads up on what was about to come down?
Answer: I talked with Matt Roth Tuesday night, and he said the recruits were alerted to what was going to happen before it came out. Matt wasn't in town for Hoosier Hysteria, while Devin Ebanks and Tom Pritchard were. So I'm assuming they let Ebanks and Pritchard know while they were in town and they called Roth. I don't think the news caught any of the recruits who were in town by surprise. Now, there are others that weren't in town that they are recruiting who were probably in the dark about it – I know when I talked to Leslie McDonald Monday night he was unaware of what had happened.
Question: Did Sampson admit to knowing about one of the three way calls or not? You quoted him as saying: "Other than one call, I wasn't aware it was a three-way call." But then he says something about not knowing about the three way calls until the audit. Which is it?
Answer: Sampson admitted he knew that he was on a three-way call on one of the 10 calls in question. He said it involved some logistics with a recruit concerning a visit.
Question: Is there any ETA on when the NCAA will make their ruling/comments?
Answer: There's been nothing definitive, although there have been rumblings that they could have a comment about the violation of the sanctions within a couple of weeks. As for the 35 excessive phone calls (or as many as 100, per the Indy Star on Wednesday), as of Monday, IU was still preparing its report for the infractions committee. So that will have to wait until that report is filed and the committee has a chance to review it and decide if it wants to investigate further.
Question: Why did IU seem to gloss over the 35 calls that were over the limit as that was the exact same rule he originally violated and seems to be to be the bigger issue?
Answer: I don't know that it was glossed over it…I think the press conference centered around the three-way calls because the media was trying to get a handle on what happened – was the recruit calling Senderoff, was Senderoff calling the recruit, etc. The 35 excessive phone calls is pretty straight forward, so no one really needed a further explanation of that. That's not to say it isn't a serious infraction – it is, particularly when it is the exact rule that was violated at Oklahoma. I wouldn't be surprised if the NCAA looks at that violation as a more serious transgression. The three-way call, if you believe IU's explanation, could be an understandable oversight on the part of the staff. But the excessive phone calls, whether it's due to shoddy record keeping or not, is pretty inexcusable considering the history.
Question: During the interview/conference call, did Sampson seem contrite?
Answer: He did admit to it being a mistake and accepted responsibility since he's the head of the program. He said the right things in terms of striving for 100 percent compliance in the future, and any violation is unacceptable. He also wasn't defensive with a variety of questions that were pretty pointed. That said, there were certainly instances of trying to deflect personal responsibility for some of what's unfolded because it was done without his knowledge. So I wouldn't say he threw himself at the mercy of the court, but he wasn't combative, either. Probably right in the middle.
Question: I talked with Dexter Strickland a little bit on Sunday and he said he had a great experience and that everybody seemed real "chill" and the fans were great, etc., etc. My question is do you think the new sanctions will hurt IU's chances at getting Strickland to come to IU?
Answer: I talked with Dexter last night, and he was very positive about his IU visit. He said the trip definitely raised the Hoosier program in his eyes compared to what he thought beforehand. So I think IU's in pretty good shape here. That said, this news isn't going to help. Strickland is headed to North Carolina in two weeks and Memphis next month, and you can count on those coaches bringing the subject up.
Question: What do you think the chances of IU signing the NY kids are? Who do you think will sign for the 09 class of the people that were at HH? And one last question: When recruits like Zeller and others say the violations are not that big a deal, do you think they are saying it just to please/not upset the fans, or do you think they really mean it?
Answer: At this point, it's really hard to answer what will happen in '09. Of the kids that were there, I think IU is in great shape with Nolan Dennis – if I had to pick one who I thought IU had the best chance with, it would be him. That said, Dexter Strickland was very positive about IU, and I've heard Stephenson felt the same way. But both are looking at some other big-time programs, so it won't be easy to get them.
As for whether or not Zeller is just providing lip service that the violations aren't a big deal…I can't really get inside his head on this. Knowing Tyler a little bit, I do think he's smart enough to say it's not a big deal even if it was a big deal to him – it doesn't do him any good to come out publicly and say that he's eliminating IU because of what's unfolded. I'm not saying that's what he's done – but if it was in fact the case, he'd keep that to himself.
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