Ice Miller Report Teleconference Transcript

Read everything that IU Athletics Director Rick Greenspan, IU Associate Athletic Director Dr. Grace Calhoun and Ice Miller attorney Robin Green Harris had today during a teleconference about Rob Senderoff's resignation, Kelvin Sampson's knowledge of three-way calls, and more...

Note: IU Athletics Director Rick Greenspan (RG), IU Associate Athletic Director/Compliance Director Dr. Grace Calhoun (GC) and Ice Miller attorney Robin Green Harris (RHG) addressed the media for 35-minute press conference Tuesday afternoon. Here is what the three had to say...

RG: Good afternoon everybody. I hope you can hear me better than the last time we tried this technology.

Earlier today we issued a couple of releases. The first release simply indicated that Assistant Coach Rob Senderoff has voluntarily resigned from the university effective immediately I have no additional information that I'll share in regards to Rob's voluntary resignation.

The second release provides some context to the reports filed with the NCAA. I want to provide some clarity to those reports and process for submission. To do that, I've asked Dr. Grace Calhoun, who is our Senior Women's Administrator and Associate Athletic Director for academics and compliance, to join me on the call as well as Robin Green-Harris, who is an attorney and the co-chair of the Ice Miller Collegiate Sports Practice.

With that, I'll turn it over to Grace.

GC: Thank you and good afternoon. For those of you who have requested copies of the report, you'll notice there were four distinct reports. The first one is an Oct. 3 report that was filed with the NCAA Committee on Infractions. This was a required, standard report at the end of our period of original sanctions. As you'll recall there were several sanctions in place and we were compliant with most, however the issue at hand to deal with the phone call restrictions.

There were 126 phone calls in question. You will note we took a conservative and strict approach of defining any questionable calls as impermissible. The 126 phone calls encompasses 10-18 three-way calls and 111 other calls, 109 of which were problems with the sanctions, and 32 of which were NCAA violations.

I will point out here that the math is a bit complicated because frequently calls fall into more than one category.

Only sanctions were addressed in the report to the Committee on Infractions, therefore the second report in front of you details the 32 phone call violations. This was sent to the NCAA's secondary enforcement office for processing. Thirty-one of those 32 were made by former Coach Senderoff, one by Coach Meyer.

Lastly, the other two reports are also secondary infractions reports. One details an informational meeting between a prospect's mother at an AAU tournament. The second details a scholarship offer made impermissibly in conjunction with an institutional camp.

I want to point out that we would typically not release secondary violations unless they were requested by a Freedom of Information Act. However, Indiana typically submits about 20-30 such secondary violations per year. In an attempt to be forthright and thorough with all information we've submitted to the NCAA regarding our mens' basketball program, those have also been released to you at this time.

Please let me clarify that the number of secondaries that Indiana typically reports for the year, that 20-30 number is for the athletic department as a whole, not the men's basketball program.

RG: Thank you. It's important to keep this in perspective. That's what we've tried to do in this analysis and assessment. We've tried to be objective, we've tried to be thorough, and we've tried to honor our commitment to share information both in a public way and also respecting the wishes of our requirements for confidentially for FRPA and some other things that we at the university operate under.

The total number of calls at issue that we've discussed is a fraction of one percent of the total number of recruiting calls made each year by the men's basketball staff. As I said in my earlier information…we take this matter very seriously and expect and demand full compliance with the rules.

I'd also remind you that the sanctions that we've detailed, the sanctions that we have placed upon ourselves are just that – they are self-imposed sanctions. The vast majority of sanctions in which our men's basketball program was operating under expired in May. The sanctions that we are operating under now are ones that we believe are significant and we believe will more than compensate for the extra calls that are at issue.

I appreciate your continued willingness to understand that we are providing a great deal of material at this point in time, while we're also respecting the NCAA's need to process this information.

With that as a backdrop, I'll try to take some questions, and ask the other couple of folks in the room to provide technical guidance as needed.

Q: Can you clarify something you said two Sundays ago. Will the sanctions placed on Rob (Senderoff) be carried over to his replacement?

RG: You have it correct. When we talked approximately two weeks ago, we indicated that the sanctions that were imposed on that position would remain in force regardless of who the assistant coach was. Those sanctions, which I believe we have elaborated, they are self-imposed and they do remain in force.

Q: In the report, it says you have two people who were contacted who said both Sampson and Senderoff participated in those three-way calls. Coach Sampson is on the record saying that wasn't the case. Who do you believe? Do you believe the report or do you believe your head coach?

RHG: This is Robin Green-Harris from Ice Miller. We have looked at that issue and we've considered it very carefully. We've discussed it with Coach Sampson and he confirmed that his best recollection is that Rob Senderoff did not participate on those calls, and that was also Rob Senderoff's recollection as well. We provided all that information in the report to the NCAA.

Q: Given that new information…why wouldn't Kelvin Sampson be made available to talk to us today?

RG: I think Kelvin will be made available. The way we have viewed this is a couple of ways. One is what we're primarily discussing today is reports that are possible NCAA secondary violations, that we filed a phone call report which I believe we've shared, and the other two that we've also shared, the two that were referenced by Dr. Calhoun.

The issue of those NCAA violations doesn't in any way implicate or have bearing on Coach Sampson, in that he is not named in any of those NCAA violations.

The sanctions report, which we issued a press release on a couple of weeks ago and that we have now provided the (inaudible) of that report, is going to another end of the NCAA.

I think with our basketball season starting this weekend, I believe Kelvin has a press conference on Thursday, and I believe he'll make himself available throughout the course of the season as he has during his time here.

Q: Robin, Rob and Kelvin said they don't recall both voices being on the phone. Was it asked if they had a discussion about that Rob had set up the three-way call. It would seem normal behavior that you'd say, yeah, I patched him through, and then once he got off the phone, they'd have a conversation about the call. Was that probed?

RG: We discussed that with both of the coaches and they both told us they never had conversations about that.

Q: Dr. Calhoun, can you clarify the three-way phone call numbers?

GC: Robin has the numbers in front of her, and we'll both talk about that.

RHG: I'll start. There were 27 total three-way calls. Ten to 18 become potentially at issue. The numbers do get a little more complicated. The calls that aren't at issue aren't at issue because they were either third numbers that were to a cell phone or didn't involve Coach Sampson or to non-recruiting numbers, they just weren't recruiting phone calls involving Coach Sampson.

So we had 10-18 phone calls that were potentially to recruiting numbers and that Coach Sampson had been patched into The reason it's 10-18 is because there were 10-12 numbers that we know are recruiting numbers, and it's 10-12 because there were two call backs, two calls that were dropped. So if you want to count each separate call, then it's 12, if you want to count the call back as just one call, then you've got 10.

The other six calls were incoming calls and we don't know who made those calls. The phone companies couldn't identify the callers. We followed up with the phone companies and were unable to get that information. Consistent with our conservative and strict approach of counting any questionable calls as impermissible, we've reported those six as potentially impermissible calls, even though they may very well not even be recruiting calls.

Q: Rick, how plausible do you think it is that a recruiting assistant wouldn't discuss with their head coach that he had set up three-way call, that they wouldn't talk about it at all?

RG: I think the report speaks for itself. I think what is enunciated in there is the collective wisdom of all those that both spoke to our coaches, spoke to others, and I'd include myself in that categorization.

What is not reported in that report is another 30-40 conversations that I had with Coach Sampson, some in the course of business, but many because of what we're sharing today.

I think to get to your question, it is my opinion as well as the collective wisdom of those that filed the report.

RHG: To echo what Rick said, we looked at that very closely as well. We approached it as you did, and we questioned the coaches quite hard on that point. They reported very consistently that they had no conversations on this matter as the report indicates. Rob Senderoff said he viewed himself as an operator who was just patching the call through.

Q: Looking at the corrective actions from Oct. 3, which lists things for Coach Sampson and Coach Senderoff going forward. Having established those corrective actions, why does he step down at this time?

RG: Well, the corrective actions as well as the self-imposed sanctions were put in place when we filed this report on Oct. 3. I think subsequent to this filing, as our release has indicated, Rob has decided, it's in his interest and the university's best interest that he resign from the university and made it effective immediately.

I think if you're looking for additional information on that, you would probably be well served to talk to Rob.

GC: As Rick indicated previously, many of these corrective actions and sanctions tied to an assistant coach are tied to that position, so they will be in place when a new assistant coach is named.

Q: You said in the report that there was little or no recruiting advantage, and you're reporting then all as secondary violations. I think it's a good question to ask, if you didn't ask for his resignation at the time of the report, what changed now?

RG: I don't know if I can answer that in any different way than I already have. What's changed is that Rob has decided to tender his resignation, and the university has accepted his voluntary resignation, and we're prepared as a department as a university as a staff to move forward.

I assume and hope that Coach Senderoff does as well.

Q: Has there been any talk with Dan Dakich assuming that role?

RG: Yes, there has, and it's my expectation and assumption that Dan will fill that role. Whether it's today or tomorrow, obviously we have some technical matters to do in terms of some filings…to make that happen. But it's my expectation Dan will fill that role, and Dan will fill that role with the self-imposed sanctions that will be carried over from Senderoff. We wouldn't put one of our other assistant coaches into that position and then have Dan have the recruiting opportunity. It will go in one for one.

Q: My understanding is that in most severance cases, employees have to sign a statement saying they won't talk publicly about the situation. Is Coach Senderoff not subject to an agreement like that?

RG: What I'll answer is that there is a severance agreement with Coach Senderoff. The details of that will be or are available. I don't have a copy of that, but they will be available. So to the extent to which you can have communication with him will deal with his compliance with that agreement. Once that agreement is there in place, I think you can go from there.

Did I answer your question?

Q: It sounded like I need to get the agreement before we know. My question is if he can talk to the public without violating any rules.

RG: Let me try to give you a more succinct answer. There is an agreement, and I think the agreement will lay out any of the details, and I think from there you can move forward.

Q: Has there been any correspondence with the NCAA as far as giving any timeframe when they'll convene the infractions committee again?

RG: The first part of this going back to July, we have been in regular dialogue with the NCAA. When I say regular dialogue in terms of communicating to them the filing of the report and proper protocol and procedure to ensure even matters like today where we are issuing a press release and we're having this kind of conversation doesn't contradict any process that they might have or their due diligence.

So if at times we've seemed a little slower than some of you would like it's because we're trying to be fully on board with their expectations for timeliness, as well as due diligence on campus, employee rights, student athlete rights. I'll ask Robin to share any other information.

RHG: We have been in regular contact with the NCAA and they have acknowledged receipt of the report. We're going to continue to cooperate with the NCAA. We can't begin to speculate on timing. They need to do their due diligence, conduct their own careful review of the information that we submitted.

As those of you who requested the information know, it's a fair amount of information that they need to look at.

So we'll wait to hear to hear from them and hope that they accept the actions that Indiana University has taken.

Q: Have they given you any kind of feel if the original committee would be convened or if the current committee would be convened?

RHG: We need to wait and hear from them to see how they want to proceed.

Q: Will Ice Miller be representing IU in any of its conversations with the NCAA?

RG: They have been retained as our outside counsel. They helped us with the review of this. It's my full expectation that they would continue to do that to the degree that we can continue to afford to pay Robin.

Q: On the Senderoff severance agreement, is that on the financial severance agreement? Not all severance agreements are financial.

RG: I think it's a comprehensive one. I'd deem it as comprehensive. It's a document that's not drawn up from the athletic department, it's not drawn up from my office. It's a document that's drawn up from our campus human resources.

He did enter into a severance agreement and he does receive some compensation.

Q: Is it your understanding that Rob Senderoff acted alone in violating these rules? He wasn't under direction, or Coach Sampson didn't know?

RG: I think that question is answered in the report and I think it's answered in multiple ways in the report. I think the report stands for itself. I don't know how you want me to answer it.

Q: It's not clear to me from the report. Is there a place that you can point out where that's made clear?

RHG: First, as far as the NCAA violations, Coach Sampson wasn't involved in any of those violations. Then, in terms of the issues of the sanctions, as we looked at that, at most you have 18 calls out of the thousands of recruiting calls that are made. As we evaluated that, it's such a small percentage, it couldn't be an intentional scheme to get around the sanctions.

Q: When you to the two people saying that they were both participating, if those statements are to be believed, does that make the three-way calling problems a more serious offense?

RHG: We looked at that and we determined those calls were impermissible. In the report it makes that point that we are reporting them as with the sanctions, and it didn't matter whether Coach Senderoff was speaking on the call while Coach Sampson was on the call.

Q: Does Coach Sampson not have caller ID at home?

RHG: We asked that as well. We pushed him pretty hard in the interviews, and I'm probably not one of his favorite people. But we did ask him that, and he gets so many phone calls, and he wasn't able to make phone calls, so he was in a time period when he said to us, when he phone rang, he answered the phone. And he didn't always take the time to look and see who was calling. He just answered the phone.

RG: To emphasize Robin's point, I don't know the exact number, but I'd guess it's well into the thousands of calls that Coach would have received over the year. I think it's amplified by his last year by his inability to make outgoing recruiting calls. And his need and desire to be accessible to that phone was probably a shackle of sorts that was very significant. As a result, even to the point when I'd call him on his cell phone, he'd pick it up on the first ring. So I knew he was just picking it up.

Q: I'm trying to clarify. Coach Sampson has caller ID on both his home and cell phones?

RHG: We asked about the cell phone, because cell phones have caller ID. I don't believe we…I don't know if we got into that with his home phone. It's the same issue – he was answering the phone.

Q: On page 21 of the report it says he made two impermissible phone calls contrary to the sanctions. A footnote says two phone calls occurred either prior to or following the conclusion the period of the sanctions. Can someone explain that?

GC: What that's referring to is that the period between May 25, 2006, ending May 24, 2007. During that one-year period, that was the period he was precluded from making calls himself. He placed both phone calls during a period when he would have been able to call recruits, however both were placed impermissibly. One due to a lack of record keeping of another call that had been made by an assistant coach, the second…

RHG: The second call was a two-minute call that was made early in Coach Sampson's tenure at Indiana and prior to the release of the Committee on Infractions report.

Q: It was also pointed out about the number of calls made by assistant coaches from their homes that you didn't know about. Why didn't you seek home phone records sooner? I know they had the form that they filled out where they said they didn't make any calls from home, but is it standard that you pretty much go by what they say?

GC: We had a heightened monitoring protocol in place throughout the year, one that we felt…was very adequate to monitor the sanctions in place.

The typical practice for our coaches at Indiana is to use their office and cell phones. We operated from the assumption they were using the two of those unless they declared any other phones they were using. We used their declaration of not using the home phones as sufficient to monitor compliance with the sanctions.

Q: Are you going to do anything different to enforce the new sanctions?

GC: I'll answer that, and let me add to my last response that we felt our practices were very consistent with most business practice. I just returned from Big Ten Compliance meetings, and we did confirm from other Big Ten institutions that no one is currently monitoring home phones unless the coaches actively declare they are using them. So we feel what we were doing we feel is very consistent.

As for how our practices will be different, we're always looking to continuously improve our monitoring practices. I think with the proliferation of cell phone use, other phone use, we will more actively pursue from all our coaches what phone they are using, and do our due diligence monitoring all phones that they declare in use. But the typical practice for IU coaches is to use office and cell phones.

Q: In terms of the phone logs and records, how often are they required to submit a log, and are they able to do that on-line or is it just the paper process?

GC: They submit, on a monthly basis to our compliance office, a log of all countable recruiting calls they've made in a given month. It's a paper log. What we require are the phone records to back up any log that is submitted.

So it's happening on a very regular basis. The coaches are recording their phone activity on a daily basis, but it's coming into the compliance office on a monthly basis with the phone records to back those up. We do get cell phone records electronically to allow us to do computerized as well as hard searches on those records to make sure that what they are declaring is accurate.

Q: You've talked about sending a strong message. Are you confident the message has been received and that we won't be doing this again six months from now, 12 months from now, 18 months from now?

RG: I think it's a very strong message. I think it's been delivered by voice and by the written word. I think it's been delivered by action. I think when I say by action, if you look at the self-imposed sanctions and the corrective actions and you were to compare those to some other cases, whether they were comparable or what somebody would deem is more egregious, I think an astute person would look at these as very significant from the reduction in permissible visits to the scholarship reduction to the voluntary compensation reduction with Coach Sampson, all the way down the line.

I think it's a message that's been stated by me on multiple occasions. I think it's been reinforced by others on campus. I expect no less.

Q: Are you just in a holding pattern to where the report has been submitted and you just wait for a response from the NCAA?

RG: I'll let Robin answer that because she's been our primary liaison to the NCAA. I'll say specifically I won't speculate on an outcome or timetable. But Robin, you can add anything you'd like to that.

RHG: Rick is right. We can't speculate on timing. We just know the NCAA will review if very carefully and will contact us as needed.

Q: Whenever they do make a ruling, would their ruling change your opinion of what happened? If they added further sanctions, does that change the opinion you have on the situation?

RG: I live in a world of speculation, so I try to alter that as far as living in a world of fact. We'll be open with the information sharing with the NCAA, and I assume they'll be due diligent with us. I'm not going to speculate on any of those kind of things, other than I know we have some work ahead of us.

The work ahead of us is this – we need to make sure we're continued diligent in our review of this matter. We need to be excessively and perhaps exceedingly diligent in our compliance efforts. Indiana has a very well earned and long track record for compliance, perhaps as lengthy as anybody in the Big Ten and perhaps lengthier in terms of our compliance record.

We have other matters in front of us. That's in no way intended to mitigate the significance of this, but we have a basketball team that's going to start playing. We have high expectations for that team, we have high expectations for our coaches, and along the way we have high expectations to finish our football season successfully and advance to postseason.

To speculate what might happen in a week or six weeks from now as the NCAA goes through it's process is something I'm not prepared to do.

GC: I'd add to that that Coach Sampson and his staff have been diligent in working with the compliance office in terms of insuring we have very good and thorough communication and no problems going forward. In fact, Coach Sampson just implemented a new staff policy that all phone calling taking place on a daily basis needs to be reported to him every day.

So he's done a lot to ramp up the internal communication and compliance efforts. Certainly, we feel confident we won't have any further problems going forward.

Q: How do you respond to fans that you hired the wrong coach, that this is the second time this has happened?

RG: This will be trite so bear with me trying to inject a little bit of humor in this otherwise serious conversation.

I can tell you in 28 years I've never had a fan not criticize anybody I hire. Part of that comes with the territory, and why I guess they pay me.

With Coach Sampson, I think I'm profoundly disappointed that we're dealing with this, and I'd be even more disappointed if I felt he didn't share that sentiment with me.

This is Indiana University, and Indiana University has set a high bar for a lot of years both in terms of compliance with the Big Ten and NCAA rules and the compliance with the expectation of our fans.

If some of our fans are disappointed, I'd say I share their disappointment. But I also try to look at this within the perspective of the body of work. It does occur and has occurred, and I feel very strongly that Coach Sampson has the ability and desire to meet the goals that we have as our coach in this are of compliance, in terms of our academic progress, in terms of our fans high expectations for our competitiveness. I feel we will get their under his direction and his leadership.


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