Telep Weighs In On Impact of IU's Sanctions

Bloomington, Ind. – For the second straight season, IU basketball is going to have to try to put together a top-flight recruiting class with one hand tied behind its back. National Recruiting Director Dave Telep talks about what kind of impact these sanctions will have on IU's recruiting efforts...

Bloomington, Ind. – For the second straight season, IU basketball is going to have to try to put together a top-flight recruiting class with one hand tied behind its back.

A year ago, Kelvin Sampson was all but put on house arrest as a result of the penalties incurred while at Oklahoma. But that didn't keep IU from landing's 10th-ranked class, headlined by No. 2 overall prospect Eric Gordon and JUCO Player of the Year JaMarcus Ellis.

IU fans thought the basketball problem not only survived those penalties, but if anything, thrived. But now here we go again. In the wake of the recent set of improper calls and subsequent self-imposed sanctions, Indiana won't have the same resources or opportunities that other Division I programs do. Among the university's self-imposed sanctions that have just recently come to light in the last week are:

- the IU staff can make phone contact with high school seniors only once per week during the next nine months (NCAA rules permit two calls per week);

- the IU staff can have only six paid official visits for the next year instead of the NCAA-allotted 12;

- Kelvin Sampson can only make every other one of the monthly phone calls allowed for high school juniors for the next year;

- Sampson's off-campus recruiting days have been cut to four for the fall '07 contact period and then 10 additional days for the following 10 months.

These penalties are on top of the ones IU announced nearly three weeks ago, which include the loss of a scholarship for the 2007-08 class and the one-year recruiting ban placed on Rob Senderoff (which will be transferred to soon-to-be named assistant coach Dan Dakich).

So can Indiana once again put together an elite class with these limitations? National Recruiting Director Dave Telep says it will be a challenge for the staff, but not an impossible one.

"They call them sanctions for a reason – they are penalties," Telep said. "There are ways to work around each, but time/contacts with the kids are very valuable."

One the restrictions that appears most penal is the scaling back on allotted official visits, which have been cut in half. But unlike in the last couple of years, Indiana's 2009 class doesn't figure to be a large one. Barring early departures and assuming the four members of the '08 class sign, IU already has 10 of the allotted 13 scholarships spoken for (including '09 verbal commit Kevin Elston). Indiana also has visions of adding at least one more player in the '08 class (Tyler Zeller and Kevin Jones remain the most likely possibilities), so it's unlikely IU would bring in more than three or four players in '09.

IU also has made good strides with players such Indianapolis forward Stephan VanTreese Arden. N.C. forward (and former Warsaw, Ind. product) Mason Plumlee and Texas shooting guard Nolan Dennis, among others. So much of the ground work has already been laid for '09.

Besides, Telep said programs are learning to be much more creative with unofficial visits as well, giving them more of an "official" feel.

"The programs that are ahead of the curve have begun creating unofficial environments that look a lot like officials," Telep said. "But that I mean kids come onto campus unofficially and meet with the team, faculty, staff, president, etc., just like they would on an official visit.

"In IU's case with the reduction in official visits, you'd almost think they now approach every unofficial with the mindset that it's the only time a kid gets there so let's do it up big time."

While the self-imposed sanctions will be an obstacle to overcome, so will the departure of Senderoff. The former assistant coach and New York native was instrumental in luring Devin Ebanks as part of the '08 class, and his New York connections had helped IU emerge as a bona fide player in one of the top areas for prep talent.

Whether IU can maintain that pipeline – and remain a factor with elite '09 products such as Dexter Strickland and Lance Stephenson – won't be known for a little while. But Telep said it's not out of the realm of possibility that IU could maintain its presence in the Big Apple area.

"They just added a former New York area kid in (Terrance) Holloway and plan on maintaining a presence in the area," Telep said. "It's like anything else, the pipeline is going to require maintenance and provided there isn't anything coming down form the NCAA in terms of sanctions they have a legit shot at continuing their progress in New York.

"Having said that, New York City is a high-maintenance area in terms of the recruits from the region because of the publicity the kids get there. With or without Senderoff, getting kids from that region requires a ton of time and work regardless." Top Stories