NCAA Not Buying Sampson's Explanation

Bloomington, Ind. – The NCAA is clearly not buying Kelvin Sampson's explanation about his involvement in a handful of impermissible three-way phone calls made last year.

Bloomington, Ind. – The NCAA is clearly not buying Kelvin Sampson's explanation about his involvement in a handful of impermissible three-way phone calls made last year.

Indiana University released the NCAA's Notice of Allegations report that it received last Friday, a 14-page report that documents the specifics of the excessive and impermissible phone calls made by the IU basketball staff from March 29, 2006 thru July 31, 2007.

The report does shed some light on the specific players who were on the receiving end of approximately 100 excessive recruiting phone calls made by Assistant Coach Jeff Meyer and then-Assistant Coach Rob Senderoff. But the most damning part of the report is the fact the NCAA alleges Sampson knowingly participated in the three-way phone calls that were in violation of the sanctions handed down in the aftermath of his troubles at Oklahoma.

Sampson was saddled with a one-year recruiting ban for those 577 impermissible phone calls at Oklahoma, a penalty handed down shortly after he was named IU's head coach. As a result he wasn't allowed to make off-campus recruiting visits or place phone calls to prospective recruits.

What he could do, though, was text message recruits and receive phone calls from them as well. When IU first brought the most recent violations to light last fall, Sampson's defense was that he didn't know he was participating in three-way calls that also included Senderoff. Instead, he maintained that he thought the recruit had called him, and that he never any had any recollection of Senderoff also participating in the call.

"I found out about three-way calls after the looked at the records," Sampson said in October. "Rob was patching the calls into me, without me knowing Rob had made the connection."

The NCAA's report, though, makes it clear they aren't buying that explanation. In detailing the specifics of three-way calls to recruits Yancey Gates, William Buford, DeJuan Blair, Demetri McCamey and the mother of Devin Ebanks, the NCAA report says Sampson knowingly participated in those calls.

In addition, the report details a variety of other ways in which the NCAA believes Sampson and his staff tried to circumvent his ban on recruiting calls. It details the specifics of a speakerphone call made to Marcus Morris in which both Sampson and Senderoff were present; it outlines an instance where Sampson talked with Bud Mackey's mother on Senderoff's cell phone; and it also points to a handful of other instances where Senderoff was in the presence of a prospective recruit, placed a call to Sampson, and then allowed Sampson to talk to that recruit.

To make matters worse, the report also says Sampson repeatedly provided IU and its rules enforcement staff with either false or misleading information when asked about the improper phone calls.

The report also details the excessive phone calls that were made by Senderoff and Meyer. Senderoff's excessive calls were placed to Gates (now at Cincinnati), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Demetri McCamey (Illinois), Markieff Morris (Memphis), Bud Mackey (undecided), DuJuan Blair (Pitt) and Philip Jurick (Tennessee). Mackey was the recipient of the most impermissible calls – 22.

Meyer, meanwhile, made one excessive call to Scott Martin and six to Robbie Hummel, both of whom are now freshmen at Purdue.

The report also details some inappropriate contact made by Sampson and Meyer to Tipton, Ind., junior Derek Elston during an Elite Camp last summer. The report details an exchange between the IU staff and Elston in the middle to the camp in which it was made clear IU was going to offer him a scholarship. According to NCAA rules, it is impermissible to "recruit" prospective student-athletes before a camp concludes. The report also says that Elston was given an improper gift of clothing and equipment before leaving the camp.

Indiana University has 90 days to respond to the NCAA's Notice of Allegations, and the matter is expected to be taken up by the governing body in June.


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