DECKER: Time to Survey the Damage

Bloomington, Ind. – It's time for everyone to unclasp those finger tips, come out from underneath those school desks, and do what everyone must do after a storm rips through town.

Bloomington, Ind. – It's time for everyone to unclasp those finger tips, come out from underneath those school desks, and do what everyone must do after a storm rips through town.

It's time to survey the damage.

I don't expect FEMA Director David Paulison to stop off in Bloomington to aid President Michael McRobbie or Athletic Director Rick Greenspan in this endeavor, but it's obvious that an enormous amount of damage has been done in the last 24 hours.

To recap, IU made public the NCAA's Notice of Infractions Wednesday morning. While the NCAA's report didn't necessarily add many new allegations to the excessive phone calls and the violations of probation that IU outlined four months ago in its internal investigation, its language and tone suggested a slap on the wrist isn't what it has in mind for IU Coach Kelvin Sampson and/or the Hoosier basketball program.

While Indiana labeled the transgressions as minor violations, the NCAA's report outlined what it deemed to be five major violations. While Indiana officials originally said Sampson was forthcoming during its inquiry and proactive in its aftermath, the NCAA countered that its examination of the facts suggested he intentionally lied and misled investigators about his knowledge of his involvement in the violations.

Sampson denied those claims in a prepared 98-word statement Wednesday night, suggesting he's going to do his best Anderson Cooper impersonation and try to weather this Category-5 storm.

One of his many problems with that approach, though, is that he's going to be standing all alone.

When Sampson first appeared in front of the NCAA Infractions Committee nearly two years ago, Greenspan was there at his side. While the IU AD's support probably didn't do anything to lessen the punishment, it probably provided some degree of comfort knowing his future boss and employer were in his corner.

Sampson won't get that sort of support this time around. Greenspan knows his job could very well be in jeopardy as well, and he's not about to call ‘shotgun' for another turbulent ride.

Instead, Greenspan is going to make every effort to distance himself from Sampson and this situation as much as possible. He did that Wednesday afternoon when he refused to answer a reporter's question about whether or not he thought Sampson lied to investigators, and he did it at the conclusion of his press conference when he talked about Sampson's future.

"I expect him to coach (Wednesday night), I expect him to coach in the foreseeable future," Greenspan said. "I'll let you editorialize on what that foreseeable future is."

Actually, I'd say that statement pretty well does the trick.

If Sampson can somehow survive this mess, it would be an escape that make Houdini proud.

While everyone is entitled to due process, the truth of the matter is that editorials from around the state and the country are calling for Sampson's resignation or termination. The truth of the matter is that IU's administrators have turned on him, evidenced by Greenspan's lack of support yesterday. The truth of the matter is the IU fans have turned as well, made obvious by the preponderance of boos heard at Assembly Hall last night when he was introduced.

And the truth of the matter is that no matter what course of action the university takes, someone with IU ties is going to be appearing before the NCAA Infractions Committee in June with plenty of explaining to do.

I'd suggest getting back under the desk.

The all-clear signal isn't coming anytime soon. Top Stories