Sources: Players Want McCallum

Bloomington, Ind. – If Kelvin Sampson is in fact on his way out as IU's basketball coach, IU's players appear to want some say in who's going to coach them the rest of the way.

Bloomington, Ind. – If Kelvin Sampson is in fact on his way out as IU's basketball coach, IU's players appear to want some say in who's going to coach them the rest of the way.

While the conventional wisdom has been that person would be first-year assistant and long-time Bowling Green coach Dan Dakich, HoosierNation.com sources say that that many of the players are asking that second-year assistant Ray McCallum be the one who takes the reins of the program beginning tomorrow in Evanston.

The players allegedly made that request while meeting with IU Athletics Director Rick Greenspan Thursday night, and have threatened to not play if McCallum isn't the interim choice.

McCallum has twice been a Division I head coach – at Ball State (1993-00) and at Houston (2000-04). He enjoyed his greatest success at Ball State, where he posted a 126-76 mark, led the Cardinals to two NCAA and one NIT berths, and posted seven consecutive winning seasons. His success at Ball State landed him the Houston job, but McCallum went just 44-73 in four seasons.

Probably the biggest negative on McCallum's resume, though, is that his ties to the troubled Sampson are deeper. After leaving Houston in 2004, he spent two seasons as an assistant on Sampson's Oklahoma staff and then joined him in Bloomington for the past two seasons. But McCallum wasn't a part of Sampson's recruiting issues at Oklahoma, and the only mention of him in either the original Ice Miller Report in October and the NCAA's Notice of Allegations released last week was one phone call placed from his home, the fewest of any of the assistants on staff.

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