Bloomington – There's a new finger pointing at Kelvin Sampson as the responsible figure in the NCAA's ongoing investigation into the IU men's basketball program.
His own former assistant coach, Jeff Meyer.
One of the more interesting items in Indiana's response to the NCAA's "Failure to Monitor" allegation was a letter written by Meyer Sept. 15 to the NCAA Committee on Infractions. While Meyer doesn't directly implicate his former boss in the six-paragraph letter, he does call into question the suggestion by Sampson and the NCAA that IU officials were derelict in their monitoring duties.
Meyer, who shared an office with former IU Director of Basketball Operations Jerry Green, wrote that the basketball staff had virtually daily correspondence from IU athletics staff members in regards to the sanctions-related issues.
"I recall athletic administrators (particularly Grace Calhoun and Rick Greenspan) personally visiting the basketball office, coming down to courtside during practice, or stopping in the hallway to inquire about the importance of completing mandatory forms and emphasizing to the coaching staff our responsibilities to comply with the imposed sanctions by letter and in spirit," Meyer wrote.
Meyer's letter stands in stark contrast to Sampson's claim that IU officials are equally culpable for the alleged violations. A consistent theme in the former IU head coach's puzzling defense has been that the athletic department's administration should been doing a better job of informing him in a timely manner that he and his staff were breaking the rules.
Sampson said as much back in May in a letter sent to the NCAA Committee on Infractions.
"I cannot adequately describe in words how stunned I was to learn from Mr. (Rick) Greenspan later that summer that the compliance office's review of my staff's phone records had revealed possible violations…I could not believe that if in fact the records showed violations, some since my staff's earliest days at the University, the matters had not been detected and brought to the attention of Mr. Greenspan and myself much earlier so they could have been addressed in a timely fashion," Sampson wrote.
Meyer was among those who was implicated by the NCAA in its allegations of excessive phone calls and impermissible contact, but not to the degree of former assistant coach Rob Senderoff or Sampson. But Meyer maintains that the suggestion the wrong-doings were as a result of the department's failures is off base.
"Based on years of experience and work done with several NCAA institutions I thought Indiana worked diligently to monitor our compliance efforts given the imposed NCAA sanctions," Meyer wrote. "I did not question the commitment to compliance oversight in the face of these sanctions by the IU athletics administration or the seriousness of the matter at hand."