The thing is…I liked him. I really did.
I don’t suppose that there’s any doubt that he broke the rulesâ€”again. Even if the allegations this time around are false, the ones that followed him from Oklahoma weren’t. He established a pattern of behavior; now he has a reputation for illegal recruiting tactics. He can’t be surprised that IU wanted to cut him loose before there was even an NCAA hearing. One of the first things he did when he got to Bloomington, almost two years ago, was remark on the passionate fanbase. The Hoosiers are serious about their basketball.
Coach Sampson was doing very well on the court. This season has been so much fun. I’m not just talking about Eric Gordon, but he’s certainly part of it. I think my favorite part, though, has been the player and the leader D.J. White has become. There is even the beginning of a hint of adding his name to the National Player of the Year conversation. He is almost a shoo-in for Big Ten Player of the Year. I’m just so disappointed. I don’t want anything to mess up D.J.’s senior season, and I don’t want anything to distract the media’s or the players’ focus from the glory of basketball.
I hope the team pulls together and finishes out the season playing the terrific game we know they’re capable of, and I hope the program can recover. I guess the truth is that I don’t care what happens to Sampson now. He’s not exactly poverty-stricken, and no matter how much I liked him, I can’t abide the stain he has placed on my beloved IU basketball tradition.