Friday, February 22, 2008

Sampson Out at Indiana, Players Mutiny

Kelvin Sampson is out at Indiana, for the bargain buy-out of $750,000. The school can quickly turn the page, either with ex-Knight protege Dan Dakich as interim coach -- or whoever they can lure in the offseason to one of the best jobs in college basketball. (Hmm: Xavier's Sean Miller?)

Here's the troubling development: A bunch of the players (including the stars) mutinized and didn't show up to practice -- presumably out of some sense of misguided loyalty to Sampson. Any self-respecting coach would have told his players to suck it up and respect both the game and their obligation to their school.

If Dan Dakich wants to set a new example, he will bench all of those players for tomorrow's game at Northwestern. Not to start. Not for a half. For the entire game, showing them that childish actions have adult consequences. If they lose to Northwestern, so be it. (NU is so sorry, they likely couldn't even beat a short-handed IU team anyway.

But that kind of insubordination -- that kind of disrespect for the institution that has given them the opportunity to go to college and play basketball... all for free -- is intolerable. Grow up: Your coach cheated, he paid a steep price. Act like you understand that.

UPDATE: The AP story made it sound like Dakich was relieved the players -- all the players -- were on the bus for the trip to Evanston. What a joke: Like they owe the new coach their attendance at the game? Their "boycott" was always bogus.

-- D.S.


Matt said...

Holy crap a post that isn't full of hyperbole and has a respectable perspective, and I agree with everything in I getting sick?

Unknown said...

Yeah right, like this will let the "IU stars" learn a lesson. They can let them sit the whole season out and they will still be punishing themselves. If IU punishes their "starters players" by releasing their scholarships, basically they will be starting over from scratch and in 3-4 years maybe they will come back to the same level they are now. But being they are IU, they cannot afford that so that will not happen. The idea of sitting the starters as punishment is laughable. To think that they will be humbled by this action is ignorant. The starters know they will still be starting for the rest of the year, increasing their NBA draft chances. Just like the school is using them to make more money, the players only care about their chances of increasing their draft pick in the NBA.

Your Humble Correspondent said...

An 18 year old kid can't get upset when his coach leaves, not even for a minute?

Like it or not, players come to schools for the coach, and when that coach leaves, it is possible for frustration to set in.

I suppose you were well-adjusted and as mature in college as you are now, which is why you ended up at Northwestern.

Unfortunately, others of us used college as a place to make mistakes that dont have life-long consequences.

Blowing off a single practice seems like an appropriate response.

My question: if you had a college program right now without a coach, and had one choice: would you hire Knight or Sampson?

I know who I would hire...

JW Stringer said...

D.S., totally agree with your stance. It is about time we stop pampering young athletes as much as we do as a society.

JW Stringer

Pony Up Yours said...

I'm with the players the loyalty isn't to the school its to the coach that brought them there, and considering he went "above and beyond" to bring them there I would be pissed off to if he was fired.

Unknown said...

How do we know you just didn't want Northwestern to beat a short-handed Indiana.
Hopefully it's not too late for you to grow up.