IU donors could stage own boycott

February 22, 2008
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The situation at Indiana University is so bad, several former athletes and big-time donors are calling for Athletic Director Rick Greenspan’s termination. Some think financial support to the school will be hurt if the situation regarding the men’s basketball program is not resolved soon. As for Greenspan saying he was only part of a process to hire men’s basketball coach Kelvin Sampson, one alum and IU Foundation trustee said when he asked Greenspan two years ago about the search committee for a new men’s basketball coach, Greenspan responded, “I am the search committee.”

Here’s a sampling of quotes from a story that will appear in IBJ’s print edition, which hits newsstands Saturday.
· “They’re on strike two with a lot of fans and supporters,” said Mike Pegram, who has operated a Web site dedicated to IU sports since 1998 and is online coordinator for Inside Indiana Magazine. “The next step they make will be very, very critical.”
· “We’re all just sitting here, asking, ‘How in the world did this happen?’” said Stephen Helmich, president of Cathedral High School and a 1972 IU graduate. “This couldn’t come at a worse time.”
· “The athletic department is a shambles, in my opinion,” said IU grad Bart Kaufman, CEO of locally based Kaufman Financial Corp. “If we fire the basketball coach and athletic director, I’d be happy. If they just fire the basketball coach, I’d be disappointed.”
· “People’s impressions of the university have to be subject to what’s going on,” said Phil Isenbarger, a member of IU’s 1981 NCAA basketball championship team and a partner in local law firm Bingham McHale. “It’s a mess. Just a mess.”

Do you think IU will be hurt financially by this fiasco?
  • The sooner one gets treatment for cancer, the greater chance of survival. The people who hired the coach needed to place a teether/ankle monitor on him which activated if he used a telephone. Apparently they might have needed to follow him to make sure he sent no smoke signals to recruits. Where was responsible for institutional oversight? Why did the NCAA do that was not done inhouse? Hire Bobby Knight as AD to keep the program honest if the current AD did not dot every i, cross every T or winked once at the illegal phone calls. What other violations occured, if any? Buyout was costly but you can't win a NCAA title by violating Bobby Knight standards.
  • The issue I have is that Sampson was retained to this point, having established a pattern of reprehensible conduct that violates the esteemed character of IU. There is a reason he was allowed to do this, Rick Greenspan did not set the standard. When it comes time to renew my membership in the VC, it may come with a lower membership level if not a no, thank you if Greenspan is still the AD. For IU to re-establish itself with the character and integrity that set it apart in athletics for the past 40 years, Greenspan must be separated from the University.
  • I agree with Kaufman, but the overall management of the University is the Trustees, and the President. You can make Greenspan the fall guy if you wish, but nothing can be done at this level without the Trustee's involvement. If Greenspan knew about this and did nothing, then he needs to go. Where were they (Trustees) and why on earth did they not step up sooner. Shame on IU for trying to hide the letter from the NCCA, it was the Freedom of Information Act that had that letter come to light.....what about the accountability of the University..they were not honest when it came out, and that is part of accountability as well. When IU calls, I tell them no thanks, I see too much money wasted on athletics.....and not enough on the school. By the way, where is Sperber in all of this...and what about zero tolerance ?
  • The Trustees have a President to handle personnnel matters. The President of the University has an Athletic Director to run the athletic department. The athletic director is responsible for setting the parameters of behavior for coaches and staff. Likewise, the coaches set the parameters of behavior for their team members. It is a lack of leadership that allowed Sampson to continue to behave in a dishonorable manner and bring embarrassment and disrepute to Indiana University. Greenspan must be held accountable for allowing this problem to get to this level. IU needs a leader to be the athletic director.
  • Football and basketball are played with vigor at every school in the state BUT I.U. Bring back Lee Corso and Bob Knight.
  • I have dealt with Rick Greenspan personally when I played tennis at IU. Now, I am not trying to compare tennis to basketball at IU. We all know about Indiana basketball. What I am saying, Rick Greenspan is not a man of his word. He is not a true leader and he will not make Indiana Athletics better. In my opinion, the majority of the athletic department needs to be let go. That will not happen, but trust me, internally, Indiana University needs a change.
  • Simple, this mess started when Greenspan hired a coach under investigation. Greenspan needs to go NOW !

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