March Madness took on a whole new meaning in Bloomington when, after nine up-and-down seasons, Indiana University Athletic Director dropped the ax on men’s basketball Coach Tom Crean.
The announcement came just as the NCAA tournament tipped off.
IU had not qualified for the tournament and was bounced from the first round of the NIT after Glass opted to send the team on the road to take on Georgia Tech, despite IU’s having a higher seed. The Hoosiers lost to Georgia Tech by 12 in a lackluster performance.
The week after the game, Glass called Crean in for a meeting—sources said to terminate him—but Crean told Sports Illustrated he opted to skip the meeting and instead departed to Florida for a vacation with his family.
Crean was heralded for rescuing the program after Coach Kelvin Sampson went afoul of NCAA regulations and was fired in 2008.
Crean developed such players as Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo and took the Hoosiers to four NCAA tournaments after leading the program through a period during which it was saddled with heavy NCAA sanctions.
More recently, though, Crean was criticized for his failure to recruit Indiana high school stars and to develop the players—including Thomas Bryant—that he did land.•