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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sampson replaces Davis at Indiana

By Andy Katz

Oklahoma's Kelvin Sampson is leaving the school to become the next head coach at Indiana, multiple sources told

Sampson already told OU athletic director Joe Castiglione of his plans and met with the Sooner team Tuesday afternoon.

A press conference announcing his hiring at Indiana could take place as early as Wednesday afternoon in Bloomington.

Sampson replaces Mike Davis, who took over for Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight in 2000.

"I was caught by surprise a little bit," said Taylor Griffin, a freshman forward for the Sooners. "He made the decision. I guess it's better for the program. I guess it's better for him."

Negotiations with Sampson heated up in the past week as the Hoosiers zeroed in on him after making overtures through a search committee to Gonzaga's Mark Few and Memphis' John Calipari.

The hiring of Sampson means the Hoosiers will break away completely from the Bob Knight era, instead of looking at former Hoosiers Steve Alford of Iowa or Orlando Magic assistant Randy Wittman.

Ironically, Oklahoma and Sampson lost to Davis (and Indiana) in his only trip to the Final Four in 2002.

Stephanie Gilbert, who help raised nephew A.J. Ratliff in Indianapolis, told the Associated Press the Hoosiers' sophomore guard called her Tuesday to discuss the change. Gilbert also said it was likely Ratliff would stay at Indiana.

"He's looking forward to meeting him and getting to know him," Gilbert said. "He seems pretty happy."

Ratliff initially declined to comment to AP, denying that a team meeting was held. Later, he appeared to confirm Sampson's hiring to television crews in Bloomington.

"He's shown that he's a good coach by what he's done at Oklahoma," Ratliff said. "You've got to give him a chance. He's shown that he can win at Oklahoma, so I think he can come here and do the same."

Two other key Indiana players had said after Davis resigned that they were apt to transfer: D.J. White, the 2005 Big Ten freshman of the year, and Robert Vaden.

Gilbert said Sampson's hiring could change their minds.

"Once they meet with him, they'll probably need to see," Gilbert said. "I think, from the looks of it, they have a pretty good coach on their hands."

Sampson's family was being flown to Indiana, including his daughter, who works at the College of Charleston.



What do people think? I figured it's a good topic to talk about since many of the members live in Indiana and are Indiana Hoosiers fans. I am a fan of the Hoosiers, not a hardcore one, but i support their sports programs.

I would have prefered Isiah Thomas as head coach, he wouldn't be able to coach one-bit and they'd have probably many "choke-jobs" in elite 8 and final 4, but one thing would be certain with Isiah Thomas, he'd always have the best recruiting class. lol

I hope Sampson does well.

2,739 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bob Kravitz's take on the hiring. He doesn't seem to like it, so lets hope for the best!

If goal was to unite fans, it failed

This was supposed to be the big, sexy hire, the balloons-and-confetti hire that would once again unite the fractured Hoosier Nation. This was supposed to be the hire that confirmed IU's delusional self-image as a top-five, even top-10 program, the hire that sent shock waves through the upcoming Final Four here in Indianapolis.

Maybe Billy Donovan. Or John Calipari. Or Mark Few. Or someone with a Bob Knight pedigree, a Steve Alford or even Randy Wittman.

Kelvin Sampson?


Unless last-minute contract negotiations between IU and Sampson break down, he's your man.

The same Kelvin Sampson who got out-coached by Mike Davis in the 2002 Final Four semifinal?

The same Kelvin Sampson who, despite his run of 20-win seasons, is 11-12 in the NCAA Tournament, with eight losses to lower-seeded teams?

The same Kelvin Sampson whose telephone misdeeds, however minor, earned his school an April 21 hearing before the NCAA Infractions Committee? Call them insignificant, but Oklahoma saw them as major enough to impose penalties on its program, including freezing Sampson's salary.

The same Kelvin Sampson whose program's graduation rates remain among the lowest in the nation? In the past, Sampson correctly derided the way the NCAA computed graduation rates, but by the calculation of the NCAA's new math, his kids still aren't graduating.

This whole thing, the Davis resignation and the Rick Greenspan-led search, was supposed to be done with the idea of uniting Hoosier fans under one banner, energizing them after years of disillusionment and ennui.

Well, I don't claim to speak for the Hoosier Nation, but the early returns suggest it is united -- united in its amazement that Greenspan, the man on the hottest seat of all, could make a less dazzling and more distressing hire.

Not sexy.

Not a member of the family.


Did you hear that noise?


Now, I'm not trying to wreck the man's reputation before he's coached a practice -- well, Homer, too late for that now, isn't it? -- and if it was just a question of his basketball record, the response here would be a tepid "dull, but solid. Teams play hard. Teams play killer defense. Teams win 20 games. Good for IU.''

But this NCAA stuff is bothersome. The graduation rates are bothersome. And they are issues that need to be examined, if not by the athletic director (Greenspan), then by the local media and fans who demand a successful and pristine program.

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