Posts Tagged ‘Michael McRobbie’

If the Gary Post-Tribune gets it, why don’t the IU Trustees and IU President Michael McRobbie get it? Herman B. Wells (IU President from 1938 to 1962) would not have hesitated to fire a couple of sleazebags like Athletic Director Rick Greenspan and Men’s Basketball Coach Kelvin Sampson.

February 18, 2008
Dan Dakich would restore IU’s credibility

Gary Post-Tribune, February 16, 2008

Until Kelvin Sampson came along, Indiana and Penn State were the only Big Ten programs who remained on squeaky-clean terms with the NCAA over the last four decades.

Give Penn State an asterisk because the Nittany Lions didn’t compete until the 1992-93 season and have been dealing with recent football thuggery.

Thanks to Sampson’s multiple indiscretions with a cell phone, he’s $500,000 poorer and teetering on the edge of unemployment and IU’s reputation is tarnished.

Why should Hoosier partisans be surprised? In Oklahoma, the former president of the National Basketball Coaches Association was charged with the same violations before IU athletic director Rick Greenspan hired him on March 29, 2006.

At the time I expressed reservations, suggesting IU would be better served by Mark Turgeon or Marquette’s Tom Crean, both with impeccable credentials.

Turgeon rescued floundering Wichita State with 128 victories in seven years, including a 2006 trip to the Sweet 16, then bolted to Texas A&M, and is now 20-4 in his first year.

Crean is 182-92 at Marquette, his resume enhanced by a 27-6 record and a Final Four cameo in 2003. He is just three shy of his fifth 20-victory season in the last seven years.

Now, after years under an honest tyrant with integrity, Indiana is stuck with an accused cheater. Don’t even think about replacing Sampson with Bob Knight, who shed too much blood before cowboying to Texas, or pretty-boy Steve Alford, who failed at Iowa.

NCAA timing couldn’t have been worse, Sampson being forced to address its accusations just before Wednesday’s loss to Wisconsin.

Suddenly faltering in the Big Ten race, the Hoosiers must carry Sampson’s baggage when they should be focusing on critical visits from Michigan State (today) and Purdue (Tuesday).

Student-athletes are under enough stress without such added pressure. It will only get worse unless IU’s administration acts now. At the very least, Sampson should be suspended for the rest of the year.

If Greenspan, also on shaky ground, acts promptly, Dan Dakich would be a logical choice as interim coach with an option of making it permanent.

Think about it. Dakich is wrapped in IU roots, having spent 16 years there since graduating from Andrean in 1981.

After twice serving as Knight’s team captain, he joined the General’s staff, contributing to a national title in 1987 and four Big Ten championships before a memorable fallout.

Dakich returned to IU as Director of Operations for the 2007-08 season after coaching Bowling Green to 156 victories, one of only three coaches to win 18-plus games four times in school history.

Untainted by Sampson’s scandalous behavior, Dakich was activated to coaching after Rob Senderoff was fired.

Because the Merrillville native bleeds Cream and Crimson he would provide instant stability. Promoting Dakich would short-circuit a dangerous downward spin.

Such wavering recruits as New Yorker Devin Banks, a standout 6-8 forward, and highly regarded juniors Stephan Van Treese of Lawrence North and Derek Elston of Tipton must be reassured.

Contact John Mutka at