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Sampson saga not over at Indiana


May 25, 2006

Hey, something tells me this soap opera called "As the Hoosier Hoops World Turns" is going to get even crazier.

This soap opera started in Norman, Okla., when Kelvin Sampson was the head coach at Oklahoma. Sampson and his staff were accused of making over 500 illegal phone calls to recruits.

This saga took another turn when the NCAA committee on infractions ruled on Thursday that Indiana was going to be punished for Sampson's actions while he was Oklahoma's coach. The penalty against the Hoosiers includes a one-year sanction prohibiting Sampson from calling or traveling to visit recruits. This ban runs until May 2007.

My friends, this is not coming to an end right away.

I am curious to hear what Sampson says. He is currently in Kuwait, spending time with and dedicating himself to the troops.

This matter really blows my mind because in conversations with people in the know at Oklahoma, as well as Sampson, the belief was he was honest and sincere in his meeting with the NCAA. He said he was wrong for making the calls and felt the self-penalty imposed by Oklahoma was fair.

The latest ruling goes a step further. Indiana is penalized for what happened at Oklahoma. How will the Indiana fans, supporters and athletic administration react to this news? Now they know their coach can't recruit off-campus for a year, and he can't call potential recruits.

This baby is not over. His Indiana contract has a stipulation that he could be fired if the Hoosiers suffered additional sanctions compared to the original Oklahoma self-penalty. That has happened now, and this story isn't complete. The reaction of the Indiana hierarchy will be interesting.

It is getting bigger and bigger by the moment. Stay tuned.

Dick Vitale coached the Pistons and the University of Detroit before broadcasting ESPN's first college basketball game in 1979. Send a question for Vitale for possible use on ESPNEWS.

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