Senderoff to join Kent State's staff next season

CLEVELAND -- Rob Senderoff can't change his past or what happened at Indiana. He's only looking forward.

Senderoff, involved in a phone-call scandal that led to Kelvin Sampson's resignation and NCAA scrutiny at Indiana, was hired Tuesday as an assistant at Kent State, returning to the school where he spent four years before joining Sampson's staff.

"I couldn't be happier to be back," Senderoff said.

Last October, Senderoff resigned from his job with the Hoosiers amid a university investigation that he broke NCAA rules by making illegal phone calls to recruits. The investigation led to Sampson accepting a $750,000 buyout in February.

Months after Senderoff stepped down voluntarily at Indiana, an NCAA report said Sampson and he knowingly participated in three-way calls with at least three recruits. The report said Senderoff initiated those calls.

The Feb. 8 NCAA report accused Senderoff of providing "false or misleading information" to the NCAA and failing to abide by its expected ethical standards for honesty.

"I've learned a lot from my mistakes," Senderoff said, "and I'm looking forward to moving on to the next chapter."

Indiana will have a hearing in front of the NCAA's infractions committee in June, and Senderoff said he will take part. Sampson and IU officials will also be present.

"I hope it closes the book on it," he said. "Whatever the NCAA says, I will follow. I was here [at Kent State] for four years and I never had a problem and always abided by the NCAA rules compliance. ... I'm not going to say I didn't do anything wrong. I've learned from my mistakes."

Last season was the first time in 13 years that Senderoff wasn't coaching. He missed it terribly, and is looking forward to being back in the gym and on the bench.

Senderoff previously worked at Kent State from 2002-06, when he was hired by Sampson. He'll be an assistant under Geno Ford, who recently took over the Golden Flashes after Jim Christian left for TCU. Ford and Senderoff worked on Christian's staff together.

Kent State athletic director Laing Kennedy said Senderoff will be involved in recruiting and is under no restrictions. Kennedy said he and Kent State officials reviewed Senderoff's past before deciding to bring him back to the Mid-American Conference school.

"We wouldn't have moved forward if we didn't feel good about it," Kennedy said. "Rob is an excellent coach and we're excited about what this will mean for our student athletes."

Senderoff was grateful for the chance to restart his coaching career.

"I'm coming back to a place where everybody knows who I am," he said. "I can't wait to get started and to work with Geno again."

Kent State has become one of college basketball's elite mid-major programs in the past decade. The school has posted 10 consecutive 20-win seasons and has made the NCAA tournament field four times since 2000.

Senderoff began his coaching career at Albany before becoming a graduate assistant at Miami of Ohio from 1995-97. He also worked at Fordham, Yale and Towson before coming to Kent State.