The Indiana University community has been shocked by the disappearance of 20-year-old Indiana student Lauren Spierer. Spierer vanished early Friday morning after a night of drinking at Kilroy's Bar in Bloomington, Ind. According to police, she left behind shoes and a cell phone at the bar, and her keys and small purse were found in an alley. She was last seen at 4:30 a.m. Friday morning. Foul play is suspected, but police interviews had yielded no official suspects as of Tuesday afternoon.
Over the last five days, hundreds of volunteers have poured out into Bloomington to help local law enforcement agencies and the FBI conduct three searches per day. Among those volunteers is Indiana coach Tom Crean. Crean is no doubt doing what most coaches in such a situation would do, but what makes his efforts doubly notable is the lack of media attention he's sought for them. He hasn't given any interviews, and he hasn't mentioned his presence on Twitter. Were it not for the occasional mention in news stories about the search -- and one businesslike photo in the Indianapolis Star -- then you'd have no idea Crean was involved.
In many ways, this is what you'd expect from any college hoops coach, who serve as de facto leaders in their communities, especially in small college towns like Bloomington. But the low-key, just-pitching-in approach is not one big-time coaches, often so eager for publicity and positive press, frequently take. In this instance, it's notable.
In any case, that's the basketball angle, so to speak, but it's not the real story. If you can help find Spierer, or saw her at any time last week, police are urging you to contact them immediately. And memo to college kids across the country: Please be safe out there.