Note: I changed the title of this post after a reader correction.
So this is how it goes.
First it was Kelvin Sampson's 577 impermissible phone calls made between 2000 and 2004 while coaching at Oklahoma.
Then Sampson violated telephone recruiting restrictions – brought on by those 577 calls – when he and assistant Rob Senderoff made approximately 100 impermissible phone calls to recruits. The school's initial response contended those were secondary violations.
Now, it's come out that Sampson lied about the violations to Indiana and the NCAA. In an NCAA report, Sampson is accused of five major violations and failed "to deport himself ... with the generally recognized high standard of honesty."
In short, the NCAA isn't happy with Sampson or the school.
Indiana has until May 8 to provide a written response to the report and will be required to appear on June 14 at a Division I infractions committee hearing.
A cynic would note that the No. 13 Hoosiers (20-3) are enjoying their best season in years and, with stars D.J. White and Eric Gordon, are primed for their first Final Four since 2002. So any action before the season ends is unlikely. (And, even if one wasn't a cynic, the school has until May 8 to provide its response, which makes it unlikely anyway.)
Would a Final Four – or a national championship – keep Sampson in Bloomington despite major violations and being dishonest? According to his contract, the school can fire him for "just cause."
From the Indianapolis Star:
Among the definitions of "just cause" in Sampson's contract is "a significant, intentional, repetitive violation of any law, rule (or) regulation" of the NCAA.
Another definition is "Failure to maintain an environment in which the coaching staff complies with NCAA ... regulations."
The contract says IU is allowed to use its "sole judgment" to determine if Sampson's conduct "reflects adversely upon the university and its athletic program."
Dragging a school through this type of situation doesn't do much for its reputation, which makes me think Sampson keeping his job is doubtful.
The only thing that would let Sampson stay on is if the allegations aren't true. And even that may not be enough if the school wants to start over with a coach who doesn't have this kind of baggage.