Thursday, May 31, 2012

IU vs. UK Basketball – Just Play the Bleeping Game

So now we know that Fred Glass, as a letter writer caught up in Cream ‘n Crimson passion, isn’t the world’s greatest speller when it comes to John Calipari’s last name. That bit of minutia comes as tweeters pick apart the letter IU’s athletic director sent to Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart.

We also know that the drama that is the Indiana-Kentucky series continues.

Here’s our unasked-for helpful suggestion:

Play the bleeping game!

Play it at Lucas Oil Stadium, on an aircraft carrier, at Rupp Arena or Assembly Hall, or at George Clooney’s villa on Lake Como in Italy.

Who gives a hoot at this point.

Play the bleeping game!

IU and Kentucky might very well be No. 1 and No. 2 in the country by December. This could be the most watched sporting event of the month, maybe of the season. It would be great for recruiting, marketing, promotion and more.

What you don’t want is the Hoosiers end up replacing Kentucky with, say, Kentucky State. People want to see Pacquiao vs. Mayweather, or Ali vs. Frazier in their prime. They want to see IU vs. Kentucky. They don’t want the basketball equivalent of Ali vs. Mr. Potato Head.

Play the bleeping game!

As for all that anguish over how playing at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium will screw over IU students unable to attend a game there, that’s hogwash. Students are resourceful. They will find a way, either on their own or via university-planned transport.

Play the bleeping game!

Things went public after the Bloomington Herald-Times’ Dustin Dopirak forced the Hoosiers hand by using the Freedom of Information act to get a copy of that letter, which was last Friday.

In it Glass showed the incredibly reasonable and generous compromise he offered Barnhart to continue a series that has become, for the most part, one of the most compelling national basketball rivalries in the nation for the last 43 years.

And that Barnhart said no.

By now you know the basics, that UK coach John Calipari wanted to play major non-conference games at large neutral site facilities because of the “non-traditional” nature of his program and to help prepare his teams for the NCAA tourney.

In other words, because he consistently signed one-and-done guys, because there was such a high turnover in his program, Kentucky had to schedule differently.

You can believe that. Or, you can believe, that after losing at Assembly Hall last December, he wanted no part of that experience ever again. As Hoosier Deep Throat would say, the sucker was scared.

Calipari, of course, says fear isn’t in his nature. He’s just looking out for what was best for his program.

Whatever the reason, he convinced Barnhart to go along with it.

Indiana officials, understandably, wanted to continue playing at Assembly Hall and Rupp Arena. The Assembly Hall atmosphere last December was as electric and thrilling (see above photo) as you could have in a universe that spawned Terrell Owens. They didn’t want a neutral site and they didn’t want Calipari getting a venue in Indianapolis, which has become a recruiting hotbed.

So IU announced that the series was over and the Wildcats were the villains.

Given that it takes two parties to have a dispute, given how big this game would be no matter where it was played, villainy was shared.

So after a week of getting slammed, Glass resumed negotiations and compromised that the games could be played at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium in 2012 and 2013, then at Rupp Arena in 2014 and Assembly Hall in 2015. He even offered to pay half of a $100,000 buyout with Portland, or help work something out with Samford, to ensure Kentucky would have the early December dates open to accommodate a game with Indiana.

Barnhart said no.

Now, it gets a little tricky, with both sides accusing the other of being rude and not getting back to them and leaving them in limbo.

Nobody wants to be in limbo.

So Glass sent his letter. In it he said, “We were back to Kentucky’s take-it-or-leave-it demand that we play only on a neutral court with no opportunities to play on our campuses in front of our students and other season ticket holders.”

He ended by saying, “Unfortunately, Kentucky’s refusal to consider anything other than a two year neutral-site contract only based on your new “non-traditional” scheduling philosophy has doomed a series that should be bigger than that.”

Barnhart, as you can imagine, had a different view. Basically, he said that after IU ended things on May 3, Kentucky reached a two-year deal with Baylor –- one year at Rupp Arena, one year at Dallas. It restarted a home-and-home series with North Carolina. It finalized dates with Portland and Samford.

Barnhart said Kentucky didn’t want to back out on Portland or Samford so late in the scheduling process. He also said the Wildcats wanted to stick with just two-year contracts and that a four-year deal with Indiana would jeopardize its home-and-home series with Louisville.

He ended his response by saying UK was still leaving Dec. 15 and Dec. 22 open to play, and that IU and Lucas Oil Stadium were available on those dates to make it work. He said they should play the neutral site games the next two years and keep talking about playing on campus for the years after that.

In other words, the series wasn’t dead yet.

Of course, you’re dealing with bluster and egos and wanting to avoid, at all cost, the impression of having caved. IU officials firmly believe they have fully compromised and that Kentucky officials haven’t met them in the middle, or even a quarter of the way.

In the meantime, there was been a public relations cost to both schools in all of this, which was so unnecessary given that this will be such a compelling game.

A cynic would say this was done to jack up a HUGE TV contract, because all of this will make the game even bigger than it was before. That all this drama is just a game, a conspiracy, a trick to make even more money.

Whatever. It doesn’t matter.

Just play the bleeping game!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

IU Center Up For National Football Award

Does anybody have a cooler beard than Will Matte?

Wait. Let’s be precise. Does any college football center good enough to be in the running for the Rimington Trophy have a beard as good as Matte’s?

The short answer is no. The long answer is no.

The Indiana senior has a black beard thick enough to hide Terrell Owens’ ego. Add the shaved head and this 6-2, 290-pound senior looks ready for his WWE debut.

But that’s not why Matte is making news.

He’s on the Rimington Trophy spring watch list. That’s a big honor considering the trophy goes annually to the best center in NCAA Division I football.

This leads to the obvious question -– who’s Rimington? That would be Dave Rimington, a first-team All-America center for Nebraska in 1981 and ’82.

Matte has been an iron man for most of his time with the Hoosiers. He started the first 32 games of his career before an injury stopped the streak last season. He still started nine games and played in 10.

When it comes to public perception, centers are not judged on their number of blocks (although you'd better believe coaches focus in on that), but on the overall numbers of the offense. Last year Matte helped IU rush for 1,374 yards in Big Ten action, the most since 2001 when Antwaan Randle El led the offense. The Hoosiers had five games with more than 200 rushing yards. They burned Northwestern for 319 rushing yards, their most in a Big Ten game since 2003.

The winner will be honored at the Rimington Trophy Presentation banquet at the Rococo Theater in Lincoln, Neb., Jan. 12, 2013.

A beard is optional.


IU’s Casey Smith got a suspension for his role in a brawl near the end of the Hoosiers’ Big Ten baseball tourney loss to Purdue.

Smith and Purdue’s Eric Charles got hit with one-game suspensions. Charles must sit out the Boilers’ NCAA tourney opener against Valparaiso. Smith will have to wait for the Hoosiers’ opener next year because their season ended with that defeat to Purdue.

The Big Ten issued the following release:

“The Big Ten Conference office announced that it will impose a one-game suspension on baseball student-athletes Eric Charles of Purdue and Casey Smith of Indiana for violating the Big Ten Sportslike Conduct Agreement. Charles will be suspended for Purdue’s opening NCAA Championship game on Friday, June 1, while Smith will be suspended for Indiana’s first game of the 2013 season.

“The Big Ten determined that the actions of Charles and Smith during an altercation in the ninth inning of the Big Ten Baseball Tournament championship game on Saturday, May 26, violated Big Ten Conference Agreement 10.01.1.A.1 – “Striking or attempting to strike or otherwise physically abusing an official, opposing coach, spectator or athlete.” The conference office also publicly reprimanded Charles and Smith for their actions.

“The Big Ten Conference considers this matter concluded and will have no further comment.”

The brawl started when Charles slid hard into IU’s Michael Basil in the ninth inning in a nail-biter of a game. Officials viewed Charles’ slide as flagrant in nature. So did the Hoosiers, who came out of the dugout. Purdue players responded and the fight was on.

Eventually umpires restored order and the Boilers went on to win the game, the conference tournament and a NCAA tourney bid.

Despite the loss, the Hoosiers grew into a formidable team in the last month of so of they season. They return most of their players for a squad the became the Big Ten's second best behind Purdue. Look for them to make a run at a conference title and a NCAA tourney berth next season.

And if the construction schedule holds (no sure thing despite the early earth-moving start), they'll do it in a state-of-the-art new baseball stadium.


New Indiana women’s basketball coach Curt Miller is not an under-the-radar guy. He’s pushing hard to get the program to a competitive level. That sometimes means addition by subtraction.

If you believe the reports, 6-4 Kristiana Stauere is transferring from IU to Division II Alaska Anchorage. The connection is that former Indiana assistant coach Nathan Altenhofen is now the new head coach at Alaska Anchorage.

It also seems that IU will add a couple of new players. One would be 6-3 Jocelyn Mousty, an Indiana basketball All-Star. Mousty averaged 19.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 3.9 blocks as a senior.

Another reportedly is Nicole Bell, once signed by Ball State. She’s a 5-5 point guard from Cincinnati who averaged 22.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 4.6 steals as a high school senior last season.

Miller had a tremendous amount of success at Bowling Green. He understands the value of recruiting, and in particular the value of recruiting the state. Indiana has never been a women's basketball power. While the challenges are formidable, including going against traditional national powers Purdue and Notre Dame for the best in-state players, he seems prepared to handle them.

Time, as it always does, will tell.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lou Waton Was One of the IU Good Ones

Lou Watson had a heck of an Indiana deal. He got to coach between two basketball Hall of Famers in Branch McCracken and Bob Knight, winning a Big Ten championship along the way.

He was a stud basketball and baseball player before that. He was a part of some of the greatest teams in IU history.

And, he was a really nice guy.

Perhas that didn’t translate into being a dominant basketball head coach, but that doesn’t diminish what he meant to IU as a whole.

Waton passed away last Friday in Fairfax, Va. He was 84.

“Lou Watson was a true Hall of Fame Hoosier in every sense of the word,” athletic director Fred Glass said in a release. His association to the university and the athletic program spanned over five decades, first as a standout baseball and basketball player in the late 1940s and early 1950s, second as a coach for the men’s basketball program from the 1950s until the early 1970s, and finally as an administrator for the (athletic) program until 1987. It was great to see him back in 2009 as an honorary coach. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”

As a player, Watson won four letters in basketball and two in baseball. He played on a regular season Big Ten title winning baseball team. That was back in 1949, which was before Sembower Field was built. The Hoosiers then played baseball at Jordan Field, which is now a parking lot next to the Memorial Union.

They went 18-5 in what was Ernie Andres’ debut season as head coach. They also made the NCAA tourney that season, losing to Western Michigan. Watson, the right fielder, hit .333.

In basketball, he was team MVP honors in 1949 and ’50. As a senior he earned Big Ten and All-American honors. When he graduated he was IU’s all-time leading scorer, although he never actually led the team in scoring. What he could do was lead, and became team captain in 1950.

His best season came as a senior, when he averaged 12.2 points. He wasn’t much of a shooter (31.4 percent from the field, 55.3 percent from the line), but offense wasn’t what it is today.

Nobody scored much in those days and Watson finished with 757 points, which now ranks 65th in school history. Two years later Don Schlundt arrived in Bloomington and the 6-10 center could score. He finished with 2,192 points, good for third at IU behind Calbert Cheaney (2,613) and Steve Alford (2,438), but by then it was already a different era.

Now that kind of college career would have given Watson a shot at playing professional. Then he stayed at IU and moved into basketball coaching. He coached the Hoosier freshman in 1951, ’52, ’56 and ’57. He moved to a varsity assistant under McCracken.

When McCracken retired in 1965, Watson took over. His debut season didn’t go well. IU was 8-16 overall and 4-10 in the Big Ten. The next year the Hoosiers shared the Big Ten title with a 10-4 record and were 18-8 overall.

They were known as the Cardiac Kids because of their ability to win close games. They beat Notre Dame 94-91, Ohio State 81-80, DePaul 72-70, Minnesota 82-81, Northwestern 81-79 and Michigan 98-96.

They went 1-1 in the NCAA tourney, losing to Virginia Tech and beating Tennessee.

Life got more difficult after that. Indiana went 10-14, 9-15 and 7-17 the next three seasons. Watson basically missed the 1969-70 season because of back surgery. His assistant coach, Jerry Oliver, took over that year.

With George McGinnis and Steve Downing IU roared back for a 17-7 record, 9-5 in the Big Ten. But the Hoosiers lost three of their last four games to blow a chance at a conference title.

That ended Watson's coaching experience. He finished with a 62-60 record. He became an administrator and Knight arrived for his record-breaking run.

Watson was inducted into the IU athletic Hall of Fame in 1989. In 2009 coach Tom Crean reached out to him, as he has so many outstanding players from Indiana’s past. Watson was an honorary captain later that season.

“Lou Watson was a part of so many of the historic moments of Indiana basketball and accomplished so many great things during his Hall of Fame career,” Crean said in a university release.

“My first meeting with him came at his home in Ellettsville and it was a great afternoon.

“It was a tremendous honor to have him visit our Elite Camp in 2009 with so many of the other former greats in attendance that afternoon. To see him return later that year with his family toserve as an honorary captain, and to hear that ovation he received when he was introduced, I know it made his heart proud. Those are moments I will never forget, and his picture receiving the game ball with his grandsons has been displayed proudly in our locker room since that day.”

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

IU Gets Another No. 1 Vote; New IU-UK Solution; Picking on Nebraska

So now The Sporting News’ Mike DeCourcy takes a shot at a preseason basketball poll. Guess what? He has Indiana at No. 1, as well.

This isn’t a shock given just about anybody who’s anybody has picked the Hoosiers for next season. That’s what happens when you return all your starters from a Sweet 16 team, then add one of the nation’s best recruiting classes. That includes Yogi Ferrell, who will provide the kind of point guard play they’ve lacked in recent years.

The key question -– can Ferrel do it next season as a true freshman? Not many can?

DeCourcy also questions IU’s defense. The Hoosiers ranked 64th in defensive efficiency this past season based on the formula devised by really smart guy Ken Pomeroy and showcased on his website,

DeCourcy said most national basketball champs have been in the top 10 in defensive efficiency, and none of the last 10 champs were worse than 19th (take a bow, Syracuse).

In other words, the Hoosiers have to get really good defensively, really fast.

Yes, coach Tom Crean has mentioned that, among other things.

It will get addressed. The defense will get better. Will that be good enough to win a national championship?

We’ll see.


By now you’ve probably seen the statement put out by something called the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. It says that John Calipari’s Kentucky basketball scheduling strategy is endangering the civilized world and could lead to Howard Stern becoming the next president of the United States.


Our mistake. It didn’t exactly say that.

This group of 59 faculty senate members from Football Bowl Subdivision schools actually said that Calipari’s desire not to play non-conference games on campus facilities could lead to “a full professional model.” That it was, in fact, a “move to further professionalize college sports.”

And you thought Jim Delany making $1.8 million more than we do was bad.

The statement was sparked by the recent announcement that Indiana and Kentucky would not play basketball games against each other anymore. IU wanted to play the games on campus facilities (Assembly Hall, Rupp Arena). Kentucky wanted neutral sites (Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium, perhaps Louisville’s Freedom Hall)

Let’s make one thing clear: Kentucky and Calipari DID NOT end the IU-UK series. IU AND Kentucky did it together. Both sides refused to compromise. Both deserve equal blame. This is not an all-or-nothing issue in the manner of, say, should Justin Bieber take over Indiana’s point guard job next season.

JUST A THOUGHT: How much would you pay to see Justin Bieber go one on one with Yogi Ferrell?

Anyway, people who want to agree, who realize and appreciate the value of this series, would make it work. People who don’t, well, it reminds us of something we heard on a walk the other day. Three kids were playing some kind of basketball game. They got into a disagreement. One kid said, “you either play by my rules, or you don’t play at all.”

Does that sound familiar?

Anyway, we have joined the forces of truth, justice and the American way to come up with the PERFECT solution to this Indiana-Kentucky road block.

IU already plays in a neutral site event called the Crossroads Classic. It’s held in Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. IU is joined by Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler. It’s great for the universities, the fans and basketball in the state of Indiana, and beyond.

Here’s our PERFECT solution: Add Kentucky and Louisville to the mix. Instead of a doubleheader, make it a triple header. Opponents are rotated every year. So once every three years, IU and Kentucky would play. It’s not as good as playing every year, but it’s better than not playing at all. If there’s enough interest, and there probably would be, move it to Lucas Oil Stadium.

Don’t take our word for it that it’s perfect. We hired a medium to contact the spirit of James Naismith, the inventor of basketball, to get his thoughts. Here is the absolutely true and accurate transcript of our séance session:

MEDIUM: Are you James Naismith?


MEDIUM: What do you think of Hoosier Hoopla’s solution to resolve the IU-Kentucky dispute?


So there you have it -– except Calipari messed it up by apparently signing a two-year deal with Baylor. This year’s Baylor game is set for Rupp Arena. The 2013 game will be played at Cowboy Stadium in Dallas.

Oh, for the record, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany makes $1.8 million a year according to a story in USA Today. That makes him the second highest paid commissioner after the Pac-12’s Larry Scott, who makes $1.9 million.

Neither come close to our salary. That’s as close to the truth as we dare get.


Nebraska football is in big trouble.


Because the Cornhuskers have to face the Indiana Hoosiers starting in 2015.

IU OWNS Nebraska. The Hoosiers lead the series 9-7-3 and if most of the games were played before Nebraska became a state and had enough people to field a team, and if the last time these teams met Nebraska won 69-17 (in 1978), stop being negative.

IU will play at Nebraska in 2015. The Cornhuskers will come to Memorial Stadium in 2016.

During those two years, Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa will rotate off Indiana’s schedule.

John Calipari, by the way, had nothing to do with this.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Dr. Tom Crean Cures Wade’s Basketball Game

This is why Tom Crean is a very good coach.

It's also why, when he's done coaching, he just might be ready for a new career as the basketball equivalent of Dr.Phil.

We'll explain that.

Crean cares. He goes the extra mile. He has a knack for bringing out your best. And he doesn’t forget you when you’re gone.

Granted, forgetting Dwyane Wade would be hard. The guy is a standout NBA player in the middle of a Hall of Fame career with the Miami Heat. Before that, he led Marquette to the Final Four with Crean as the coach.

So when Wade had a miserable game against the Indiana Pacers on Thursday night (only five points on really bad shooting), he knew what to do. He headed to Bloomington, got some inspirational coaching from Crean and, guess what? He was back to his dominating self.

This was bad news for the Pacers, who lost 101-93 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Sunday, but this isn’t about the Pacers.

Wade had 30 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Teammate LeBron James added 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists as the Heat tied the series at 2-2.

James’ numbers, by the way, haven’t been seen in a playoff game in 25 years.

Maybe Crean’s magic rubbed off on him as well.

So what did Crean do to get Wade back on track? Well, he let Wade watch a Hoosier workout, let him hang out on campus, administered a little golf cart driving therapy (does Dr. Phil have that?), talked a lot (Crean, who has enough energy for five men, dished out a helping of it to Wade) and then they watched a lot of film together.

No, it wasn’t Dark Shadows, a reinvention of a classic 1960s horror soap opera staring Johnny Depp and directed by Tim Burton. It wasn't the Avengers, where a bunch of gorgeous-looking people dressed in tight costumes defeat the bad guys.

At least, that’s what Wade said.

Anyway, they apparently watched a tape of some of Wade’s missed and made shots. They watched it together and Crean helped critique the good and the bad. Then Wade returned to his Indianapolis hotel room and watched some more.

Two days later, it paid off.
What does that mean for the rest of the series?

Does this mean Crean will get a part-time job as Wade’s personal life-skills coach? Could you see the day when Dr. Phil gets the TV ax and Crean gets the call, so he can pace on stage dispensing wisdom on the move for those who have issues normally reserved for Housewives of New Jersey?

We’ll have to see.


It looks like Trey Lyles, committed to IU in the Class of 2014, is going to get some international experience courtesy of Canada.

According to the Indy Star’s Kyle Neddenriep, Lyles will be on the Canadian junior national team for the FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Brazil.

Does this mean Lyles has turned his back on the United States?

Not exactly.

The 6-9 Lyles was born in Canada. Now, he plays for Indianapolis Tech. The opportunity came up and he took it. He’ll head to Canada in a couple of weeks to prepare for the tourney, which runs June 16-20.

All this will be great preparation for when he arrives in Bloomington. And if he struggles along the way, there's always Dr. Tom to turn to.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

IU Strength Coach Injured, Dwyane Wade and More

Tom Morris needs your prayers and support.

The Indiana assistant strength and conditioning coach was seriously injured in a mountain biking accident. He suffered a spinal cord injury that required surgery. He will need extensive rehabilitation.

According to the Bloomington Herald Times, Morris was riding alone at Bloomington’s Wapehani Mountain Bike Park on Thursday when he crashed. He was lying on the ground for about three hours, unable to feel anything below his chest. Another biker found him and contacted police.

Morris was flowed to Indianapolis Methodist Hospital. According to posts on various social media, the surgery went well. His spirits are good, enough that he was able to joke around. He has no feeling in or use of his legs. He faces a long, expensive road to recovery.

Morris, an avid fitness enthusiast who thrives at biking and running, has worked with soccer, women’s basketball, tennis, track and field, and diving at Indiana.

For those wishing to send get-well wishes and cards and other support, the address is Assembly Hall, c/o Tom Morris, 1001 E. 17th Street, Bloomington, IN.


Nobody works harder these days than Jeff Rabjohns of He’s everywhere that anything related to IU basketball happens.

For instance, Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat, visited his former coach, Tom Crean, at IU on Friday. That came on the Heat’s off day during their series with the Indiana Pacers.

Wade had one of the worst games of his professional life on Thursday –- the Heat got crunched by the underdog Pacers to fall behind 2-1 in the best-of-seven series -- and needed a break. So he spent some time with the coach who helped develop him into the superstar he is today.

Wade talked about that on Saturday during media availability heading into Sunday’s Game 4 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Sure enough, there was Rabjohns.

Wade told Rabjohns he considers Crean a “father-figure.” Given the fact Wade is 30 years old, a cynic could suggest this means that Crean is getting old.

We, of course, are not cynics.

IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION: Birth records indicate that we are older than Crean. We can say, with absolute sincerity and honesty, that those records have been altered by a conspiracy that reaches to the highest levels of government.

Anyway, Wade said Crean will keep driving the Hoosiers, that all the talk of being a preseason No. 1 won’t be a distraction because Crean won’t let that happen. Wade saw that first hand while watching a workout.

“They’re hungry,” Wade told Rabjohns.

Wade said if he was a high school senior today, he’d play for Crean. He said Crean was the perfect coach for him during his time at Marquette.

"He was very tough on us, but the work ethic he instilled in me and my teammates, the way he made us believe beyond our belief, the way he pushed us, it was a family atmosphere, which is why we're all so close today," Wade told Rabjohns.

"Everything we went through, we went through together. He was right there in the fight with us. If I wanted to go to the gym and 12 o'clock at night, I could call him and he'd drive down from his house and meet me at the gym. He was just that kind of guy. I'd play for him all over again."

Remember, this is an eight-time NBA All-Star and the 2006 NBA finals MVP. He led Marquette to the 2003 Final Four -– beating Kentucky behind his 29-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist performance -- before becoming the No. 5 pick in the 2003 NBA draft.

What Wade says makes an impact -– almost as big as the impact Crean left on him.


By now you know that Jonny Marlin has given up a basketball scholarship at IPFW to transfer and walk on at Indiana. He has three years of eligibility left, plus a redshirt year. That means possibly four more years at college. If he never earns a scholarship, which is highly likely, that means his decision will cost about $60,000.

It also means his playing time will go from a starter’s minutes (he averaged 4.3 points and a team-leading 3.5 assists while starting 28 of 30 games for IPFW this past season as a freshman) to nearly zero. He likely will spend most of his Hoosier experience as a practice player.

But that’s not the point.

A chance to live a dream (let’s just say that the former Center Grove standout didn’t grow up wishing he was an IPFW Mastodon), plus a desire for a greater religious opportunity (he wants to join IU’s Campus Crusade for Christ organization) is what drives him.

Financially it might not make sense, but life isn’t always about money.

For Marlin, that’s certainly true.


One of the best coaching jobs you’ll see at Indiana comes from Tracy Smith and the IU baseball team.

The Hoosiers’ strong finish –- they swept Ohio State in a three-game series this weekend, which means they’ve won six straight and 12 of their last 15 -- has propelled them to the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big Ten tourney. They are 30-26, 16-8 in the Big Ten, and have a chance, by winning the tourney, to make the NCAA Tournament.

That’s a huge turnaround given the youthful Hoosiers bumbled away a ton of possible victories early in the season. They committed way too many errors, and then often pitched poorly and hit anemically.

No more.

Saturday’s 4-2 win over Ohio State officially ends the Sembower Field era. IU is set to move into a new stadium for next season. Construction on the new facility has begun.

So how old is Sembower Field? IU records indicate it was built in the early 1950s. Rumors of archeological evidence that Sembower Field was actually built before the Egyptian pyramids, and might have been constructed by exiled members of the lost continent of Atlantis are probably false.


No matter what, the new stadium will push the Hoosiers firmly into the 21st Century.

Yes, that’s a very good thing.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Robinson Gives IU Recruiter Along With Strong Playing Potential

Let’s introduce Stanford Robinson, Indiana recruiter.

The newest future Hoosier, a 6-4 shooting guard out of Virginia who is rated as the nation’s No. 88 player in the Class of 2013 courtesy of is ready to pitch the Cream ‘n Crimson benefits to his Team Takeover teammate BeeJay Anya.

That’s big because Anya is rated as the nation’s No. 20 player and No. 2 center. He’s 6-8 and 250, and could provide plenty of inside muscle. It also would mean IU would, for the second straight year, have a powerhouse recruiting class.

Even without Anya, this group is very good. Also committed are forwards Devin Davis out of Indianapolis Warren Central, Collin Hartman out of Indianapolis Cathedral and Luke Fischer out of Wisconsin. The 6-7 Davis is rated No. 107. The 6-6 Hartman is at No. 110. The 6-11 Fischer is No. 134.

Robinson, who verbally committed Wednesday night, was sold on IU after Monday’s unofficial visit, when he made the campus rounds with coach Tom Crean on a golf cart, then played in an open gym with current Hoosiers.

In fact, don’t underestimate the value of that golf cart ride. It helps showcase Indiana’s many physical advantages that range from impressive facilities to overall campus beauty.

Robinson wanted to play for a national contender and that certainly fits the Hoosiers. They are a preseason No. 1 team, and have the foundation in place to be a national contender for a long time.

This will be an impressive follow-up to this season’s top-5 class of Yogi Ferrell, Jeremy Hollowell, Hanner Perea, Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin.

Crean is thriving in recruiting without following Kentucky’s one-and-done approach. The only such player he’s signed at Indiana is Cody Zeller, who would have been a lottery pick if he’d come out after this past season.

Zeller wasn’t ready to end his college career, so he’s back for at least one more season. Given the fact he’s on pace to graduate in three years, and the amount of money he’ll get by being a lottery pick, it’s unlikely he’ll be in Bloomington for four years.

Three years is probably the most IU can expect.

Anyway, Robinson has the feel of a four-year guy. If he can develop the way Victor Oladipo, another former Team Takeover player, has for the Hoosiers, look out.

Robinson was the catalyst this past season for Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va. He averaged 14 points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals for a 35-3 team that was ranked No. 12 nationally. He’s a strong rebounder and a strong defender.

Robinson, by the way, was recruited to Paul VI by Kenny Johnson, then a Paul VI assistant coach. That’s the same Johnson who was just hired as IU’s new assistant coach.

For the record, recruiting by Catholic schools is allowed in the Washington D.C. area.

And, yes, it seems Crean made a very good hire.


For those wanting to make early NCAA tourney travel plans, Washington D.C., Arlington, Texas, Indianapolis and Los Angeles will host Sweet 16 and Elite 8 games.

If IU meets its preseason No. 1 hype, and then plays to its postseason seed, it very well could play in Indianapolis for a shot at making the Final Four in Atlanta.

As far as early round games, Dayton is a possibility, especially if the Hoosiers earn a No. 1 seed. So are Lexington, Ky., and Auburn Hills, Mich.

Those sites are close enough to provide a significant crowd advantage from Indiana fans.

Yes, we know. It’s ridiculously early to speculate about stuff like that.

But then, given next season’s prospects, you can’t be early enough.

If you’re interested, the other early round sites are at Austin, Texas; Kansas City, Mo.; Philadelphia; Salt Lake City and San Jose.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Bet the Hoosiers; Robinson Visits; First-Ever Deep Throat Photo

Do you believe in Bovada?

Do you even know what Bovada is?

What does it have to do with Indiana basketball?

And what's up with this photo?

Glad you asked.

Oh. We'll get to the photo in a minute.

Bovada is a Canada-based online gambling service. You can use it to play poker, play games, and bet on all sorts of sporting events. As such, Bovada uses its gambling expertise to estimate odds.

For the upcoming college basketball season, it makes IU as the national championship favorite. It gives the Hoosiers 7-1 odds of winning the title and breaking their 25-year national championship drought.

Louisville is next at 8-1. Kentucky is third with 10-1 odds. Michigan and Ohio State project as having the Big Ten’s next best prospects. Both are 20-1 shots.

Indiana has already been projected as the VERY EARLY preseason No. 1 by a number of media outlets. Now, a gambling site likes the Hoosiers. If you look at the roster and see what the Hoosiers return and what they’ll bring in, well, you can understand the optimism.

Optimism doesn’t guarantee a championship. No matter. For a lot of IU fans, basketball season can’t come soon enough. If that means time warping through the rest of the spring, summer and fall, so be it. If that means accepting the fact the Indiana-Kentucky series is over, so be it.

And if that means betting your house on the Hoosiers, well, you’re on your own. We just provide information.


Stanford Robinson had a good visit at Indiana on Monday. Make that a great visit. He got to buzz around campus in a golf cart. He got to see Assembly Hall, Cook Hall, the basketball-specific weight room. He got to hear how he would be used if he ends up a Hoosier.

Why is this important? First, the 6-4 Robinson is the nation’s No. 88 player in the Class of 2013. Schools such as North Carolina State, Virginia, Pitt and Virginia Tech have offered him.

Second, he’s a Team Takeover teammate of 6-8, 250-pound center Beejay Anya, the nation’s No. 20 player (and No. 2 center) according to, who also is being recruiting by Indiana and just about every big-time program in the country.

Third, Robinson attends Paul VI High School in Fairfax, Va. That’s significant because new assistant coach Kenny Johnson once coached at Paul VI. Johnson also had a major role in Team Takeover, a prominent Virginia travel ball program that already has sent Indiana Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo.

Crean isn’t shy about using Indiana’s national reputation to enhance his long-distance recruiting even while he continues to hit the in-state talent hard.

Robinson and Anya would be significant signings as the Hoosiers continue to build for long-term success.


Big Ten athletic directors are meeting in Chicago this week to discuss a lot of things, and a college football playoff is one of them.

A four-team playoff is set to start in 2014. Options for determining who those four teams will be include a selection committee such as the NCAA basketball tourney uses, just taking the top-four teams in the polls, or take the four highest-ranked conference champs or some sort of combination.

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is also pushing to make bowl eligibility start with a 7-5 record instead of the current 6-6.

The proposal right now would include national semifinals shortly after Christmas with a national title game set for around Jan. 1.

Conference commissioners from the top 11 leagues, plus Notre Dame, are set to meet in late June to come up with a specific playoff plan. University presidents are set to receive a specific proposal by July 4.

In the end, it's possible that the four-team playoff could be expanded to eight, or even more.

Yes, things are that fluid. But then, as you’ve seen conferences come and go in the last year or so, nothing is sure but that change is inevitable.


We broke the rules and secretly got a photo of Hoosier Deep Throat, at great risk to the world, the economy and Tom Brady’s hair style.

In a public service gesture, we have posted the photo above to prove, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Hoosier Deep Throat exists. It is, without a doubt, the only known photo of Deep Throat.

Sure, it's a little dark, but for those who can see the big picture, it is a clear as crystal.

So now you know.

The question is --- do you believe?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Hoosier Deep Throat, North Carolina, IU Recruiting, Jennifer Lopez, IU-Kentucky

A ringing phone blasted us from sleep just as the clock struck midnight. The gruff voice was curt and insistent.

“Get your butt to Wildemuth. The basement.”

Hoosier Deep Throat had something to say.

We reached Wildemuth Intramural Center under cover of darkness. We got to the basketball courts, the place where Indiana once played its college games back when crowds could smoke and two-handed set shots ruled the action.

We found a little used side door, unlocked as we knew it would be, and descended a narrow stone stairway that looked like it might have been used as part of the Underground Railroad that once led slaves to freedom.

We reached the bottom and heard the sound of someone dribbling a basketball from somewhere at the end of a stone hallway. The air was damp and smelled slightly of sulfur. A single light bulb flickered as if burnout was seconds away. The light swayed like a hypnotist’s watch, as if watching it too long would put you in a trance so that anything, even a John Calipari manifesto, would make sense. Next to it was a door marked, Al Capone’s Secret Vault.

Too late for Geraldo Rivera, it seems.

We emerged in an underground court. It was surrounded by stone walls and black ceiling wooden beams. Two ceiling lights provided enough light to tease rather than see. The smell of sulfur was even stronger and we began to wonder if being here was a good idea.

Shadows cloaked the far corner of the court like a shroud. Yellow tape, like you’d see in a murder investigation, blocked the court off from those who might wander onto it. A solitary figure was shooting baskets in that far dark corner. Lack of light, it seemed, had little affect on his accuracy.

Hoosier Deep Throat.

“It’s about time,” he said. His words were punctuated by snapping nets, the lone evidence of made baskets.

We stayed on the safe side of the tape. From the darkness we saw the flash of what looked like a totally bald head.

"I see that IU is gonna get a big victory come November," Deep Throat said. "North Carolina is coming to Assembly Hall and ain't no way the Tar Heels will handle that. Tom Crean should give whoever schedules the Big Ten/ACC Challenge a big hug the Hoosiers didn't get North Carolina State. Now that's a team that will scare you next season."

We knew IU had drawn North Carolina as part of the annual Challenge event. Crean had tweeted that the game would be like a track meet played at warp speed because both teams like to run, and predicted Assembly Hall would be bedlam because of fan excitement and energy. We also knew the Tar Heels had lost three players early to the NBA -- sophomores Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall, and junior John Henson. Still, it seemed silly to count out a Roy Williams team six months early.

 "I can tell you don't believe me," Deep  Throat said. "North Carolina is gonna be young, just like Kentucky was. Assembly Hall will likely be its first true road game. The Tar Heels won't be ready for this kind of Hoosier hospitality. They'll go down faster than Bobby Petrino's college football coaching stock."

The lights flickered as if emphasizing his point. 

“Remember this name,” Deep Throat said. “Hyron Edwards. The son of a buck can play. Would have liked to have seen him matched up with Eron Gordon. That son of a buck can play, too.”

Edwards is the East Chicago Central freshman standout who has scholarship offers from Indiana (he had a long unofficial visit to IU on Friday night) and Purdue, with Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State moving in. Gordon is the eighth grade brother of NBA star Eric Gordon. Crean already has offered him.

“Saw a lot of talent at that Adidas May Classic,” Deep Throat said, “and Edwards might be the best point guard I’ve seen in a long, long time.”

“We’ve seen him,” we said. “He’s good. Crean continues to recruit young and well.”

“That Eron Gordon, it’s hard to believe he’s just an eighth grader,” Deep Throat said. We heard him swish another basket. “Indiana and Purdue already have offered him. Makes you wonder how some of these families –- the Gordons, the Zellers, the Plumlees –- keep producing all these stud kids.”

Deep Throat began dribbling fast and furious, like a drum solo in a rock band.

“There’s that Jalen Coleman, the Indianapolis Cathedral point guard with offers from IU and Purdue,” Deep Throat said above the dribbling. “He’s awful thin, but, well, a college coach could make a fine living just by getting guys from the state.”

We knew guys like 6-8 forward Gary Bonds (Indianapolis Scecina), 6-3 guard K.J. Walton (Brownsburg), 6-5 forward Jaraan Lands (Brownsburg) were at the Adidas May Classic and drawing lots of IU interest. So was Stanford Robinson, a 6-4 shooting guard from Virginia rated as the nation’s No. 88 player in the Class of 2013. He, too, was part of the Adidas May Classic, an annual event that continues to draw big-time talent.

“You’re right, but is this why you called?”

The dribbling stopped. A match was struck and the glowing end of a cigarette waved at us from the other end of the court.

“Hell, no. It’s the Indiana-Kentucky series. I can’t believe these nimrods screwed up such a good thing.”

His voice echoed off the stone walls.

“A lot of IU fans blame UK coach John Calipari for his insistence on moving the games to a neutral site,” we said.

“They don’t know jack. Yeah, he’s stirring up trouble. The man can’t help himself, but it takes two sides to mess up something this big.”

“It’s been a couple of weeks," we said. "Why is this riling you up now?”

“I’ve been riled up since the day Indiana announced the series was deader than the Chicago Bulls’ NBA playoff hopes,” Deep Throat said. He tossed the cigarette to the floor, stomped it out, lit another.

“Sure, Calipari has his own agenda. Guess, what? Every coach in America has one, too. He’s looking out for his program’s best interest. Check that. He’s looking out for his perception of what’s in his program’s best interest. He wants a presence in Indianapolis. He doesn’t want to play in Assembly Hall. He has this distorted “We’re the gold standard” view of the college basketball world.

“But he ain’t the only culprit in this mess."

We heard the swish of another made basket. Hoosier Deep Throat could give Jordan Hulls a run for his shooting money.

“Look, Crean is a smart guy,” Deep Throat said. “And the athletic director, Fred Glass, he’s a smart guy, too. But they’ve been dipping into fool’s gold here.”

“What does that mean?”

“Let’s say you have a chance to have sex with Jennifer Lopez,” Deep Throat said. “She wants to do it in a bedroom. You want to do it in the living room. You can’t agree, so you say, if we can’t do it in the living room, we aren’t going to do it at all.

“Are you kidding me? Do it in the kitchen, a closet, the garage, your neighbor’s garage, whatever. Make it work.

“Why would you be that dumb to just throw it all away? If you do that, somebody should kick your behind into the next county.

“And yet, that’s what Indiana did.”

We paused. “Are you REALLY comparing sex with Jennifer Lopez to IU playing UK in basketball?”

“Hell, yes,” Deep Throat said.

“You take this seriously.”

Deep Throat took a long drag from his cigarette. “I live for two things – IU basketball and sex, and at my age, well, it’s mostly basketball.”

“That’s too much information.”

“How’s this for information,” Deep Throat said. “IU should have immediately replaced Kentucky with Louisville. It’s a no-brainer. It’s a close school, a powerhouse. It would be a game fans would embrace. TV networks would pay big bucks for it. Recruits nation-wide would watch. But the Hoosiers ain’t interested. What does that tell you?”

We answered with silence.

“Crean don’t like (Louisville coach Rick) Pitino. That’s what it tells you if you read between the lines. The only reason they played before was because Marquette and Louisville were in the Big East and they had to play each other. Crean doesn’t have to play him now and he won’t.

“So guess what? Look for another Stony Brook or Savannah State to show up at Assembly Hall. I could just throw up!”

Suddenly Deep Throat kicked the basketball. It smashed off a ceiling beam, banged into a stone wall, and rattled into a large metal garbage can. It was a one in a million shot and it reminded us of a legendary, long-ago kicked ball into a garbage can by Bob Knight during a long ago Assembly Hall practice.

“Maybe you’re just being pessimistic,” we said.

“As sure as there’s a fool in Congress,” Deep Throat said, “that’s what Indiana is going to wind up with. Boy, that burns me.”

For an instance, it seemed the sulfur smell had grown even stronger.

"But regardless of who IU plays in the non-conference, it's a national title contender," we said. "It still has the Big Ten-ACC Challenge. It might play UCLA or Georgetown or Georgia in New York. It plays Butler in Indy with the Crossroads Classic. And the Big Ten will be brutally tough again. And remember, IU is a preseason No. 1. This might be the season the Hoosiers win the national title for the first time since 1987. Aren't you making more out of this there is there?"

Silence answered us. Deep Throat was gone.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Beat Kentucky By Building New Assembly Hall

Some of you might have seen that Indiana ranks ninth nationally in attendance by averaging 16,462 for this past season.

You also might have noticed that Kentucky ranks No.1.

Does that get your Cream ‘n Crimson blood boiling?

Of course it does!

Consider this. If IU averaged a sellout for every game, which would be 17,222, it would only rank fifth nationally behind UK (23,721), Syracuse (23,619), Louisville (21,503) and North Carolina (20,159).

That’s bull!!

That leads to an obvious conclusion -- it’s time for Indiana to build a new, bigger and better basketball arena. If you’ve ever sat high up in Assembly Hall, which has been known to cause a fear of heights even in experienced mountain climbers, you know how good this would be.

Assembly Hall was designed based on -- and we are not making this up -- a livestock pavilion. In other words, the building that has become synonymous with Hoosier basketball for the last 40-plus years was based on a barn.

To be brief, IU officials got their design idea for Assembly Hall in the late 1940s, but didn’t have the funds to build it until the late 1960s. When they finally did get the money, they saw no reason to update the architectural plans (which would have cost money), even though they were 20 years old. In fact, being the fiscal conservatives that they were (others might call them tightwads), they also used the plans for Memorial Stadium.

So Assembly Hall was dated from the day it opened, and fans have suffered ever since.

It’s time to change that, but money is still a problem. It would cost around $150 million for IU to build a new basketball palace. That’s a lot, almost as much as John Calipari makes per Assembly Hall-dodging excuse, which is why we at Hoosierhoopla want to help.

We have begun a Build-A-New-Assembly-Hall fund that will ensure Hoosier fans get the type of home game experience they deserve. There will be bells, whistles, 25,000-or-so seats, exotic foods, inspiring music and a few surprises courtesy of Hugh Hefner and Lady Gaga.

Plus, with our fund, $1 out of every $2 will go exclusively to the new arena.

What happens to the other dollar? That’s for administrative costs that include trips to Hawaii and Paris, a fleet of Ferraris and a year’s supply of hot fudge sundaes.

Hey, administrating hundreds of millions of dollars is stressful!!!

For those interested, and to avoid the hassle of dealing with checks, just email us your credit card number (including the security code and expiration date!), social security number and mother’s maiden name.

What could be simpler?

As for those who say, “Hey, this is bogus. It’s a scam!,” stop being selfish. It’s not about you. It’s about doing something for the common good and showing Kentucky where the real gold standard program is.

In just a few short months, IU will be well on its way to kicking those scared-of-playing-in-Assembly-Hall Wildcats’ behinds in attendance. We’ll update you on the construction status no matter where we might be (the island of Santorini is near the top of the list) because we care that you care.

Remember, you’re doing this for your university.  We’re just here to help.


Zach Mayhew might not be a household name in an Indiana sports world dominated by Cody and Christian and Jordy, but he’s done something that no one in the history of Hoosier sports has done – win the Big Ten 10,000 meter championship.

Mayhew won on Friday in Madison, Wis., when he broke the Badgers’ Elliott Krause in the final 300 meters of the 6.2-mile race. His winning time of 28:55.06 was 30 seconds faster than any previous race at Wisconsin’s McClimon Complex. It was the fourth fastest time in school history and 25 seconds better than Mayhew’s previous person best.


This has NOTHING to do with Indiana or sports, but in the interest of enlightenment, we are passing on this email we received that demonstrates the differences in perception between men and women.

Wife's Diary:

Tonight, I thought my husband was acting weird. We had made plans to meet at a nice restaurant for dinner. I was shopping with my friends all day long, so I thought he was upset at the fact that I was a bit late, but he made no comment on it. Conversation wasn't flowing, so I suggested that we go somewhere quiet so we could talk. He agreed, but he didn't say much

I asked him what was wrong; He said, 'Nothing..' I asked him if it was my fault that he was upset He said he wasn't upset, that it had nothing to do with me, and not to worry about it. On the way home, I told him that I loved him. He smiled slightly, and kept driving. I can't explain his behavior. I don't know why he didn't say, 'I love you, too.'

When we got home, I felt as if I had lost him completely, as if he wanted nothing to do with me anymore. He just sat there quietly, and watched TV. He continued to seem distant and absent. Finally, with silence all around us, I decided to go to bed. About 15 minutes later, he came to bed. But I still felt that he was distracted, and his thoughts were somewhere else. He fell asleep; I cried. I don't know what to do. I'm almost sure that his thoughts are with someone else. My life is a disaster. 
Husband's Diary:

 A five putt...who the hell five putts?  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

IU Recruiting, Preseason No. 1 Impact and Kentucky

Even for a veteran coach such as Tom Crean, this is virgin territory.

The Hoosiers are, by a lot of experts, the very early preseason No. 1 basketball team. Expectations are high. Visibility is nationwide as it hasn’t been in a long, long time.

So what does this mean for recruiting?

Crean doesn’t know.

“I’ve never been there,” he says.

He stands in spacious Lucas Oil Stadium for the opening stop on Indiana’s Tailgate Tour that promotes the university’s entire sports program and then considers the possibilities.

“Our last season has helped open the eyes of some other people around the country. At the same time, it starts the way that it did when we first got here. You start inside-out.

“I don’t think there’s any question that we’ll recruit the state of Indiana as hard as we ever have. That’s already being proven. Make sure you can go other places if it fits your program and the way you’re trying to go with it.”

IU has always been able to recruit nationally, and Crean has tapped into that. On its current roster it has a player from Alabama (Christian Watford), Maryland (Maurice Creek and Victor Oladipo) and Florida (Will Sheehey). Incoming freshman Peter Jurkin is from North Carolina and Africa.

It might help Crean land top-20-caliber players from far away, but given the talent in the state of Indiana, which shows no signs of slowing down, that’s not crucial to the Hoosiers’ national-title prospects.

And speaking of those, Crean continues to push what’s really important – that the players and coaches focus on improvement and preparation.

“The biggest thing for the team is to make sure they stay locked into the daily process of how much better they’re going to get,” he says. “What their improvement is like.

“For us coaches, make sure we’re adhering to the same things and getting us better and not getting caught up (in all the hype).

“The sign in my office says, ‘Just coach the team.’ I have to look at that more right now. There are a lot of ways to get distracted and get pulled in different directions. It’s not worth it. What’s worth it is making sure we’re getting our team better. That we’re recruiting at a high level. Make sure we’re pputting in a lot of time with unofficial visits. Keeping in touch with people. Make sure we’re there for our players and they understand how important it is for them to improve. The rest of it falls in line with that.”


At least publicly, Crean has no regrets about the end of the IU-Kentucky basketball series. Hoosier officials wanted to keep the home-and-home series. Wildcat officials, prodded by coach John Calipari, wanted to play on neutral sites.

Ain’t happening, Crean says.

We saw no reason to move it off campus. If it’s going to move off, we didn’t want to do it at this point.”

Crean said even without UK, Indiana’s schedule is plenty tough enough.

There will be a Big Ten-ACC Challenge battle, with either North Carolina or North Carolina State the most likely opponent.

November’s Legends Classic in New York City will have Georgetown, UCLA and Georgia.

There’s a Crossroads Classic game with Butler at Indianapolis’ Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That’s part of an annual rotation that also includes Notre Dame and Purdue.

Finally, the Big Ten rates as strong as any conference in the country.

“We have a very tough schedule as it is,” Crean says. “We’ll look at what will fit for us this year. At the same time, because there’s not a Kentucky series right now, we’ll make some plans for the future.”

Crean offers no update on what those plans (speculation has focused on Kansas and Louisville) will produce.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On Roth, Calipari and Survival of the Fittest

Terry Hutchens of the Indy Star generated lots of buzz with his well-timed story on Matt Roth that suggested Roth deserved a scholarship for his final year of eligibility. He had earned the right with on-court and off-court performance.

The problem is IU already has 14 players and 13 scholarships. Having Roth return for a fifth season (he’s already gone through Senior Night once) would put the Hoosiers two players over the limit.

He can either move on with his career (he already has bachelor and master’s degrees, and he’s done it in an impressive four years), play at another school for the final season (he doesn’t want to do that) or walk on at Indiana while paying out of state tuition, which would be $25,000 to $30,000.

Yeah, nobody said higher education was cheap.

Roth wants to return to IU. Coach Tom Crean, in an ideal world, would love to have him. But the scholarship issue remains.

Does Roth deserve a scholarship? No doubt. Should he be given one over somebody else? You can make arguments both ways.

So how does Crean settle this? Assuming nobody transfers or becomes academically ineligible, you resort to Darwin’s survival of the fittest. You project who is likely to play the least. With Roth, that means you need to tell two players they have to walk on. Without Roth you just tell one player.

If that means two incoming freshmen, prep school for a year becomes an option.

If Roth is one of those guys, then he has to walk on or move on.

Yes, it’s tough, but it’s the consequence of over-signing. By the end of the summer, if not sooner, it will all be resolved.


So now we know why Kentucky coach John Calipari didn’t want a home-and-home series with IU. He listed the reasons on his website.

Basically, he blamed the one-and-done format of college sports. Because he, better than anyone else, lands super-talented players who stay in school for just a year before moving on to the NBA, he says his approach has to be different.

He says the Wildcats are not a traditional program. He says that “25-year model” has been “blown up.”

He says his three main criteria are preparing his players for the postseason, Kentucky fans and money.

Playing at larger neutral sites generates more money. There’s no doubt about that. He’s less clear about why playing at a neutral site is better for UK fans than playing at home, although he suggests larger arenas would mean more people could see them play. In other words, you might have 20,000 UK fans attend the IU game at Lucas Oil Stadium rather than 100 attend the game played at Assembly Hall.

Finally, he says it’s better for the players. Putting a forever young team (because so many players leave every year for the NBA) at places like Assembly Hall is unfair.

He says NCAA tourney games are played at neutral sites, so UK should play in as many of those as possible. Get them used to playing in big arenas and football stadiums.

Is that legit?

No. You can strongly argue that playing – and losing – at Assembly Hall steeled Kentucky for NCAA tourney pressures. It prepared the Wildcats as nothing else could.

Bottom line, IU and Kentucky should continue playing every year. Stop the posturing and get it done.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Are IU and UK Really Set to Blow a Good Thing?

Truth is perspective.

When it comes to the Indiana-Kentucky basketball standoff, let’s not lose sight of that.

We seek villains and blame. We become passionate about our view and uncompromising in our approach.

In one scenario, John Calipari is the bad guy. He caused the mess that resulted in IU and Kentucky cancelling their annual basketball rivalry that has stood firm since 1969.

He started it in the fall by babbling about softening the Wildcats’ non-conference schedule because of an expanded SEC slate, suggesting that either Indiana, North Carolina or Louisville had to be dropped. He even started an on-line poll on it. Then he insisted the IU-UK  series be held at neutral sites, although he was willing to let that site always be at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium.

That would seem to give Indiana the edge, but given the fact the teams would almost certainly split the ticket allotment 50-50, given the fact the game would give Calipari a strong presence in talent-rich Indianapolis, that Cream ‘n Crimson edge gets watered down.

In another scenario IU’s Fred Glass and Tom Crean are the villains. They’d rather end the series than play Kentucky anywhere, any time.

What we forget, in all of this, is the butterfly effect.

That refers to how one tiny seemingly insignificant thing, like a butterfly flapping its wings, can cause massive affects down the road.

For instance, on Wednesday night, about 9, our 18-year-old son showed up with an earring in his left ear.

Less than 24 hours later, Indiana announced its series with Kentucky is over.



Just being ridiculous?

Truth is perspective.

Ridiculousness comes from even having to deal with this situation. It’s mind boggling we’re at this point. IU and Kentucky have a great thing going, especially now that the Hoosiers are, once again, a national power. See the above photo as a reminder of the kind of passion this game produces.

Are they really going to blow it on what amounts to pride?

For now, the answer is yes.

There is a perception that IU has stood up to Calipari, that by not caving and giving into Kentucky demands it has done the right thing.

But in no rational world are the Hoosiers, or the Wildcats, better off by not playing each other.

Truth is perspective.

Compromise seems simple -– you agree to a series of four-year deals. One year the game is at Assembly Hall. The next year the game is at Rupp Arena. The next year the game is at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium. The following year it either returns to Lucas Oil or switches to Louisville’s Freedom Hall or, less likely, the KFC Yum Center.

Then you repeat the process.

Sure, IU can replace Kentucky with Kansas. The Wildcats can replace the Hoosiers with a whole bunch of high-profile teams. Both teams can have non-conference schedules that prepare them for conference successes.

And they could, just as they did this past season, meet in the NCAA tourney, perhaps even in the Final Four.

But a regular-season meeting between these two college superpowers is a tradition, an event, something to stir excitement across the nation. It’s must-see TV again.

Instead, we have theater of the mind.

In an interesting twist, Calipari suggested to ESPN’s Andy Katz that Kentucky has a date lined up at Lucas Oil Stadium and will just play somebody else there. Jeff Rabjohns of contacted Lucas Oil Stadium officials and discovered that Kentucky has no date lined up.

So what does all this mean?

Truth is perspective.

And the bottom-line truth is Indiana and Kentucky need to play.