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.

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