Sunday, June 17, 2012

IU Scholarship Dilemma, Charles Darwin and Nude Videos

Are you like us? Are you getting emails from friends and family offering links to video nudes, with ABSOLUTELY NO CONSEQUENCES?

Hold that thought.

Anyway, do you find yourself so uptight about what’s going on with Indiana basketball this off-season that you can’t sleep, eat or stop watching replays of Christian Watford’s buzzer-beating, Kentucky-beating three-pointer?

We’re here to help.

We have gone deep undercover to dig out the one person who really knows what’s going on in the program even more than Hoosier Deep Throat. Sure, you might think it’s head coach Tom Crean or athletic director Fred Glass but, even in this more transparent era, some things stay in the shadows.

Not any more. We’re here to bring the spotlight to the program as only Hoosier Hoopla can with the help of our newest contributor -- Hoosier Answer Man. He has all the answers to all the questions you most want answered.

Let’s get started.

Q: What’s up with the scholarship dilemma? IU has 14 players and 13 scholarships. How does Crean resolve this?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Shouldn’t there be a warm-up question first before you get to the hard stuff?

Q: Fine. What’s the most pressing issue facing IU athletics this summer?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Planning media meals for football and basketball.

Q: Thanks for nothing. What about the scholarships?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: To understand how it all works out, you start with Charles Darwin.

Q: Is he on the roster?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: No. He’s dead, and has been for like the last 150 years. At least, that’s what THEY want us to believe.

Q: Are you related to the nut case who interrupted Webb Simpson’s U.S. Open winning interview?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Chill out. That guy was a Kentucky fan. Anyway, Darwin was the British scientist who came up with the survival of the fittest idea. It’s ruthless, but it works. It’s how we ended up with, say, Howard Stern on network TV. Crean will have to do the same thing.

Q: What?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: If nobody ends up academically ineligible or does something stupid to get kicked off the team or decides to transfer, then one player will have to give up the scholarship and walk on.

Q: We’re paying you $100,000 for that? Tell us something we don’t know.

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: The only logical answer is the player who can least help the team this year has to walk the scholarship plank. It will be the guy who figures to get the fewest amount of minutes.

Crean and his staff can work with players this summer. They’ll make a very thorough evaluation. By August, they’ll know. They probably know now, but they’ll let competition decide it. Because this isn’t, say, college wrestling, where guys decide for themselves based on who wins and who loses in practice, the coaches will have to use their best judgment. Figure they’ll choose wisely.

Q: That’s fine, but who is likely to be out of luck?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Consider Maurice Creek. If the guy had better luck, he might be in the NBA right now. He was the nation’s leading freshman scorer when he shattered his kneecap and missed the second half of the season. Then he hurt his knee again the next season. Then, he missed all of last season after tearing his Achilles tendon.

It’s very, very hard to come back from one major injury, let alone three.

Crean has said publicly that Creek’s rehab is on schedule, but that he has a long ways to go. Specifically, Creek has to work harder to get stronger and fitter so he’s not just back, but back at a high level and physically hold up to games and practices.

IU has a chance to win a national championship. It has enough depth for two teams. The days of getting walk-ons from the baseball team are over. You either produce at a high level, or you sit. And, if you’re sitting, more than likely, you’re gonna pay for the privilege.

If you can’t keep up with everybody else, too bad. You might be the nicest guy on earth, you might be able to restore the economy and keep the Kardashian family off national TV for the next week, but if you can’t help the Hoosiers win, you’re out of luck.

Curtis Painter might be Mr. Wonderful off the football field, but do you want him as the starting quarterback for your NFL Fantasy Football Team?

We didn’t think so.

Q: Is there a point to this?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: If Creek can’t return at a high level, he has to walk on. It's that simple and, yes, unfair, but that's the way it is. And if he's not ready to go full-go all the time like everybody else, you do what the football team did with oft-injured tailback Darius Willis. You designate him as physically unable to play anymore. He gets too keep his scholarship, but it doesn’t count against the team total. He can finish a quality education for free, and the team gets to move on. It might sound cold and callous, but welcome to the real world.

Q: What if Creek does come back better than before?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Then it’s really survival of the fittest. Based on those returning from last year, the guy who played the least was Austin Etherington, and it wasn’t even close. He played just 10 minutes in Big Ten action.

The next closest among returning players was Remy Able, at 104 Big Ten minutes. But he proved himself invaluable late in the season and in the postseason. Etherington would have to make a huge improvement jump to surpass him. Maybe he can. Maybe he has. But the odds aren’t in his favor.

Other than that, it comes down to one of the five incoming freshmen. The two best guys in the class are point guard Yogi Ferrell and small forward Jeremy Hollowell. It won’t be one of them.

Forward Hanner Perea’s play slipped in the last year, but he’s extremely athletic with a high upside. Figure that, under Crean’s coaching, that slippage will be reversed. In fact, it probably already has.

Now we’re down to Ron Patterson and Peter Jurkin. Patterson has some fundamentals to improve, but he has a high motor, good strength and athleticism, and long arms that should make him a fierce defensive presence. The work he’s getting now with IU coaches should translate into significant impact.

Jurkin is a big unknown. He was hurt a lot in high school, and missed out on a lot of development opportunity. But reports are that he’s healthy and has looked solid in workouts. And IU could really use an inside big man for depth behind Cody Zeller.

Q: That’s great, but you didn’t give an answer. Who’s out of luck if it’s not Creek?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: It will be Etherington or Jurkin.

Unless, of course, it isn’t.

Q: Anything else?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: Yeah, don’t open the nude video link.

Q: Does that mean you did?

HOOSIER ANSWER MAN: You ask too many bleeping questions.


  1. Unfortunately, your "answer man" is under-informed.

    First, the decision on this matter has to be made by July 1, per rule, not sometime in August.

    Second, no scholarship can be taken away from any of the freshmen, so long as they are accepted by the university, only a returning player.

    Third, the decision is greatly affected by NEXT year. Tom Crean has gone out and over-recruited for 2012-13 AGAIN. Whether players such as Cody or whomever leave early is largely immaterial to this issue, as the Big Ten over-sign rule dictates that a team can only over-sign by one scholarship, based on projections of eligibility. In other words, come this NOVEMBER signing date, Cody counts against the scholarship limit so far as the B10 is concerned, even if he plans to leave.

    The implication of that rule is that Crean has to cut an incoming sophomore or junior just to make room for the 2013 hs seniors he has committed RIGHT NOW. If any others commit, he has to cut another sophomore or junior.

    So, let's call this issue what it is: a huge mess. All to preference high school players over the kids in the program. Just so he can ensure that the 12th or 13th scholarship is filled, which never won any team anything. All in all, I'm glad Tom Crean is the coach. But his use of the over-sign is unnecessary from a competitive standpoint, is misguided, and is unethical. This isn't high school basketball. Kids MOVE to attend college. Paying for school is a $20k-$40k decision, if they want to walk on after losing a scholarship. This is Tom Crean breaking a promise that should never be broken, breaking a promise not because the player didn't perform as expected or required, but because someone might be better. (And how many freshmen are better than a junior or even a sophomore they would replace?)

    As an alum, it is terribly embarrassing to me. This is NOT the Indiana Basketball way.

    1. Fourth, a scholarship player can no longer walk on. Either they have a ride, or they hit the bricks. If they could just decide to pay their own way it would open up a huge loop hole for schools like UK to funnel cash to kids to free up rides.

    2. Was the "Indiana Basketball way" having Mike Davis at helm or did you prefer Kelvin Sampson? Either of those coaches "terribly embarrassing" to you? Perhaps it was the last 10 years of RMK's career? This program hasn't been relevant in almost 20 years, so what is this "Indiana Basketball way" you speak of?

      Crean has scratched and crawled to get this program out of the gutter, AND he's done it the right way. Raising the team GPA, kids graduating early, and keeping drugs out of the locker room.

      Although I don't totally agree with this article, I'm 100% happy with the direction CTC has taken this program.

    3. Well said... I totally agree.

    4. Anonymous-you have stated the situation very well-probably better than I have read anywhere else. This situation bothers me too. As IU fans we always think we should have the moral high ground, and we simply don't with this constant over-recruiting. I love what CTC has done in rebuilding the program, and think he's a good man in many respects. But this is borderline unethical and just is not the Indiana way of doing things. It's like he is addicted to offering scholarships and can't stop!

  2. I disagree with anonymous....that was so not thought out and I highly doubt that anonymous has any clue on how competitive it is at the top....Crean has explained that he had experienced a year where injuries depleted his team and as a coach realized he's better off having more quality players than not enough...lets see how it all works out

  3. Well said. It is unethical and unseemly. Crean is a good motivator and recruiter, but this style of recruiting concerns me. As does his hire of an AAU coach whose last college team only won 1 game. That whole deal wreaks of quid pro quo

  4. I'm not sure what the "Indiana Basketball way" is, but I agree with the comment. I would be interested to see whether Calipari or Roy Williams have used a similar over-signing strategy in their programs and how they have dealt with the resultant challenges.

    I suspect that Crean never suspected how successful he would be attracting talent to IU. After all, Marquette never had the same allure as IU, so he had no basis for comparison. Now, he has his t*t in a wringer. I suspect he's losing a little sleep over this issue.

  5. Thank you Purdue Pete..........your still full of it !

  6. The fact is that if you can't stay up, then you get passed by. Sad but true. The '13 class can be taken care before the Nov. signing by advising someone[s] not to sign. Think about it IU now has a player who dropped his scholarship at another school to walk-on at IU. Maybe all of these offers from CTC should have an expiration dates on them since they seem to rush hard at a recruit and then fade if they don't sign early.