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Tuesday, June 18, 2013
I want a buyout tooPosted Monday, February 25, 2008, at 7:29 AM
So, it came down to money.
In the end, Kelvin Sampson, the man who replaced Mike Davis, the coach who had replaced a living legend, was forced into resignation after allegations surfaced he had lied to the NCAA over phone conversations with recruits.
But it came down to money.
It came down to a buyout.
In the past eight years, Indiana University has paid more than $4 million to coaches and administrators within the athletic department after they have left the school, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star.
The buyout for Sampson was $750,000.
Former IU athletic director Michael McNeely received close to $850,000 in a buyout while Davis received $800,000 in his buyout.
Former football coach Gerry DiNardo tallied $616,000 in a buyout and another former football coach, Cam Cameron, totaled close to $500,000.
Bob Knight, who coached the Hoosiers to three national championships, received a buyout of close to $300,000.
In addition, five other former athletic department staffers collected close to $250,000 in buyouts.
I certainly hope the university -- which I grew up next to, having spent the majority of my life in Spencer -- will not throw the cost of these "buyouts" over the heads of the students who intend to come to Indiana to receive a good education.
But that is always a possibility.
Buyouts in sports -- at most levels -- are not new.
But in a way, they are sad.
The question remains. Should IU have hired a coach who already had run-ins with the NCAA regarding rule violations?
Honestly, the answer doesn't matter.
Sampson took over a team in flux after Davis left. The Hoosiers were in limbo and things weren't looking good.
The mystique that has surrounded Indiana University for close to 40 years is simply not there anymore.
But Hoosier fans refuse to believe this.
In their eyes, Indiana University is and will always be one of the greatest college basketball programs in the country.
But several universities have leaped over IU in recent memory.
A recent Associated Press article regarding these buyouts and Indiana University quoted Smith College professor Andrew Zimbalist, who is believed to be one of the nation's best concerning sports economics.
He said it best in that article when he said "it's downright outrageous that people can violate NCAA rules left and right and then walk out with $750,000."
Zimbalist continued saying, "Elsewhere, when you violate the law or the rules, you go to jail or pay a fine."
Sure, Sampson will never coach at Indiana again. But he'll get another job. He'll work his way back to the top echelon of coaching. It's bound to happen.
But what about you? What if you, the "Average Joe?" If anything like this happened in the regular workforce, the "real world," I'm fairly certain a buyout would not be included.
Rather, you'd be forced to head to the unemployment line to look for a new job.
Fair, you ask? No.
But, then again, universities -- those proverbial institutions of higher learning -- really don't exist in the "real world."
I attended Indiana University for three semesters before sitting out a semester and then headed to Indiana State University, where I graduated.
I had a difficult time initially in college. I wasn't used to the new lifestyle.
Parties practically all day, all night.
I managed to fail out of school after one semester, but was invited back on "academic probation."
I ended up doing quite well in my second semester after focusing more on studies and less on the "party life."
But I relapsed in my third semester. I was not invited back. Initially.
I remember receiving a letter in the mail only two days after another letter informed me I had failed again academically.
The second letter stated I could come back. It made me feel like a number. It made me feel like a statistic.
I felt like the only thing the university was interested in was my money.
So I chose to leave, opting to transfer to ISU, where I finished.
Thinking about all these buyouts, I think it's only fitting that IU agree to send me back my money for tuition and room and board.
What do you think about that? Student buyouts? Highly doubtful.
But I remain hopeful.