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Indiana's Sampson plans cancer fundraiser to begin season

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


AP Sports Writer

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- All those Indiana fans who think they can outcoach Kelvin Sampson may now have a chance to prove it.

Sampson plans to auction off everything from game tickets to a chance to become "coach for a day" next month as a part of fundraiser for cancer research.

"I just think it's the right thing to do around here, especially with what's happened with our staff," Sampson said in announcing the plans Tuesday.

The announcement comes almost exactly three months after football coach Terry Hoeppner died from complications of a brain tumor. Hoeppner took three medical leaves and underwent brain surgery twice during an 18-month battle.

Indiana will charge $100 to attend the Oct. 12 event, which includes a 6:30 a.m. breakfast and a program that features Sampson and former Indiana basketball players. In addition, fans will have a chance to bid on items such as becoming a ball boy or ball girl, game tickets and the opportunity to become coach for a day.

"I'd say if we're behind at halftime, they get to coach the team in the second half," Sampson joked before turning serious. "I think they'd get to sit in that area right behind the bench, go to the pregame meal, that kind of stuff."

The Hoosiers will hold their first basketball practice of the season that night following a volleyball match between Indiana and Michigan State. Players will sign autographs between the match and the start of Hoosier Hysteria, Indiana's version of Midnight Madness, which again is open to the public.

All proceeds from the fundraiser, Sampson said, would go to the Monroe County branch of the American Cancer Society.

Fighting cancer has become an intensely personal issue for Sampson, who acknowledged that both his wife's family and his family were touched by the disease.

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