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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Crean loses three more scholarship players

Friday, May 2, 2008

By MICHAEL MAROT

AP Sports Writer

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indiana's roster keeps getting thinner.

On Friday, a day after freshman center Eli Holman decided to transfer, coach Tom Crean announced junior forward DeAndre Thomas has been dismissed and starting guards Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis will not be reinstated.

Crean said Bassett failed to comply with university and athletic department guidelines. He did not provide details about Thomas or Ellis. The decisions leave Crean with only four returning players from last season's squad, one of whom is a walk-on.

"Before you build a team, you need to develop a family," Crean said in a statement. "We will go through the learning process, feel some growing pains and experience some bumps in the road along the way."

The announcement is the latest in a series of incidents that have plagued the program since October when university officials discovered that former coach Kelvin Sampson made impermissible phone calls while still under NCAA sanctions for a previous phone-call scandal at Oklahoma. Sampson accepted a $750,000 buyout on Feb. 22. He's now expected to join the Milwaukee Bucks coaching staff.

But the problems have continued.

On Friday, Holman attempted to make amends for his outburst in Crean's office. Crean said Thursday's meeting, in which Holman asked for his release, started amicably.

It certainly did not end that way. Holman became so agitated that he knocked a potted plant to the ground while leaving, and campus police were called to Assembly Hall.

"Last night and this morning I had the opportunity to apologize to coach Crean, and today I would like to extend that to everyone involved in the program for allowing my frustrations to get the best of me," the 6-foot-9 freshman center said. "I appreciate everything Indiana University and coach Crean have done for me, and I hope nothing but the best for the program in the future."

While Crean said he and others in the office were surprised by Holman's tantrum and that those in the basketball office were concerned Holman was "a danger to himself and others."

University police Capt. Jerry Minger later said no one felt threatened.

Athletic director Rick Greenspan took Holman to his office where the two met for about an hour as officers waited outside, Minger said. Holman then left calmly and no arrests were made, Minger said.

Holman did not play a significant role with the Hoosiers last season, averaging 1 point and 1.7 rebounds in six games before injuring his left wrist and taking a medical redshirt, but he likely would have been a contributor next season because of Indiana's already thin roster.

There was more housecleaning Friday.

Bassett and Ellis, two of Indiana's starting guards, were dismissed April 1 by interim coach Dan Dakich hours before Crean accepted the Indiana job. Dakich kicked them off the team after they missed an appointment and then did not to show up to run laps the next day as their punishment.

They won't be back.

Bassett, a sophomore, was the Hoosiers' third-leading scorer at 11.7 points and finished second on the team with 96 assists. Ellis, a junior, had a team-high 108 assists and averaged 6.8 points and 7.0 rebounds.

Crean also revoked Thomas' scholarship. The junior forward started six games, averaging 3.6 points and 1.8 rebounds while playing in 32 games.

To Crean, it's all part of the rebuilding process.

"Our staff if going to ensure that anyone who attends this university and wears the Indiana uniform will make this privilege among their highest priorities and not treat the opportunity as an entitlement," Crean said. "We fully expect our student-athletes to accept the responsibilities academically, athletically and socially that come with representing one of the top programs in college basketball history."

The struggles are likely to continue through at least July.

Next week, the NCAA will release its annual academic progress report and the Hoosiers are expected to fall well below the mandated cut line of 925. That could put the Hoosiers in danger of losing two more scholarships -- if at least two of dismissed players are academically ineligible when they leave Indiana.

Crean already is without one scholarship for next season and is limited to 10 off-campus recruiting days between now and July 31, as part of the university's self-imposed sanctions stemming from Sampson's violations.

Indiana also faces a June hearing in front of the NCAA, which could lead to even stronger penalties. Sampson is accused of five major rules infractions. A ruling is expected by mid-July.

Still, Crean has made some progress in this major rebuilding project.

The university has eased its self-imposed recruiting restrictions, giving Crean 10 off-campus recruiting days between now and July 31. He's also signed two recruits, including Alabama's top player, Nick Williams, and has a commitment for next season from Bobby Capobianco, of Loveland, Ohio.

But Crean will still have to replace all five starters, and while he has four incoming freshmen signed to national letters-of-intent, he now has only seven scholarship players on next season's roster.


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AGREE WITH THE NEW COACHS ACTION THUS FAR. WHAT I DONT UNDERSTAND IS THOSE WHO KNEW SAMPSON WAS IN TROUBLE WITH THE NCAA AND YET BROUGHT HIM TO I.U KNOWING FULL WELL SANCTIONS COULD BE BROUGHT ALONG WITH SAMPSON. THOSE WHO HIRED SAMPSON SHOULD BE UNDER REVIEW THEMSELVES OR MOVED OUT FROM THAT POSITION.. WHAT WERE THERE THINKING!!!!! GOOD LUCK COACH CREAN I'LL TRY NOT TO MISS WATCHING A GAME .. P.S COACH SAMPSON GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR JUMP TO THE PRO RANKS, THAT IS WERE YOUR STYLE COACHING BELONGS......

-- Posted by CRANKER on Sat, May 3, 2008, at 8:12 AM


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