IU Assistant quits

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The Wade Level
By Steve Herman
Associated Press

BLOOMINGTON ? Indiana assistant Rob Senderoff, the focus of an investigation into improper telephone calls to recruits that already has cost the Hoosiers one basketball scholarship and coach Kelvin Sampson a $500,000 pay raise, resigned Tuesday.

The NCAA is still conducting its own investigation, which could lead to further sanctions.

The resignation of Senderoff is effective immediately, IU said in a brief statement from the school's sports media relations office.

"Rob Senderoff has decided it is in his and Indiana University's best interests that he voluntarily resign," the statement said.

Athletic director Rick Greenspan and an attorney with the Indianapolis law firm Ice Miller, which conducted the school's review of the phone calls for a report to the NCAA, were to speak with reporters Tuesday afternoon.

Senderoff, a former assistant at Kent State, was hired by Sampson in May 2006, the same month the NCAA sanctioned Sampson for making 577 impermissible phone calls between 2000 to 2004 while he was the coach at Oklahoma.

Sampson was barred from calling recruits or making off-campus recruiting trips for one year, but on Oct. 14, less than five months after those sanctions expired, Indiana announced its compliance office had discovered new violations that occurred while the original sanctions were still in effect.

The university investigation found that Senderoff connected Sampson to 10 three-way calls involving recruits, which normally are permitted under NCAA rules but were banned as part of the previous sanctions. It also found that Senderoff made the majority of 35 undocumented calls from his home.

As a result of the internal investigation, Indiana gave up one basketball scholarship in 2008-09 and Sampson forfeited a $500,000 pay raise. Also, Senderoff gave up a scheduled pay raise and was banned from calling recruits and making off-campus recruiting visits for one year.

Additional penalties could come from the NCAA, which has not sanctioned Indiana for a major violation since 1960.

After the findings of the Indiana investigation were disclosed, Sampson said Senderoff initiated calls with recruits in part because of a weak signal on Sampson's cell phone.

But Sampson said he wasn't aware that nine of the 10 calls were three-way connections. The one he knew was a three-way call was to clear up questions from a recruit who had already committed to making an on-campus visit, he said.

Senderoff came to Indiana after four seasons as an assistant at Kent State. He previously coached at Towson, Yale, Fordham and Miami of Ohio.


The Wade Level
Simpson should get more than his share of fines and suspensions also for this incident. I guess he just doesn't learn??


The Kleuh Level
Sampson & Delilah

The Losiers are obviously worried about FURTHER NCAA sanctions, thus the "sacrifice" of their Asst. in hopes of appeasing the NCAA "gods."

I can't wait for Sampson to be suspended from coaching by the NCAA for his arrogance in subsequent rule violations and "violation of probation." Anyone got a pair of scissors?


The Wade Level
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana basketball coaches attended regular compliance meetings. They logged recruiting phone calls each week. They signed forms monthly attesting they didn't call recruits from home phones and received regular compliance memos and newsletters reminding them of NCAA rules.

Yet the university said coaches still made more than 100 calls in violation of NCAA rules or sanctions imposed on the program because of previous impermissible calls. When the calls were discovered, coaches told school officials they were confused about the rules, forgot to record calls or thought reports were formalities.

"Indiana University is troubled by this disregard for university policies and procedures," the school wrote in a report to the NCAA's infractions committee.

On Tuesday, The Associated Press obtained the 300-page report, prepared by Indianapolis-based law firm Ice Miller, through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The recruiting scandal has already cost the Hoosiers one basketball scholarship for 2008-09, coach Kelvin Sampson forfeited a $500,000 pay raise and assistant coach Rob Senderoff -- who made a majority of the impermissible calls -- resigned Tuesday. The university said he received a severance package worth $46,000.

Athletic director Rick Greenspan addressed the report during a teleconference Tuesday, saying the school sanctions more than compensate for the extra phone calls. An IU spokesman said Wednesday that Greenspan would make no further comments on it.

The NCAA is investigating the new violations outlined in the report, which could lead to further penalties, and there is no timetable for a decision.

The problems with recruiting calls started before Sampson began at IU in March 2006. He was prohibited from initiating calls with recruits for a year after the NCAA ruled in May 2006 that he had made 577 impermissible calls over four years while coaching Oklahoma -- sanctions that followed him to Bloomington. He was still allowed to receive calls from recruits.

His off-campus recruiting visits were also strictly limited, although he could talk to recruits on-campus.

On Oct. 14, just weeks before his second season, Greenspan announced that Sampson's staff had violated the NCAA's sanctions by patching through at least 10 three-way calls, legal under the NCAA's standards but prohibited under his previous penalties.

The university's report, which doesn't accuse Sampson of any direct NCAA violations, details 111 impermissible recruiting calls, most of them by Senderoff. At least 10 of them were three-way calls that Sampson had been patched into -- four at his home.

One call came less than a week after the NCAA issued its May 25, 2006, report on the sanctions against Sampson and his staff, a document in the report showed.

Sampson has said he wasn't aware that nine of the 10 calls were three-way connections. The one he knew about was done to clear up questions from a recruit who had already committed to making an on-campus visit, he said.

Some of the three-way calls occurred because a recruit's call to Sampson was dropped, the report said. Senderoff would then help the person reconnect with Sampson by using impermissible three-way calls. The report noted that Sampson's home is several miles outside Bloomington and that his cell phone reception there is "spotty at best."

However, included in the report was an e-mailed memo dated June 13, 2006, to Sampson, Senderoff and other coaches from Jennifer Brinegar, IU assistant athletics director for compliance.

In it, she included a clarification of the infractions committee on the penalties. The fourth item listed stated, "The assistant coaches may not bring Coach Sampson in on a three-way call with a prospect, parent or coach, even if the call originated from the prospect, parent or coach."

It also states that Sampson isn't allowed to return dropped calls.

Yet less than a week after that memo was issued, Sampson participated in another three-way call, the report showed.

Senderoff told investigators he would get the recruit or other person on the phone and then patch in Sampson's phone. Senderoff would remain on the line but did not say anything, serving as an "operator" allowing two people to have a conversation, he said. Senderoff said he thought this was a "gray" area in regard to sanctions and that he used poor judgment in not asking for clarification.

But the report notes that at least two people -- a recruit and the mother of a recruit -- said both Senderoff and Sampson were involved in the conversation throughout the entire call.

The report also said Senderoff, who made 101 improper calls, failed to report using his home phone for recruiting calls despite signing forms that said he made no calls from his home.

"He admitted that this practice was sloppy and/or careless," the report states.

Assistant coach Jeff Meyer made 10 recruiting calls from his home, four of which were impermissible, the report found. Meyer said he didn't list his home phone on the monthly reporting forms because he did not yet have a home phone immediately after he was hired. He didn't change the forms later to indicate that he used his home phone.

"Meyer stated he thought the forms were only a formality and thus did not change what he previously reported," the report states.

The report pointed out that the men's basketball coaching staff is involved in more than a thousand recruiting calls a month.

"The university is disappointed and does not condone the actions of the involved coaches, but it is important to place this issue in context," the report states.

Jason Svoboda

The Bird Level
If the NCAA isn't going to punish USC over Bushgate and the $300,000 in illegal benefits, how do you punish Sampson over phone calls?


Hugh McAwesome
According to the November 12 issue of the Sporting News, on October 19, Senderoff was told (according to an insider) that he had three days to resign or he would be fired. He chose to resign and take severance deal. This was about four weeks AFTER IU had told the NCAA about the calls and had taken financial penalties and recruiting restrictions as enough of a punishment. When asked what had changed to warrent Senderoff quiting, AD Greenspan said, "What has changed is that Rob has decided to tender this resignation and the university has accepted his VOLUNTARY (emphasis added) resignation". Makes you wonder how deep this goes and if anyone is actually looking out for the best interests of the school and the program, or just his or her own backside.