There's an FTD flower delivery scheduled for Kelvin Sampson later this morning, but will it be the 12 Stem Mixed Rose Bouquet, or the Funeral Assortment? CBS Sportsline's Gary Parrish is reporting that it will be the latter: Indiana University athletic director Rick Greenspan will announce at a press conference later this morning that Sampson is to be fired. But Parrish is also saying that several key Hoosier players are threatening to quit the team if that happens. And suddenly a coach choking a player seems so harmless and old-fashioned.
According to the sources, after Greenspan informed five selected players — namely D.J. White, Eric Gordon, Kyle Taber, Lance Stemler and Adam Ahlfeld — of his decision to replace Sampson he called a meeting with the entire team in an attempt to "prepare" them for Friday's official announcement that Sampson would either be suspended or terminated in time for the Hoosiers' weekend game at Northwestern. But before Greenspan finished his speech, the sources said an unidentified player stood up and insisted "if Sampson ain't coaching, we ain't playing" and that Greenspan responded with what he thought was a rhetorical question. "Greenspan asked if he should just cancel the whole season," one source said. "And the player told him 'We don't care what you do. But if Sampson ain't coaching, we ain't playing.' And then they just walked out."
CBS is saying that Indiana wanted Sampson to resign, and that he refused, figuring to sue the school for breach of his five-year contract. I can't imagine that Indiana is going to be persuaded by that threat; after all, the school was also sued by Bobby Knight. Think Sampson is going to scare them after that?
Only one thing is certain: When all is said and done here, everyone loses. The NCAA is going to bomb Indiana back to the stone age for Sampson's recruiting violations; the players are going to lose out on tournament competition, possibly transferring anyway; likely interim head coach Dan Dakich is going to inherit a mess; and my NCAA Tournament brackets are now even more doomed than usual.
Sources: Several Hoosiers Threaten To Quit If Sampson Fired [CBS Sportsline]
Wheels Turning On Sampson Decision [The Hoosier Scoop]