Kelvin Sampson's Indiana Hoosiers knocked off Purdue tonight, putting the Hoosiers in first place and giving them a bittersweet win over their most bitter rival. Bittersweet, because that might have been Kelvin Sampson's final game as the Hoosiers' coach. It's a little too late.
As big of a jerk as I think Bob Knight is and was, (and I do, as evidenced here.) he didn't cheat at Indiana. IU fans pride themselves on that fact. The Hoosiers never get probation, and they are seen as one of the few things in college basketball that has little negative. So it's a punch in the gut that Sampson cheated...again. This time he did it as the coach of Indiana, and Hoosiers fans are outraged. They should be.
But why is he still coaching this team? Sampson should have been suspended as soon as these allegations surfaced unless Indiana was darn sure that he was innocent. Because they investigated it, it's obvious that Indiana is not convinced of their coach's innocence. So why let him keep coaching? The answer is simple: it's because Sampson's team is leading the Big Ten. There's no other explanation. If he didn't have a great shot at a title, the obvious move is to remove him as coach, because IU has nothing to lose. But if he's innocent and Indiana deprives him of a shot at coaching a team to a title, he'd be upset, and justifiably so. He'd be a lock to leave.
But to be honest, I think Sampson's as innocent as Roger Clemens, making this a risk Indiana could afford to take. If it backfired, so what? At least the Hoosiers would have done the right thing, and kept their integrity. Instead, they've left it to be questioned, and that could really backfire on them, especially if the NCAA takes this into account.
My time is up. You've all been great. Enjoy Summercamp.