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Police dispatched to Assembly Hall to calm an angry Eli Holman


IU Police Department officers were dispatched to Assembly Hall on Thursday afternoon after freshman basketball player Eli Holman threw a potted plant and created a disturbance in the men’s basketball office, IUPD Capt. Jerry Minger said, reading from a police report.

The incident occurred shortly after Holman told IU coach Tom Crean he will not return to the team next season,

Crean said.

“The conversation was very cordial,” Crean said. “But unfortunately, it just didn’t end that way.”

At 3:40 p.m. Thursday, police were dispatched to Assembly Hall “as a precaution,” Crean said.

“We saw him as a danger to himself,” he said.

IU Director of Athletics Rick Greenspan arrived and helped calm Holman down, Minger said.

Holman was still agitated when police arrived, Minger said, adding no one told police they believed they were threatened by Holman. He was just “loud and angry,” Minger said.

Holman was not arrested, and no charges were filed.

The freshman center’s decision to leave the program surprised Crean, he said.

All indications were that Holman planned to return to IU in the fall, Crean said, adding he had discussed living arrangements with teammates. He met with IU assistant coaches Tim Buckley and Bennie Seltzer earlier Thursday.

“The meetings had been positive,” Crean said.

Holman met with Crean on Thursday afternoon. Crean’s wife Joani was in the office, too.

Holman then indicated he did not wish to return to the team.

“I have no idea what made him change his mind and arrive at this point,” Crean said.

He said Holman didn’t get the answers he wanted, and that’s when things escalated.

Crean declined to elaborate on the specifics of the conversation.

Crean said there were three women in the basketball office when Holman got angry, which prompted someone to call the police.

“I don’t anticipate Eli being back at Indiana,” Crean said.

When asked to comment, Greenspan walked past reporters without saying a word.

Without Holman, the Hoosiers currently have just five players returning next season, four of them on scholarship. One scholarship player, Kyle Taber, is a former walk-on.

Guards Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis were kicked off the team one day before Crean was hired. Their status is still unresolved.

Holman played in just six games for the Hoosiers this season when his year was cut short after an injury to his wrist. Ranked as the No. 85 recruit in the class of 2007 according to www.rivals.com, the Richmond, Calif., native had to wait until early October when the NCAA Clearinghouse approved him as academically eligible to play.

Holman shoved a referee during a high school basketball game his junior season. He was suspended for the rest of his high school career for that altercation, though he was reinstated his senior year, and he was required to take anger management courses.

Holman’s upper back was grazed by a bullet during a drive-by shooting while attending a friend’s birthday party at a Richmond motel in 2007, though police believe Holman was not the target of the shooting.

He averaged 1.0 points per game in the six games he played.

Before former IU coach Kelvin Sampson resigned, Sampson said he hoped Holman would apply for a medical redshirt, thus giving him four more years of collegiate eligibility.

–IDS Editor-in-Chief Michael Reschke contributed to this report

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