With the men’s basketball program officially hitting rock bottom Thursday, Rick Greenspan begrudgingly did the only thing he could do: resign.\nGreenspan had no more outs when the NCAA stabbed IU with its “failure to monitor” allegation last week. Under his watch, IU’s prized possession, its basketball team, had now become its biggest black eye.\nGreenspan signed his resignation the day he made his signature hire of Kelvin Sampson. All of the positive things he has done for IU athletics come off as minute details when you look at the condition of the basketball program. Although Greenspan had plenty of help in leading the basketball team to purgatory – the coaching staff and 90 percent of last year’s team to name a few – there was no one more responsible than IU’s soon-to-be former director of athletics. \nBut in Greenspan’s defense, no athletic director in recent memory tried to give Hoosier fans what they wanted as much as he did: winning teams with an IU tradition.\nHis decision-making leaves something to be desired, but the effort was there.\nThe dude cared. And he realizes that IU can’t turn things around with him sitting on the throne. Not with this many people calling for his job. Not with the basketball program about to become Myles Brand and the NCAA’s new chew toy.\nGreenspan turned the football program around with the brilliant hiring of Terry Hoeppner. Hoeppner then did something akin to landing on the Sun: He made basketball fans care about their football team. And when Coach Hep passed, Greenspan made the right decision in backing Bill Lynch, which led to the Hoosiers miraculously making it to their first bowl game in 14 years. \nHe tried as hard as he could to restore the basketball team to its glory days. He took a chance in hiring a coach with a checkered past but a reputation as a winner. When it turned out to be the worst hire in the program’s history, Greenspan tried again to respond with Hoosier fans in mind.\nSince the day Mike Davis’s Hoosiers lost their first game, IU fans have campaigned and voiced their desire to see an “Indiana guy” coaching the team.\nWhich is why Greenspan promoted Dan Dakich, a former Hoosier player but an assistant who had only been on the team’s bench for a few months, to the interim position instead of Ray McCallum, the coaching staff’s No. 2 man.\nThe players ultimately revolted against Dakich, and the team tanked. And then it became apparent that if you thought IU’s play on the floor was bad, you hadn’t heard about what they had been doing off of it.\nSo Greenspan tried his hardest to put Humpty Dumpty back together again one more time. He let Dakich kick Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis off the team, even though they were IU’s top two returning players and Dakich was on occupational death row. He made a great hire in Tom Crean, and then allowed his new head coach to clean house.\nGreenspan tried. He tried to save IU basketball from the mistake that was Sampson, but it just wasn’t enough. His fate was sealed the day he hired Kelvin – a known cheater who (surprise!) cheated again and led the Hoosiers to program-threatening allegations. \nWhen it came to men’s basketball, Greenspan had all of the wrong moves and all of the right intentions. Many of IU’s athletic programs have thrived with Greenspan in office, but with the men’s basketball program on life support, Greenspan needed to pull the plug on his own tenure.\nGreenspan has announced that he’ll stick around until 2009, eliminating the possibility of an interim candidate. As for IU, they’ll do the only thing they can do: try again.
Get stories like this in your inboxSubscribe