Rick Greenspan saved his best performance for last.
With just a little more than a month left in his tenure as IU Director of Athletics, Greenspan led the effort to prevent the men’s basketball program from additional significant penalties by the NCAA Committee on Infractions stemming from rules violations by former IU men’s coach Kelvin Sampson and his staff.
Certainly the AD who hired Sampson shares part of the blame for the current state of the men’s basketball team, but with announcement that the program will receive just a three-year probation from the NCAA Greenspan should be applauded for his handling of the NCAA proceedings.
Greenspan should (and has) taken a lot of the blame for this disastrous turn for the worst in the direction of the basketball team.
Josephine Potuto, former chair of the Division I Committee on Infractions, said in a teleconference Tuesday, the University did not have the proper compliance system in place to deal with the self-imposed sanctions put on Sampson when he was hired from Oklahoma.
How could this be?
Taking a risk on Sampson in the first place was a gamble, but I find it incomprehensible that Greenspan did not have a proper increase in compliance procedures ready for when Sampson took over in March 2006.
Though he shares the blame, Greenspan has to feel a bit better about his time at IU since his last major act of being the AD helped keep Hoosier fans from further suffering.
And there could have been more suffering.
Many of the questions during the teleconference focused on how the penalties could have been worse, including a post-season ban, further reductions in scholarships or forfeited games from last season.
With the two previous games in Maui showing how much this current IU team under Tom Crean needs improvement, further penalties would have been extremely disheartening for the Hoosier fans.
Though it took quite awhile, Greenspan and the athletics department did a good job in actually finding the infraction and then reporting the violation. This is something that could have been covered up with relative ease, but Greenspan and company did the right thing by admitting fault and cooperating with the Committee on Infractions.
“(The University) certainly did what it needed to do, and it certainly worked in an effective and efficient matter.” Potuto said.
While most fans won’t be sad to see Greenspan leave in January, he should be applauded for keeping the program from further punishment and embarrassment. And by doing so, allows Crean and his staff to be attempt to return IU basketball to prominence – a place the program has not be in years.