02 May 2008
A trio of headlines stood out to me across the college athletics landscape, all of which involved ethical disciplinary actions being taken at prominent sports schools.
Leading off is new Indiana basketball coach, Tom Crean deciding to take a stiff line with a handful of current Indiana players. As you may recall Armon Bassett and JaMarcus Ellis were kicked off the team in March for flat out attitude and insubordination issues by the interim Indiana coach.
Upon Crean's hiring, he said he would revisit the issue with the players. Initially I thought that with the MASSIVE talent exodus from Bloomington that Crean was just looking to turn the other way and let these numskulls back onto the team. Turns out he did one better, not only did opt to have them not return he also told Eli Homan to join them in leaving Indiana which subsequently led to an altercation in which the campus cops had to come.
Crean's actions along with another transfer means Indiana will only return 3 scholarship players and 8 total, the makings for an atrocious year. However the quote below really sums up the rationale of making the hard decision.
""Before you build a team, you need to develop a family," "We will go through the learning process, feel some growing pains and experience some bumps in the road along the way. We need the Hoosier Nation to rally around this program as we go through these stages."
For a program marred by contreversy, its good to see Crean really stepping up here.
In a similar story, Bruce Pearl of Tennessee kicked off two contributors from the Volunteer team. Both Raymar Smith and Duke Crews played extensively and had 2 more years left in Knocksville, so Pearl's actions speak to the seriousness of the players conduct and his commitment to discipline.
In other news Les Miles finally had enough of Ryan Perrilloux and kicked him off the LSU football team (again). Perrilloux has a pretty extensive rap sheet of that should have warranted expulsion, but Miles gave him some extra chances as he is talented, a quarterback, and plays for the defending National Champions. Perrilloux never viewed LSU is academic institution, but more of as minor league affliate for the NFL.
Although this assumption holds true for LSU and the majority of the SEC, the numerous behaviorial issues added up, and stretched Miles and the fan bases' patience too far. Without Perrilloux look for the Tigers to miss out on a BCS bowl in 2008.