Thursday, May 29, 2008

Is it ever too early for football?

Leave it to one of those Northwestern overachievers. While some of us aren't yet recovered from basketball season, Wildcat blog Lake the Posts is soliciting previews from bloggers who cover all of Northwestern's opponents. My Q&A with LTP is here. Anyone who cares enough about IU football to read such an article on May 29 probably knows everything I said, but be sure to check the main page for the previews of the other Big Ten teams.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Finch in hand and other football notes.

As has been rumored and inferred is now apparently official: former Warren Central star/five star defensive back Jerimy Finch is enrolled at IU. The Finch recruiting saga predates this blog, but you may recall that Finch initially committed to Michigan but, as the Star article notes, changed his mind in January 2007 and committed to IU. On the eve of signing day, Miami flipped one of Florida's recruits, Florida had a scholarship to give, and Finch signed with the Gators.
Finch played in only three games as a Gator. In the third game of the season, against rival Tennessee, he intercepted a pass but later broke his leg and missed the rest of the season. Finch mentioned that he is going to seek immediate eligibility, but I really don't know if he has a leg to stand on. I'll try to look into it when I have the chance.
In other news, Ken Bikoff of Inside Indiana continues to provide photos of the north end zone construction as it progresses. It appears that the guts of the facility won't be in place until the 2009 season, but at least the structure will be in place. There has been speculation that the seating will be available for 2008, but I haven't read that in any official source.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Failure to monitor?

Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star notes today, correctly, that it's possible that the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions could add charges, including failure to monitor, even if the NCAA enforcement staff did not initially charge IU with such violations. To analogize to the legal system, it would be as if a judge had the right to add criminal charges that had not been filed by the prosecutor. Alesia notes that the Committee recently did just that in a proceeding against the Long Beach State basketball program. While Alesia is technically correct, there are some important differences that distinguish the Long Beach case from IU's situation.
First, it's important to consider the Long Beach State situation and how it differs from IU's situation. Here's the NCAA's public report on LBS. After a couple of lousy seasons, LBS signed a handful of academically questionable junior college kids (academically questionable even by juco standards, that is). The NCAA enforcement staff charged LBS with the following: "impermissible inducements and benefits," mostly payments by assistant coaches for summer and correspondence courses used to get these players eligible; "improper transportation and phone contacts," all involving one player who failed to be admitted to LBS and was therefore reclassified as a prospect; "unethical conduct" by two assistant coaches in misleading the NCAA and otherwise obstructing the investigation; and "failure to monitor by the head coach," which is what it sounds like. As Alesia notes, the NCAA Committee on Infractions added a charge of "failure to monitor by the institution."
The first question, of course, is whether there is really a chance that the Committee on Infractions will add charges. I'm no expert on NCAA procedure, but I tend to doubt it, or at least doubt that IU will be forced to address such an issue at the June 13 hearing. The NCAA's report on LBS makes clear that the Committee notified LBS that it would consider the institutional failure to monitor charge at the hearing. LBS responded at the hearing and in two post-hearing filings. While there's no indication of when the Committee informed LBS of the new charge, IU's hearing is three weeks from tomorrow. While I would never underestimate the ability of the NCAA to act unfairly, that would be a pretty tight timeline for IU's counsel to adequately prepare a response to a new allegation. Of course, it's always possible that the NCAA will put IU in a time crunch or will postpone the hearing, but my hunch is that if IU were going to have to address new charges at the hearing, the Committee would have told IU by now.
Second, the facts of the LBS situation are readily distinguishable from IU's situation. In a nutshell, LBS admitted a bunch of academically marginal players. Several of those players moved to Southern California, enrolled in schools other than LBS, and did surprisingly well with very heavy course loads. As the NCAA notes, LBS pretty obviously should have known that something was up, but simply covered its eyes and claimed that it had no obligation to monitor these recruits until they were enrolled at LBS. The NCAA disagreed. I think it's important to consider the entire paragraph that contained the "high alert" language cited by Alesia:
These academic deficiencies in and of themselves should have put the institution on high alert. So too should the fact that these six prospects constituted the majority of the recruiting class in men's basketball. Yet there was neither effort to educate or remind the coaches as to their responsibilities in dealing with the prospects nor oversight of their conduct to ensure rules compliance. These non-actions clearly constitute a failure to monitor on the part of the institution. Conversely, if the athletics administration was not aware of the number of prospects who faced serious questions regarding their admission and eligibility, then this too was a failure to monitor.
Later in the discussion, the NCAA throws in this one liner that certainly should give us pause:
Finally, as set forth in Finding B-3, 23 impermissible phone calls were made to student-athlete 1 from August 2004 to May 2005. The institution's compliance office failed to detect them in a timely fashion, which is also indicative of a failure to monitor.
The passage in bold sums up why I don't expect IU to face an institutional failure to monitor charge. Obviously, IU's compliance procedures were not perfect. If IU's procedures had been perfect, IU would have caught the three-way calls within weeks after they were made instead of months. And of course, IU never should have hired Kelvin Sampson in the first place given his history with improper phone calls. Nevertheless, let's not lose site of the fact that IU's "monitoring" is the only reason this issue is before the NCAA right now. IU notes that the arcane way in which three-way calls are noted made them difficult to detect. Still, IU, when doubling back over previously reviewed bills, found the calls and reported the calls to the NCAA. IU required all of its assistants to list all phones used to make recruiting calls. All three assistants lied on those forms. Also, in contrast to LBS, IU did try to educate the coaches, through weekly meetings and e-mail updates, of their obligations. It seems to have gone in one ear and out the other, but IU's efforts are well-documented.
It is further worth considering that the 23 impermissible phone calls made by LBS were made to a former signee who had been reclassified as a prospect after he wasn't admitted to LBS. It seems that the NCAA was punishing LBS for its coaches' ignorance of that reclassification.
The most troubling aspects of the allegations against IU are 1) the impermissible three way calls; 2) Sampson's improper use of others' phones; 3) Senderoff's use of his home phone for a huge number of impermissible calls. Violations 2 ans 3 were basically undetectable, and IU did detect violation 1, although belatedly.
I think there are two competing equities here that will pull the NCAA Committee on Infractions in two directions: first, the temptation to hammer IU for knowingly hiring a coach with an NCAA history who then committed similar infractions in his first year, on one hand; and on the other, IU's attempts to monitor the behavior of the staff and IU's prompt self-report and investigation. As tempting as the former must be to the NCAA, hammering IU despite the latter could have a chilling effect on monitoring and self-reporting. Unless the NCAA's position is that any unsuccessful monitoring constitutes a failure to monitor, I will be surprised if the NCAA adds this charge.

William Gladness, RIP.

Terry Hutchens reports sad news today: William Gladness, a junior college transfer who played for IU in 1997-98 and 1998-99, has died. Here's a link to an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article with some additional detail. Gladness came from a really tough background in West Memphis, Arkansas, and I have to admit that when I read of his death, I feared that perhaps that background had caught up with Will. The answer is more complicated. Gladness died of some sort of bacterial infection, apparently worsened because his spleen had been removed after he was shot while in high school. Nevertheless, after such a tough beginning, it does seem that Will had done well for himself after a brief pro career in Europe:

He eventually settled in Fort Smith, where he organized an AAU basketball team made up primarily of players who didn’t play much, if at all, for their high school teams. He continued that after moving to Northwest Arkansas in 2001 to work at the Ozark Guidance Center, where he taught preschool children with emotional or behavioral problems.
Gladness, who as the article above notes, did not play high school basketball, had a really unusual playing style (early in his career, he had an odd aversion to dunking and had a unique baby-hook layup that he would use), but he was a key contributor in his two seasons in Bloomington. As a junior, he started 26 games and averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds, shooting 54 percent from the field. As a senior, he started 24 games and averaged 7.8 points and 5.4 rebounds and again led the team by shooting 56 percent from the field.

Oddly enough, he is the second member of the 1997-98 team to die. Jason Collier, who played nine games for IU in that season before transferring, died of a heart defect in 2005.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

More basketball recruiting news.

I am neglecting the football team and have a post somewhat planned, but every time I get a spare moment I read about another basketball recruiting development. Where to begin:
2008 recruiting
Given the decimated roster, Tom Crean continues to build the coming season's Hoosiers:
  • Yesterday, IU signed Tijan Jobe, a 7-footer from Olney Central Junior College. Per the Hoosier Scoop and other sources, Jobe is a project. He has been in the United States for only four years (it's unclear to me from the brief reports whether he played basketball before coming to the US) and averaged only 3 points and 3 rebounds per game. As a 7-footer in junior college.
  • Also per Chris Korman of Hoosier Scoop, 6-10 Maurice Sutton, perhaps the best 2008 player still on the board, is expected to announce today whether he will attend IU, Villanova, or Seton Hall.
  • Emmanuel Negedu, a 6-6 power forward who played AAU ball for Bloomington-based Indiana Elite, has been released by Arizona. Lute Olson expects Negedu to land at either IU or Memphis (the latter being the current home of the assistant who recruited Negedu to Arizona).
  • Via Inside the Hall, Broderick Lewis of Lafayette Jeff will join the Hoosiers as a preferred walk-on. He averaged about nine points a game for an excellent team as a senior. Lewis apparently was considering Division II and junior college offers.

It's still not likely that the 2008-09 Hoosiers will be any good, but Crean has done a nice job rebuilding without making any obvious sacrifices in quality (I'm giving Jobe the benefit of the doubt--he's a raw 7 footer, which is almost always worth the risk given IU's situation). Assuming no further attrition, IU will have nine scholarship players, including six newcomers, four of whom were recruited by Crean. IU could add Sutton, Negedu, or both.

2009 recruiting

  • Jordan Hulls of Bloomington South, a point guard who apparently has enhanced his reputation during the AAU season, committed to IU yesterday (once again courtesy the Hoosier Scoop). Hulls had been offered by Purdue and apparently was hoping to be offered by Duke and/or Stanford, but decided to make the move now.

So, the future IU roster is ever-changing. Here's the update, which, again could change in the near future:

Returning scholarship players: Jordan Crawford (Soph.), Brandon McGee (Soph.), and former invited walkon Kyle Taber (Sr.).

Incoming scholarship players who will be eligible in 2008-09: Tom Pritchard (F/C from Ohio, freshman); Matt Roth (G from Illinois, freshman); Devan Dumes (guard from Decatur Central/Eastern Michigan/Vincennes, junior); Nick Williams (guard from Alabama, former Marquette recruit); Verdell Jones (Illinois); Tijan Jobe (center from Olney Central JC, junior).

Returning walk-ons: Brett Finkelmeier (sophomore guard).

Incoming walk-ons: Daniel Moore (guard from Carmel); Kory Barnett (guard from Rochester); Broderick Lewis (guard from Lafayette Jefferson)

Incoming freshmen, 2009-10: Derek Elston (forward, Tipton); Bobby Capobianco (forward, Ohio); Maurice Creek (guard, Connecticut); Jordan Hulls (guard, Bloomington South).

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Is there a journalist in the house?

Terry Hutchens, in his most recent blog entry:
I would still like to get to the bottom of how much Rick Greenspan really wanted Kelvin Sampson as his men's basketball coach, or whether it was shoved down his throat by Adam Herbert and board of trustee member Jeff Cohen? I think those questions need to be answered because when you look at the kind of person that Rick Greenspan has hired at Indiana, Sampson is the one hire that sticks out like a sore thumb. And I'm just talking about character here. Nothing more, nothing less.
I would like to get to the bottom of it too, Hutch. If only I didn't have this pesky day job, or if I had spent a decade as the IU beat reporter for the state's largest newspaper, then maybe I would put some time into it.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Star on Dakich, McCallum, and Greenspan.

The Indianapolis Star devoted some major space to the IU basketball program today. First, an interview by Terry Hutchens of Dan Dakich. Here's the most interesting part:

Q: When you were chosen interim coach, did you sense players wanted Ray McCallum instead of you?
A: I never felt it, but then I really didn't pay attention to it, either. All of our coaches worked hard, and as for the players, I never got that sense that, 'Hey, we're not going to do this because you're the head coach.' . . . The only thing I wonder about, looking back, is just exactly what was being said to (the players) and who was saying it to them.

That seems to be a thinly veiled shot at McCallum, maybe, and is mighty interesting when placed beside Tom Crean's recent columns about the alleged "orchestration" of Eli Holman's transfer to Detroit, where McCallum now is head coach. Ray seems to have done quite a bit of damage to his reputation during his last few weeks in his home state. Perhaps some media outlet, say, the state's largest newspaper or its intrepid IU beat writer, could do some investigative journalism on this issue. Nah.
That brings me to the next article, a Bob Kravitz column entitled "Somehow Greenspan still has job at IU." It's a typical Kravitz column: a few decent points buried in smarminess and cheap shots. Still, he says this, just in passing:
Now, were former school president Adam Herbert and trustee Jeff Cohen the people who most strongly supported Sampson's hiring? Sure.
Jeff Cohen? Don't know him. Frankly, I've been waiting for weeks for the Star or some other media outlet to really dig in and shed some light on the disastrous decision to hire Kelvin Sampson. I've done an archive search of the Indianapolis Star and can't seem to find any reporting on Cohen's advocacy for Sampson. Certainly, the Star has mentioned in passing the 2006 press conference statement that Cohen and Steve Ferguson (who disputes intimate involvement in the decision) spent hours on the process. But it's interesting that Kravitz mentions in passing what has not been reported by Terry "guided tour" Hutchens.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

IU's response to the NCAA.

Inside the Hall has posted the full text of IU's very long response in two separate .pdf files. The beginning of the first documents contains an overview of the allegations and IU's response. In the mid-30s of the first document, we begin to see how IU's investigation expanded beyond the three way calls in to the speakerphone and cell phone handoff shenanigans. I probably won't have time to give much of an account of this report, but the juicy stuff, the discussion of the post-October allegations against Sampson, begins on about page 82 of the first document. The report itself runs to page 144 of the first .pdf documents. On pages 145-146, there is a list of the attachments, which comprise the remainder of the 700+ pages.

...And Kelvin Sampson's response, or at least a preview.

Gary Parrish of CBS Sportsline has the entire text of Sampson's cover letter to the NCAA.

May 8, 2008

NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions
1802 Alonzo Watford Sr. Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Dear Committee Members:

Enclosed is my written Response to the allegations set forth in the NCAA enforcement staff’s Notice of Allegations to Indiana University, Bloomington, dated February 8, 2008. I have been assisted in the preparation of this Response by legal counsel to ensure that I proceed as expected by your policies, procedures and practices.

When I appeared before you in April 2006 to address recruiting telephone contact violations at the University of Oklahoma, I accepted responsibility for my mistakes, I answered your questions truthfully and with great candor, and I pledged to do everything within my power to avoid violations in the future. That experience had a profound effect on me. I was embarrassed and I was wholly determined to not put myself and my family through another experience like that.

When I arrived at Indiana University, I hired an experienced staff and made my expectation of strict compliance with NCAA rules and with the restrictions imposed upon our staff very clear. As set forth in detail in the body of my Response, each member of my staff confirms that my expectations were made clear. I endorsed and cooperated fully with the monitoring systems set in place by Indiana’s athletics compliance staff. I relied upon the monitoring program that was set in place. Again, the statements of my staff as set forth in my Response confirm this. I told my staff repeatedly that I never again wanted to go through an experience like I had in the Oklahoma case and that we as a staff needed to completely buy into the monitoring systems implemented by Indiana’s compliance program.

On the day the recruiting restrictions ended in May 2007, I felt a sense of great relief and peace. I believed that the darkest days of my coaching career were behind me and that we could now move forward with our goal of returning Indiana’s basketball program to a position of prominence. I went to Athletic Director Rick Greenspan’s office and together, we celebrated the occasion with “high fives.” With the recruiting call monitoring system we believed was being operated by the compliance staff, neither of us had any reason to think there might be issues.

Accordingly, I cannot adequately describe in words how stunned I was to learn from Mr. Greenspan later that summer that the compliance office’s review of my staff’s phone records had revealed possible violations. First, I could not believe that if in fact the records showed violations, some since my staff’s earliest days at the University, the matters had not been detected and brought to the attention of Mr. Greenspan and myself much earlier so they could have been addressed in a timely fashion. And second, given how strongly and frequently I had communicated to my staff that I expected 100 percent compliance – I could not believe that NCAA rules and Committee on Infractions’ imposed restrictions had apparently been disregarded.

My life since that day has been a nightmare and my family has suffered profoundly along with me. I have been judged by many in the media and public to be a cheat and a liar and I have lost my job – all long before I will have had an opportunity to present my case to you and without Indiana University conducting a meaningful investigation into the allegations made by the enforcement staff. Even this NCAA process has not followed the prescribed course. A date for the hearing of this case was set before interviews, including one of me, were completed by the enforcement staff and before the enforcement staff issued its Notice of Allegations. These pre-determined results are of grave concern to me. It is my hope that the scheduled June hearing will allay my fears that final judgments have already been made.

As difficult as this process and experience has been for me, I do, given the circumstances, look forward to the opportunity to appear before you and, with the assistance of my counsel, to attempt to ensure that you have all of the information available on the relevant matters so that you can make a fair, unbiased and accurate determination on whether I knowingly participated in telephone conversations with recruits that were contrary to the restrictions imposed upon me and Indiana University by your committee following the Oklahoma infractions case.


Kelvin Sampson

I don't know if the NCAA will release Sampson's full response. At the very least, we will get some highlights when the NCAA issues its report a few months from now. The letter certainly highlights how Sampson will attempt to defend himself. First, he is going to go after IU's compliance staff, suggesting that the safeguards, if properly implemented, would have discovered the problems. Second, it also seems that Sampson will go after his own staff. Overall, his defense, at least as hinted in this letter, is that he relied upon the assistant coaches and the compliance staff and both failed him. Again, it's hard to know the full defense without the full response, but those appear to be his defenses.
Certainly, it is disappointing that IU's athletic department employees failed to discover these problems, but the primary obligation was that of Sampson and his staff. But a compliance staff is no substitute for compliance. The larger problem with this defense is that the NCAA's allegations suggest that some of the violations, Sampson's improper participation in calls made on Rob Senderoff's phone, would not have been detected by even the most detailed review of telephone records.
Most conspicuous in its absence from this cover letter is any sort of defense to the allegations of numerous recruits that Sampson personally participated in improper calls. If Sampson is telling the truth, then many former IU recruiting targets, including Demetri McCamey, Dejuan Blair, Devin Ebanks, Marcus Morris, Kenny Frease, and/or their parents, are liars or are grossly mistaken. The NCAA's Notice of Allegations was detailed and the NCAA supported its allegations with accounts of many witnesses. If Sampson is innocent, this is a hell of a conspiracy.
I'll keep a lookout for IU's response and Sampson's response. I'm sure I will have more later, unfortunately.

IU's response to NCAA will be released soon.

Andy Katz of ESPN reports that IU "essentially" has agreed with all of the allegations within the notice of violations that the NCAA issued to IU in February. The big one, but not surprising in light of the decision to quickly move to terminate Sampson:
The university also agreed with the third allegation, that during a period of May 25, 2006 to May 24, 2007, Sampson acted "contrary to the NCAA principles of ethical conduct when he knowingly violated recruiting restrictions imposed by the NCAA's committee on infractions as penalty for Sampson's prior involvement in [the Oklahoma case]." This allegation essentially stated that Sampson knowingly provided false information to Indiana and the NCAA's enforcement staff.
Katz reports that IU will release the report to the public as soon as tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what Katz or his source considers "essentially" agreeing with the NCAA's allegations. Stay tuned.
EDIT: According to the Hoosier Scoop, IU has released its 756 page report, although no word on whether or when it will be posted on the web. In the past, the Indianapolis Star and other outlets have posted such documents in .pdf form, so I expect it will be available in the near future.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Keeping up.

Things have been busy around here, bit Tom Crean has continued his efforts to rebuild the basketball team's decimated roster. The latest news, from this morning's Washington Times and elsewhere, is that Jeremiah Rivers, son of Celtics coach Doc Rivers, will transfer to IU. Rivers announced a couple of days ago that he would leave Georgetown, where he apparently was considered a defensive stopper but not much of an offensive threat. [UPDATE: Per the Hoosier Scoop, Rivers has not committed. That's what I get for trusting a paper owned by Reverend Moon]. There has been a flurry of news since my last post a week ago:
  • It's not accurate to say that Crean didn't pull any punches, because he didn't provide much detail, but Crean left no doubt that he believes something untoward led to Eli Holman's transfer from IU to Detroit, where he will play for former IU assistant Ray McCallum. The Sampson era is a gift that keeps on giving. Based on what I and others of you have heard behind the scenes, we may not have heard the last of this situation.
  • Champaign guard Verdell Jones seemed certain to enroll at Minnesota, but he surprised everyone by announcing that he would attend Indiana. Jones is a senior, so he will be on the roster in 2008-09.
  • Per Inside the Hall and others, Maurice Creek, a 6-4 guard from Connecticut, has verbally committed to IU. Creek is a junior, so he joins Derek Elston of Tipton and Bobby Capobianco of Ohio in the 2009-10 freshman class.

In summary, here's what we have now:

Returning scholarship players: Jordan Crawford (Soph.), Brandon McGee (Soph.), and former invited walkon Kyle Taber (Sr.).

Incoming scholarship players who will be eligible in 2008-09: Tom Pritchard (F/C from Ohio, freshman); Matt Roth (G from Illinois, freshman); Devan Dumes (guard from Decatur Central/Eastern Michigan/Vincennes, junior); Nick Williams (guard from Alabama, former Marquette recruit); Verdell Jones (Illinois).

Returning walk-ons: Brett Finkelmeier (sophomore guard).

Incoming walk-ons: Daniel Moore (guard from Carmel); Kory Barnett (guard from Rochester).

Incoming scholarship players who will be eligible in 2009-10: Jeremiah Rivers (two years of eligibility).

Incoming freshmen, 2009-10: Derek Elston (Tipton); Bobby Capobianco (Ohio); Maurice Creek (Connecticut).

Am I missing anyone? Crean has been on the job since April 2, and has added six five scholarship players already, including three who are eligible to play next season. Not bad.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Ladies and Gentlemen...

your Indiana Hooooooooooooooooooosiers!
Per an IU news release today, neither Armon Bassett nor Jamarcus Ellis will be invited to return to the team and Deandre Thomas has been dismissed. The three players listed above are the only returning scholarship players. Brandon McGee did not play more than two minutes in any Big Ten game and Kyle Taber began his career as an invisted walk-on and played no meaningful minutes until the last dozen or so games of his fourth year in the program.
IU adds freshmen Matt Roth (guard from Illinois), Tom Pritchard (forward from Cleveland), and Nick Williams (guard from Alabama, former Marquette recruit), and junior college transfer Devan Dumes (Decatur Central/Eastern Michigan/Vincennes). It will be interesting to see what, if anything, Crean does with this sudden glut of scholarships, but rebuilding might be an understatement for what 2008-09 will bring.

As the world turns.

Through Bob Knight, Mike Davis, and Kelvin Sampson, IU's on-court fortunes have varied from season to season. The constant, of course, is that Indiana basketball is a soap opera. It seems unlikely that Tom Crean will ever match Knight's legendary temper, Davis's arrogant incompetence, or Sampson's disregard of NCAA and academic obligations. Still, Crean was considered by other Big East fans to have a bit of a temper and is known for in-game, well, enthusiasm, so who knows where that will lead us.
Still, at least in the first soap opera moment of his career, Crean seems to have been the victim. As the IDS basketblog reported yesterday, Eli Holman lost his temper during a meeting with Tom Crean to such a degree that someone called the IUPD. Holman, who played a few games before missing the rest of the season with a wrist injury, was widely expected to return, and given IU's frontcourt problems, was considered a player who would have to play a role if IU were to have a decent season in 2008-09. As has happened before in the basketball office (allegedly), "The IU Police Department was dispatched to Assembly Hall at 3:40 p.m. after a man threw a potted plant in the men’s basketball office, IUPD Spokesman Jerry Minger said, reading from a police report."
While I'm making light of the situation, it's pretty sad. I've been following the Eli Holman saga since he committed to IU. Holman came from a rough background and has shown a hot temper before--he was suspended for most of his senior season for bumping a high school referee as a junior--but came across as an intelligent and thoughtful person. I was particularly impressed with an audio interview of Eli conducted by Mark Montieth of the Indianapolis Star, which may remain somewhere on the Star's website. Obviously, he has some demons, but I really do hope he works it out and is able to continue his basketball and academic careers somewhere.