A while back, I compiled a list of some of the head-scratching administrative mis-management of IU’s program. That’s really the important part to me. But there surely have been a ridiculous number of silly, absurd, gut-punch, ‘wait, what?’ moments at a player/coach level since RMK left town. This is just a sampling and my facts might be off a bit:
October 2001: Despite the overwhelming assumption he’d go to IU, Sean May flies to Lubbock and soon thereafter surprises everyone with an announcement that he’ll play for UNC.
March 2002: After falling into the job with dubious qualifications, Davis tells the world at the Final 4 that the IU job’s just a stepping stone for the NBA.
Sometime in 2002: The rise of Peegs.com brings greater scrutiny to the bizarre world of recruiting (enhanced by MD’s magical ways) and the fans’ eyes are opened to a wonderful bunch of stories and hyper-focus on guys like Wesley Green, Alexander Johnson, Ndudi Ebi, Chris Richard, Keith Wooden, Kris Chompers Humphries, Villanueva and Deng, some Lithuanian kid IU backed off of by telling him he couldn’t come and visit because we were fixing the floor, Sean Tat Phaler, Morris Almond, Michael Bell, Monty St. Clair, Diego Romero, an absolute ton of other names, and, of course, Nick Dewitz.
December 2002: Davis loses his mind and runs onto floor near the end of the Kentucky game, earning a suspension for the next game.
2004 – 2005: IU misses the tournament two years in a row and the fans can’t imagine how things could be worse. Silly, silly fans.
March 2005: As his program continues to spiral, Davis talks crazy about being the 4th seed in the Big Ten tourney.
February 2006: Amid harsh criticism, Davis calls in sick for the Iowa basketball game.
March 2006: IU hires a guy on exactly nobody’s list of possible hires and whose formal probation by the NCAA for past mis-deeds wouldn’t be finalized until months later (seriously, IU hired the guy before the NCAA even determined the punishment for his Oklahoma stuff). IU president Adam Herbert says, “The due diligence process on this search was extraordinary.”
September 2007: Bud Mackey gets busted selling crack at school.
October 2007: IU self-reports that meathead probationary Kelvin Sampson upped and did it again.
February 2008: IU fires Sampson with a big payday.
April 2008: Crean tells world that the 14-member team he inherited was the proud achiever of 19 F’s.
April 2008: Eli Holman communicates decision to leave via potted plant thrown against the wall in a meeting with Crean.
September 2009: Crean’s first big-time recruit loves IU and is probably heading toward a commitment until the worst in-home visit ever and Kyrie picks Duke. IU assistant and former Dukie McLeod gets shown the door shortly thereafter amid rumors that he was basically working for the other guys.
February 2010: Todd Leary gets arrested at Assembly Hall minutes before a game and charged with fraud.
Sometime in 2011: Hoosier legend Kent Benson starts tormenting IU fans by wearing Purdue gear.
Summer 2012: IU’s got The Movement and too many players on the roster. Something’s got to give. At the 11th hour, like some kind of deus ex machina, Ron P. has academic issues. RonPat doesn’t really see it that way.
April 2014: Recruiting and roster management throw Crean a couple curves (including rumors that departing Vonleh steered promising Goodluck away from IU); in response, Crean opts to pick up two recruits that are largely unknown and the national recruiting guys are pretty sure Crean is joking.
August 2014: “You know what Stan? You should shoot with your other hand. It totally makes sense. Yep. It worked for Bracey when he shot his free throws from the 3-pt arc.”
December 2014: Luke Fischer rooms with Troy, determines he can’t hang with prankster morons in a bad culture and departs for home. For the first time in recorded history, fans start talking about disgruntled walk-ons.
2014 and 2015: Devin Davis does a drunk header into his friend’s moving car. Also, most of the team gets into criminal trouble (including Teflon Yogi), the admins start making preposterous loud noises, and the least offenders get booted from the team.
April 2015: Yogi and his family decide to call a press conference to announce his NBA decision and try to fancy it up with charity and other stuff to deflect from the reality that it was preposterous.
Late 2015: The entire sporting world basically agrees that flaming Crean and IU is totally appropriate and nobody thinks twice about mocking Crean, his ‘goofy’ face, his coaching abilities or the state of the program.