tampabay.com

Indiana poised to name OU's Sampson coach

By wire services
Published March 29, 2006


INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana will hire Kelvin Sampson as its next coach, delivering him from an Oklahoma team under investigation for possible recruiting violations to lead one of the most prestigious programs in the country.

Sampson broke the news to his Sooner team Tuesday. Indiana players were also informed, one of the Hoosier players' relatives told the Associated Press.

Details were being worked out Tuesday afternoon, and the deal was expected to be announced shortly.

"I was caught by surprise a little bit," said Taylor Griffin, a freshman forward for the Sooners. "He made the decision. I guess it's better for the program. I guess it's better for him."

The 50-year-old Sampson will replace Mike Davis, who announced last month he was resigning. Stephanie Gilbert, who helped raised nephew A.J. Ratliff in Indianapolis, said the Hoosiers' sophomore guard called her Tuesday to discuss the change.

Sampson leaves Oklahoma amid an investigation for possible recruiting violations. The NCAA is looking into more than 550 impermissible phone calls to recruits by Sampson and his assistant coaches, and Oklahoma officials are scheduled to appear before an NCAA panel in Utah on April 21.

NCAA spokesman Erik Christiansen said it's up to the committee on infractions to determine whether any penalties would follow Sampson to Indiana.

Sampson spent the past 12 seasons at Oklahoma, re-establishing the Sooners as a national contender with a record of 279-109 and 12 postseason appearances. Oklahoma went 20-9 this season, losing in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

ALABAMA: Center Jermareo Davidson, one of the SEC's top post players, said he intends to return for his senior season.

ARIZONA STATE: Rick Majerus met this week with athletic director Lisa Love and has accepted the coaching job pending a physical examination, the East Valley Tribune of Mesa, Ariz., reported. Majerus, 58, is an analyst for ESPN. He is 422-147 in 20 seasons at Marquette, Ball State and Utah, but has had health problems that include knee and heart surgery and chest pains. Randy Bennett, who turned around a mid-major program at St. Mary's College of California, was believed to be the other leading candidate.

DUQUESNE: Ron Everhart, 44, who built successful programs at Northeastern and McNeese State, will be named coach today, the Associated Press reported.

HOFSTRA: Coach Tom Pecora agreed to a five-year contract after the Pride went 26-7 and twice beat Final Four team George Mason. Pecora was mentioned in connection with Seton Hall's opening.

MORGAN STATE: Butch Beard resigned as coach. The former NBA standout and coach was 39-105 since taking over the struggling program in 2001.

SOUTH CAROLINA 78, LOUISVILLE 63: Renaldo Balkman scored 23 and the defending champion Gamecocks (22-15) reached Thursday's championship game in New York. Trailing 42-32 at halftime, the Cardinals got within 48-41 early in the second half, but South Carolina went on a 10-1 run.

MICHIGAN 66, ODU 43: Courtney Sims scored 18 and the Wolverines (22-10) advanced to the championship game for the second time in three years. Trailing 21-14 with 12:14 left in the first half, Michigan held the Monarchs without a field goal for the rest of the half. Old Dominion leading scorer Isaiah Hunter scored two, going 1-for-15 from the field. The Monarchs lost junior forward Arnaud Dahi to a knee injury late in the first half. Coach Blaine Taylor said it may be a torn anterior cruciate ligament.