I sorta believe in karma. I have a “what comes around goes around” mentality. Well, with what Eric Gordon and Kelvin Sampson have done to the University of Illinois basketball program, I want to be there when that eighteen pound sledgehammer of karma hits them both upside the head.
I spent a few days contemplating the recent turn of events regarding Gordon and the Illinois basketball program. I talked with my Dad and my brother. My initial reaction was what most reactions were around Champaign: anger, but not shock.
Here’s the deal: Eric Gordon, probably the best player in the nation in the 2007 class, retracted his oral commitment to go to Illinois and decided to stay in his home state and play for Kelvin Sampson and the Indiana Hoosiers. I can understand a kid changing his mind. However, I can’t understand why anyone with a lick of sense would go to Indiana… especially to a program run by a confessed and sanctioned cheater.
Sampson is a cheater and his amazing ability to move from Oklahoma to Indiana, bringing sanctions along with him seems unbelievable on paper and, quite frankly, makes me question the intelligence of the IU athletic department. This is a coach who made nearly 600 illegal recruiting calls from 2000 to 2004. I will go on record right now and say that Kelvin Sampson is an oily, no-good, lying cheat and more than likely did something patently illegal in stealing an orally committed player away from Illinois and their coach Bruce Weber.
Cheaters win in the short term. Cheaters find ways around the system instead of working through the system. Sampson couldn’t make off-campus recruiting visits or call recruits, but he could text message Gordon all day. He could email him all day. Sampson could have his coaches call Gordon and ask him to call him since the Indiana coach could “take” calls from recruits. Sampson had nothing to lose and everything to gain by pursuing Gordon… in the short term.
Don’t think for a moment that the other Big Ten coaches and athletic directors didn’t take notice of Sampson’s slimy ways. It is an unwritten rule that other coaches don’t go after orally committed players. Sampson will never, ever have a lock on a player until that player signs on the dotted line. His recruits will be fair game until the last possible second by everyone – not just other Big Ten programs. He will never, ever get another big time recruit. In fact, I would not be surprised that recruiting violations come back to haunt poor Indiana in a few years. Talk about karma…
If Gordon had backed out of the oral commitment four to six months ago, I don’t think people would be as upset. Oral commitments were designed to help kids step away from the grind of dealing with coaches and their staff begging for them to go to their school. It allowed the kid to have a life. Of course, Sampson doesn’t care about the unwritten rules. He cares about winning… at all costs. He’s a dirty, scumbag who has no qualms about interfering with a kid’s life.
Well, Bruce Weber you had better interfere right now. Gordon hasn’t signed anything. He can’t for a little while yet. In fact, supposedly Gordon is upset by the whole thing. The “commitment” to Indiana is as real as the prior “commitment” to Illinois.
If the inner dirt bag exists inside Bruce Weber, he had better find it. Gordon isn’t gone; he just decided to look the other way. I wonder if anyone could convince Eric to reconsider once again? Wouldn’t that be karmic?