Cougars Go All In on Rocket's Kelvin Sampson Despite NCAA Issue
The hiring will no doubt bring down increased scrutiny from the NCAA, and that people outside of the athletic department signed off on the deal shows the desperation for a winning program is now much, much more important than the supposed quest for academic integrity -- Sampson left Indiana in a big hole because the school's APR was pathetic. It's also kind of a surprising hire in some ways in that rumors have abounded for years that UH chancellor Renu Khator vetoed the hiring of Billy Gillispie in 2010 because Gillispie wasn't known for running the cleanest of programs.
But if the school's happy with Sampson and not concerned about the increased attention that's bound to come from the NCAA, then that should be all that matters. It has been frustrating watching the program flounder since the departure of Pat Foster in 1993 (Foster who took over from Guy V. Lewis took the team to three NIT and three NCAA tourneys in his seven years at UH, the last time the school's truly been nationally relevant. Sampson will recruit, he will coach, and the team will win, and if school officials feel that any possible NCAA issues are worth that, then that's their call.
UH is reportedly giving Sampson a five year contract, and there are reports that his son Kellen, currently an assistant at Appalachian State, will be named to his staff. The introductory press conference will be at 3:00 this afternoon at Hofheinz Pavilion, and fans are invited to attend -- the school says cash parking will be available in the football stadium parking garage. Who knows, with the pathetic state of UH attendance over the past decade, this press conference might be the largest attendance inside of Hofheinz in years.