Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dan Dakich Really Lays Down the Law

The Kelvin Sampson situation (finally) came to an end on Friday, with the Indiana head coach accepting a buyout from the university and resigning amidst an NCAA report saying that he committed five major rules violation with the Hoosiers. However, it seemed like the aftermath was just beginning.

Six players, including Big Ten Player of the Year candidate D.J. White, skipped practice on Friday, essentially boycotting new head coach Dan Dakich. There were rumors floating around regarding this earlier in the day, but I don't know how many people really thought the players would go through with it. Well, White, fellow starters Armon Bassett and Jamarcus Ellis, as well as reserves Jordan Crawford, DeAndre Thomas and Brandon McGee followed through on their threat and did not attend practice. There were also reports that the players were going to walk-out for Saturday's road game.

Of course, all seemed forgotten later in the day when all six players attended the team walk-through and all 13 players boarded the team plane to head to Northwestern for tonight's game. Furthermore, ESPN's Andy Katz is reporting that the players who did not practice will play tonight against the Wildcats.

Really? So half the team can just skip practice and then play in the game when they all of a sudden have a change of heart and don't have a problem with Dakich? Way to set the tone for the rest of the season in terms of discipline. Digger Phelps is clearly not happy, saying that White -- the Hoosiers' senior captain, by the way -- and the rest of the players should have to sit after their actions.

I agree -- how can someone's first decision as head coach be to let players that don't attend practice to play in the game without any repercussions? It seems like a pretty poor message to the rest of the team if you ask me.

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