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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Disgraced former Indiana assistant wins appeal, and nothing more

By Eamonn Brennan

Remember when Kelvin Sampson allegedly took those illegal three-way calls with recruits? You know, Sampson was on probation for violations at Oklahoma, and an Indiana intern found some irregularities in Kelvin's monthly phone bill, and the main source of the problem turned out to be a few three-way calls Sampson had an assistant patch through to his house? This was not in the terms of Sampson's probation, and it got him and his entire staff booted from Bloomington tout suite.

That assistant's name was Rob Senderoff. Rob Senderoff, it turns out, got royally screwed. From the Sporting News' Mike DeCourcy:

The NCAA appeals committee rejected the request by former Indiana assistant coach Rob Senderoff to have sanctions against him reduced -- despite agreeing the committee on infractions "abused its discretion" in a number of ways.

Yes, you read that right. The NCAA appeals committee heard Senderoff's case and decided the NCAA's committee on infractions (the NCAA has a lot of committees) overstepped its bounds in punishing Senderoff with a 36-month show-cause order for his role in the Sampson mess. (The show cause penalty means any institution has to show cause for hiring a punished coach; it effectively bans coaches from the college game for the duration of the sentence. Kelvin Sampson, as you might know, is currently a Milwaukee Bucks assistant.)

Having decided Senderoff got screwed, the appeals committee then did the coach a real solid and ... reduced his sentence six months. Yay?

Naturally, Senderoff's lawyer is furious:

"I do not understand how a penalty that is based in significant part on one or more irrelevant factors can be allowed to stand," said attorney Scott Tompsett of Kansas City, who represented Senderoff. "As someone who has been doing this for nearly 20 years, that makes no sense to me."

It probably doesn't make much sense to anyone, but, um, Mr. Tompsett? You know this is the NCAA, right? And that sometimes the NCAA does things that don't make sense at all? We're clear on this point?

Because that is the best explanation at offer here. Sometimes, the NCAA just screws up.