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Indiana back on track

SPECIAL TO ESPN.COM

The fans at Indiana must be wondering what is going on. It is a wait and see approach following the recent hearings by the NCAA infractions committee looking into the Hoosiers basketball program.

A decision on punishment against the program is likely a month away. The committee will evaluate the situation where former Kelvin Sampson was accused on numerous phone violations.

Tom Crean has come in and already there has been a major housecleaning. Have you ever seen a program depleted the way the Hoosiers have been in such a short time? It was one thing losing a few players to graduation, but the Hoosiers have changed from top to bottom. Some players were not brought back, others left on their own.

While you will need a scorecard to recognize the 2008-09 squad, and Crean has worked hard to rebuild already, Indiana needed some changes. Let me send a message loud and clear to Hoosiers fans -- it will be tough this season, trying to get into the winner's circle against the competition ahead.

The one positive is the arrival of Crean, whose energy, enthusiasm, excitement and passion over what Indiana basketball is all about will be special. Give him three years and I will guarantee you Indiana will be competing for Big Ten honors. Crean knows how to motivate and inspire, so Hoosiers fans should simply be patient.

My friends, sit back and watch this Indiana team work hard and hustle. This will be reminiscent of Kentucky when Rick Pitino came in. Remember when Sports Illustrated ridiculed the Kentucky program on its cover? Then Pitino came in and his kids hustled and scrapped. Eventually he got the players that put them to the unbelievable moment when the team cut down the nets as national champion.

I think something similar will happen. When you represent a program like Indiana or Kentucky, you can get healthy quickly because of the great tradition and reputation. What you need is a leader with a lot of spirit and enthusiasm. Pitino had it in Lexington and now Crean brings it to Bloomington.

You can feel his passion and love for being on that campus. Good things will happen in Hoosier basketball. Fans, just be patient and you will be rewarded.

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