Monday, February 18, 2008
IU's White sprains knee, but Sampson says he'll play vs. Purdue
INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana forward D.J. White has a sprained left knee but is expected to play against Purdue in a key Big Ten game Tuesday night.
D.J. White has a sprained left knee, but the Indiana forward is expected to play against Purdue on Tuesday night.
An MRI on Sunday disclosed the injury, and coach Kelvin Sampson said during a Monday conference call that White's chances of playing were "iffy." He said White "really hyperextended his knee," causing the sprain.
But on his radio show Monday night, Sampson said the team's doctor and trainer had cleared White to play. He did not say whether White would start.
Sampson said White "did some things" in practice but did not participate in live drills.
"He went skeleton against their offense and defense [in walkthroughs], and he did some shooting drills. I think he'll be all right," Sampson said.
Purdue (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 14 AP) has won 11 straight, and the game at Indiana (No. 14 ESPN/USA Today, No. 15 AP) will be a showdown between two of the Big Ten's top teams.
White, the Hoosiers' primary inside threat, is a leading contender for the conference's player of the year award. He is the Big Ten's top rebounder and No. 2 scorer.
White landed awkwardly on his left leg and rolled out of bounds during the first half of Saturday's 80-61 win over Michigan State. He was helped to the locker room and didn't return to the sidelines until late in the second half.
When White went down, it looked like more bad news for the Hoosiers, who are in the midst of a recruiting scandal surrounding Sampson and his staff.
University president Michael McRobbie said Friday the school will conduct a new investigation into NCAA accusations that Sampson committed five major rules violations. Results were expected by the end of the week.
A school investigation last year revealed Sampson and his assistants made more than 100 impermissible calls. That occurred while Sampson was on NCAA probation for making 577 improper phone calls between 2000 and 2004 while coaching Oklahoma.
An NCAA report accused Sampson of providing false and misleading information to university and NCAA investigators, failing to promote a high standard of honesty in the program and not promoting an atmosphere of compliance.
Sampson says he never intentionally provided false or misleading information to NCAA investigators.
For the second straight home game Saturday, Sampson drew more boos than cheers during pregame introductions. But by the end of the big win against then-No. 10 Michigan State, some fans were chanting his name.
He said during the conference call he was happy for his wife and family that the crowd was cheering for him.