Crean knows it will be hard work get­ting Hoosiers righted

For­mer Mar­quette coach ready to re­build In­di­ana

The Covington News - - Sports - By Michael Marot

BLOOM­ING­TON, Ind. — Pas­sion led Tom Crean to In­di­ana. Suc­cess could turn him into a statewide folk hero.

The for­mer Mar­quette coach jumped right into the high-stakes game of Hoosiers bas­ket­ball on Wed­nes­day, ac­cept­ing the chal­lenge of re­build­ing the school’s tat­tered rep­u­ta­tion and restor­ing its na­tional ap­peal de­spite all the blem- ishes sur­round­ing the pro­gram.

“This place, this univer­sity, this pro­gram, for as long as I can re­mem­ber, has stood for class and in­tegrity, do­ing the right thing and be­ing the right way,” Crean said dur­ing his in­tro­duc­tory news con­fer­ence. “We’re not go­ing to be over­whelmed by the chal­lenges, we’re go­ing to em­brace them.”

But Crean must deal with the taint of last sea­son when In­di­ana’s once-im­pec­ca­ble im­age for play­ing by the rules was shat­tered by alle- gations of Kelvin Samp­son mak­ing im­per­mis­si­ble phone calls. The NCAA ac­cused Samp­son of com­mit­ting five ma­jor in­frac­tions, which led to his res­ig­na­tion Feb. 22.

The univer­sity’s self-im­posed pun­ish­ment in­cludes the loss of one schol­ar­ship next sea­son.

And, of course, he must win. So In­di­ana is giv­ing Crean some ex­tra time to clean up this mess.

He agreed to an eight-year deal worth $18.24 mil­lion — be­lieved to be the largest in school his­tory.

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