December 28, 2008

Rule-breaking coach a role model?

Kelvin Sampson a Role Model Despite Himself

By Dalton WalkerI've had my eye on Kelvin Sampson for years since I learned he had Native blood. Sampson, a Lumbee Native from North Carolina, is a current assistant coach for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

His coaching career stretches back to 1981 when he got his start at Montana Tech. He coached Washington State, Oklahoma and Indiana, all schools known for solid basketball programs. He was easily the only Native coach at a Division 1 level.

He resigned his post from Indiana in 2008, less than two years after he was hired. Actually, he was forced to resign amid controversy that seemed to follow him from his prior days at OU in Norman, Okla.

Indiana got its hand slapped last month with three-years probation. The controversy was based on illegal telephone recruiting by Sampson.
Comment:  Walker suggests that Sampson is a role model because of his excellent coaching record. And that we should give Sampson another chance.

I'm glad to give him another chance. But I'd say there are many Indians who haven't broken the rules who would be better role models.

Let Sampson serve his penance and rehabilitate himself. Then we can consider whether he deserves "role model" status.

For more on the subject, see Jocks Aren't Good Role Models.

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