This has given ammunition to the (coincidentally, white) Knight followers who forgive the litany of excesses from him because of national championships twenty years ago, but cannot stomach a few extra phone calls. Phone calls to recruits that wouldn't give Knight's Indiana program a first, let alone second look.
From the Indy Star:
Reaction by former IU players Monday was swift and harsh. Kent Benson, a two-time All-American, called the situation “a total travesty.”
Ted Kitchel, another former All-American who previously criticized Sampson’s hiring by saying he “wouldn’t hire that guy to coach my fifth-grade girls team,” said the new reports suggest Sampson does not believe rules apply to him.
Joe Hillman, a member of the 1987 national championship team, said it’s embarrassing to “the program, the university and to Rick Greenspan.”
Benson, in particular, blasted the university. “I’m absolutely, totally embarrassed for the Indiana basketball program,” Benson said. “They need to do the right thing. If no tolerance means no tolerance, they get rid of him. And Greenspan should be right behind.”
A teammate of Benson on the '76 championship team, Bobby Wilkerson (coincidentally, black), feels differently:
“All coaches advertently or inadvertently make those mistakes,” Wilkerson said. “He hasn’t done anything other coaches haven’t done. They have a million rules. I think he’s a good coach. He’s a coach IU can grow with. I support him 100 percent.”
Seems to me Benson, in particular, is carrying water for Knight. To continue to beat the drum about "zero tolerence" tells you what this really all about.
I agree with Wilkerson about everything he said.