Wednesday, April 24, 2013

To Be Fair...

There's a term that many Purdue fans use when talking about IU's scholarship issues and its handling of said issues: Creaning.
Creaning: Creen-ing
noun (slang) 1. The act of forcing a player out of IU's basketball program due to oversigning 2. Cleaning out the old rusty guys on the roster to make room for newer, shinier models 

If it's in the BS dictionary, it must be a word...if it's on the interwebnet, it must be true; so be it.  Let's be honest (IU fans)- if it happened once, we might call it a fluke or isolated event...but each and every year, Coach Forehead has to come up with new and sometimes creative ways of eliminating players that want to play for IU.  These guys all seem to openly want to play for IU...but they can't because their coach loves shiny new things so much that he can't seem to follow the rules.

IU seems to have 14 or 15 players on their roster for the next Spring each season...but the NCAA only allows 13. Thus, something must happen to rectify the situation. Clappy believes the best thing for those players, that are unlucky enough not be the apple of his eye, is to leave that God-foresaken place in the bowels of Indiana; they should thank him...they seldom do.

Capobianco, Roth, Patterson, most-recently, Abell and others have all been Creaned...and as Purdue fans, we point this out to our IU pals. It really isn't right to make a guy leave who has committed to the program; committed to a coach, who is a good kid and whose only crime is that they're not very good and still have eligibility remaining...


When I read this from Purdue's Coach in the wake of Sandi's departure, my antennae arose, and I knew I had to say something about it.
"John Hart's situation was different (than Marcius')...John did not voluntarily leave our team and he did not quit our team."

We're nothing if we're not fair...and while I like Coach Painter a lot, I disagree with his handling of John Hart.  And I'll stick by my statement yesterday, that I agree with the way Purdue has handled Sandi Marcius.

Sure, the moving parts in IU's situations and Purdue's situation are different.  In one, it's a chronic disease that neither the coach, fans nor media will admit is an issue...and because of this, it will continue to happen. IU's God-fearing, ethical, all-around great guy of a coach will continue to treat the guys (that he recruited, by the way) like pawns in a game he's created. It's simply not right; everyone knows it even if they're not willing to admit it.

On the other side of things, Purdue had no scholarship issue in '12/'13...Hart could have stayed.  He would have probably been on the bench a lot...and both he and Painter knew that; Hell, everyone could see that during his fourth year on campus.  But if he wanted to stay, I feel like he should have been able to stay.

He and Painter agreed that a redshirt season was the right thing to do for Hart out of HS.  Hart didn't received no BCS conference offers other than Purdue...and if you remember back that far, you remember his offer/commitment as a shock to about everyone.

Hart could score, but was a pretty incomplete player...when he was on the court at Purdue, we could all see it.  His defense was pretty lousy and he made some poor decisions with the ball...and he didn't progress a whole lot during his time in God's country.  BUT, it wasn't his fault that Matt Painter recruited, offered and signed him.
"There's the door, John."
If you believe Painter is generally a good guy (like I do), and you like him being Purdue's head coach (like I do), you should see this Hart episode as an incongruity that needs to be called out (like I do). If we don't do so as a fanbase, we're no better than IU's lemmings who treat the shiny forehead like an unworthy idol.

I'm glad Painter is a straight-forward guy, not a politician.  He told everyone what happened with Hart...and while he might have thought it'd be best for Hart to move onto a new place, Hart didn't agree. Just like it was a mutual decision for Hart to redshirt, it should have been a mutual decision for him to stay.

Now, if there was an attitude or disciplinary issue that we don't know about, that changes everything...but other than Hart being pals with Barlow, I heard nor seen nothing that points to this.

Before you tell me that Purdue doesn't owe a fifth year guy a scholarship, I obviously know that...but if it was a mostly-coaching decision to not let a player play during his first season on campus, that same coach needs allow an upper classman who sweated and bled for a program to stay if he wants to.

Just because something is legal, doesn't mean it's ethical.

Does Painter's treatment of Hart warrant a pun-based label for him? Probably not...but if IU fans want to take umbrage with Purdue's treatment of a player, they shouldn't be bringing up Sandi, but might want to point to Hart.  If they do, Purdue fans, keep the names "Capobianco" and "Roth" handy for quick usage.


The Brilliant Moron said...

I don't think you're considering the entirety of the John Hart deal. Coach Painter sat down with John and his parents at the end of his 3rd year (his redshirt sophomore season) and they mutually agreed upon a plan where John would play at Purdue for one more year, they would pay for summer school so he could graduate, and then give him a release to be a 5th year transfer.

It was all planned out and agreed upon a year in advance. That was not exactly a Creaning.

I do agree that Coach Painter should be called out if/when he starts Creaning guys. This John Hard deal sort of seems like a Creaning gray area.

boilerdowd said...

Sounds like an excuse to me...and contradicts what Painter said in the conference- that his leaving was NOT his choice...

So- how could it be mutual if it wasn't his choice?

Let's be fair, right?

WinamacBoiler said...

Add Creek to that list?

Kodiak33 said...

Creek wasn't Creaned, they have one scholarship open now

Maybe this will sound like another excuse...but there was still room for Hart on the team with scholarships. Therefore, Painter probably told him, and he talked about this yesterday, that Hart and his family sat down with Painter to talk about options. He could have stayed if he really wanted, but Painter had to draw that definite line between Chooch and Hart by saying voluntarily.

Painter did say that Hart had options, and I think one of those was to still be on the team. Why would Painter revoke a scholarship if he didn't need to? He wouldn't care about the money, and they had room for another player on scholarship.

WinamacBoiler said...

Are you saying Creek wasn't Creaned because you know the story or because they have an open scholarship? The latter means very little if Clappy thinks he can upgrade; it just gives him more room to recruit.

Kodiak33 said...

I definitely don't know the story, but he is at least graduating and they are not oversigned.

Plus Creek has a baby, so maybe he needs family help.

WinamacBoiler said...

Agreed, but I find it hard to believe he wasn't shown the door. To your point, he was allowed to graduate at least.

BoilerFitz said...

I agree with Kodiak's first post regarding the interpretation of the word "voluntarily" in this situation.

Considering all the circumstances (open scholly, incoming recruits, etc), I think Painter used that term to indicate that he (Painter) is the one who approached Hart, was up front with him about his future role or lack thereof and advised that he may want to look elsewhere if his priority was max playing time. Not that Hart was outright forced to leave against his will. IF it did indeed go down that way, I'd say it was actually a commendable approach by MP to be upfront with JH, even though it disadvantaged the team by giving them one less scholarship player than everybody else.

Whereas, with Sandi, he voluntarily brought up the idea of leaving the program on his own, without any input from MP.

Regardless, Hart's situation would be most similar to Roth's. And the similarities end with them being guys who didn't play their 5th year at the school where they began.

One ended up playing at another instate D1 program in his hometown after his coach sat down with him over a year in advance and discussed the details of the situation. The scholarship he vacated went to nobody (literally).

The other never got to step on the court again after his coach "informed" him of the situation shortly before his would-be final season by letting him know he could use him as a job reference when applying for jobs. The scholarship he vacated went to a highly touted incoming freshman.

wassaw585 said...

The Brilliant Moron and BoilerFitz I believe are correct here.

Here is the full quote from GBI:
"John Hart's situation was different. He did not voluntarily leave," Painter said. "We met the spring before with his parents and really sat down and mapped out a couple of different scenarios for him going forward, We had talked about (a fifth-year transfer) being a possible scenario for him. They were very forthcoming and upfront in talking about where he was in our program, where I saw him, and what his options were. We had talked about that before and we had a mutually agreed situation. John did not voluntarily leave our team and he did not quit our team. We came together and talked about it well in advance and communicated it and said, 'If this is the scenario, then we will help you along.' And we paid for it financially because it was mutually agreed (upon)."

By saying that Hart didn't "voluntarily leave," he's saying that Hart didn't walk away from the team or out of the blue ask for his release. It sounds like Painter was honest about the likelihood of playing time and the progress that Hart had made, and Hart, his family, and Painter together decided that it might be better for Hart to use the graduate transfer rule to get more playing time. This all apparently happened well in advance and wasn't something that caught Painter or Hart by surprise.

Personally, I think Hart could have been a somewhat valuable piece to the team this past year, with his shooting, experience, and leadership. My guess is that Painter would have liked to have had the added depth, but wasn't torn up about Hart's transfer.

Kodiak33 said...

The main difference between Hart and Roth is that Crean didn't communicate at all to Roth until the press got into it. I don't think people talk about that much. Painter did it the year before, and probably helped lay out school plans and places he might want to go.

boilerdowd said...

I think the timing of Crean's non-renewals/dismissals does make the situations different...but don't think that makes Painter's handling of Hart good or right.

I'm surprised and shocked that not one person who sees fault with this situation is commenting; that makes me lose a bit of respect for our fanbase. When something's not right, it's not right...if you let it go on without speaking up/out about it, you create monsters like Crean and worse.

WinamacBoiler said...

Dowd - I don't know, man. That quote from GBI above, when read in its entirety, sure makes me think Hart didn't get kicked out; he just was told he wasn't going to play if he stayed. If what CMP says in that quote is true, then he went WAAAY beyond honoring his obligations to Hart.

Kodiak33 said...

I know what you're saying Dowd, and I agree. If a player wants to stay, he should be able to stay no matter what. If that was the case, and Painter forced him out by saying "We will no longer offer your scholarship next year. Here are your other options," then that is shitty and bad on Painter (he did say he was in total control of his roster). I am just not totally sure if he told John about his PT and John made the choice to go elsewhere or Painter forced him out.

If the first part is the definite case, I totally agree with you. I need to see a scholarship chart from that year because Painter was definitely still going after Harris.

Boilergal said...

Sorry, BDowd, I have to side with WB and others on this one. When the quote is read in its entirety, I don't see anything wrong with the handling of Hart. Also, Purdue was not short on scholarships for the season, there was room for Hart to stay. Choosing the select 2 lines and drawing your interpretation from that alone is misrepresenting the situation... just like John did today over at CQ. To be fair, I don't think that anyone can honestly say that Creek or Abel were "Creaned" this season. IU now has an extra scholly for next year and their situation actually worked itself out without pushing someone out the door. (Roth, however, was "Creaned")

J Money said...

Expect a Handsome Hour soon where we will delve into this further. Let's hope for an on-air fistfight. I would say hair pulling but if you've seen bdowd, well, no chance of that.

WinamacBoiler said...

Belaboring, but to Kodiak's point:

If he was shown door, albeit politely, compassionately, and in a financially generous manner, it's wrong. If he was told he could stay and keep his scholarship but would sit his ass on the bench, and chose to leave, then I'm good.

It will be interesting to see if someone gets Hart on the record. I'm sure people are trying from both sides....

Kodiak33 said...

Eh, I think Abel was. They didn't have a spot for him...and his mother went to Bloomington to talk to Crean after it was done.

Is the next Handsome Hour scheduled yet?

Boilergal said...

I don't see why Abel would have been chosen to be Creaned... he would have been a contributor to the team next season, at this point, they now have 1 guard with B1G experience on the roster? Creek never would have received the minutes that Abel would have. Crean continued to make offers to 2013 kids after Abel had announced he was leaving, which makes me think he knew Creek was most likely going. Why leave an open scholly when he could have kept Abel to fill that scholly? I realize that IU's class is "OMG great" next season, but leaving Yogi as the only guard with real experience does not seem to make sense to me.

Kodiak33 said...

I meant I think Abel got forced out, he would definitely have playing time...therefore I think he was Creaned.

KevinB said...

Sorry Bdowd, but when I first read the quote, I didn't think it meant that Painter had forced him out. When I read the voluntarily part, I thought that meant that he didn't just pack up and leave like Chooch did. I don't see any problem with what Painter did in the Hart situation, and I don't see that as taking a blind eye to Painter.

boilerdowd said...

I've read the quotes, heard the interview and think this is a slippery slope.

I'm also sure that if this precise situation happened at MSU or IU, many of you who are being lenient would be critical of Izzo or Crean (correctly, mind you).

Regardless if Painter told Hart he had to leave two years early, a year before or following his fourth year on campus, I still have a problem with it. And as I said, it's better than Crean's handling...and still not right.

If Hart wanted to play his final year of eligibility at Purdue and didn't, he was forced out...You can spin it or sugar coat it however you'd like.

I've tried to get a hold of Hart and can't do so. All we have to base this on is Painter's seems honest and damning at the same time.

Tweek said...

I *think* Painter wasn't great in choosing his words for that first sentence. The phrase "John did not voluntarily leave our team..." does imply he was forced out, which would be wrong regardless of when or how Painter did it. But reading the rest, it sounds more like Painter should have phrased this, "John did not volunteer himself to leave our team."

I think he was trying to distinguish between Marcius wanting out despite Painter saying he had a role, and Hart essentially being told if he stayed, the minutes just weren't there for him to see the court.

Reading the whole quote, the rest of the story reads more like Painter was honest about the playing time Hart was going to get, and offered this as a way to get more if he wanted it in that 5th year. I didn't get the sense that there was ever a "you're not allowed to stay" line in the sand. And they payed for his maymester because Painter was fair and understood that he should get to see the court somewhere in that year he had left.

I think the tale Painter tells isn't super clear. But I'm willing to give some benefit of the doubt because his has a history of being honest and fair.

If Hart was told "you can't come back," I'm totally on your side. And I'd really like to hear what Hart has to say. I just don't think that's actually what happened here.

So before you despair about 'the fanbase', I'll bet a lot of people feel the way I do.

BoilerFitz said...

Agree with Tweek and others.

Don't give up on us, BDowd... I think just about everybody posting here agrees with your sentiment that Painter should be called out "if Painter told Hart he had to leave".

It's just that most of us don't think that is what happened. I could see viewing it that way if you take one sentence (one word even) out of context. But reading Painter's comments in their entirety makes it seem much more like it was ultimately a mutual agreement, regardless of who broached the topic.

There was a time and place where I looked at things through my gold-and-black colored glasses, but I've outgrown that over the years. Given his track record of straightforwardness and the details of this particular story, I don't think you need to do any spinning to exonerate Painter here.