A letter to Coach Tom Crean

Dear Coach Crean:

I am a college basketball fan. I grew up watching and learning basketball from Coach Knight. His coaching lineage includes many coaches and the most important thing they did was communicate openly and honestly.

The recent dismissal of two players by you was a hard call for the you but in the end was the right call for both the players and Indiana. We, Indiana have long been a college basketball power. But and I hear Coach Knight’s voice here, the business of college basketball is graduating young men from college.

Coach used to make sure all the kids that played from him got college degrees (all of them did, some took longer but in the end he graduated 100% of his four year players and if we discount players kicked off the team for infractions his graduation rate was 100% for two and three year players as well). His graduation rate was higher than that of Dean Smith another coach noted more for getting students and helping them graduate than building professional basketball players.

As a loyal fan I’ve watched you carefully. First off you seems to be an honorable man. I suspect he cares deeply for his players and that is why he gave the young men a second chance. One thing very few people knew about Coach Knight was that after his players left IU, and many didn’t have long professional basketball careers he helped them find and get good jobs to provide for their families. He, Coach Knight, was a huge driver for creating a massive library for Indiana University. He raised millions of dollars over the years for the library.

So Coach Crean good job.

You did the right thing. I know it was hard. And frankly balancing potential season against the long term needs of young men you took the harder road. You choose in the end to deliver a message that just because you can dunk a basketball doesn’t in the end mean you don’t have to be a good person.

I do look forward to October and November. As an alumni I root for Indiana in every sport the university plays. I have over the years known coaches, players and managers for the various teams. I am proud to be a Hoosier.

Coach Crean after your decision of this week I am proud you are a Hoosier. I thought you were a great hire five years ago. You came into one of the winningest programs in college basketball history and were asked to clean up a mess left by not following the rules. You’ve done a great job cleaning up the mess and frankly last year there were flashes of just how good a coach you were. A team lacking height and depth actually out preformed where they should have been. The offence you’ve created is simply amazing.

Thank you for standing up. Thank you for being a Hoosier. Perhaps for the first game this year you should wear the candy stripes over your suit and pull them off when the game starts. Those uniforms show that you play and preform for Indiana University and Coach Crean you’ve earned your Candy Stripes!!



Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.