Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Would You Take A Tainted Title?

I had an interesting email conversation with PPierce and the great Mark P this afternoon and it spawned this blog post. We at MTAC were in the minority when Indiana hired Kelvin Sampson two years ago. He won with JUCO guys and played a tough, defensive style of ball. He got to a Final Four at a Football school and his teams always won. Mark P, an Indiana grad, has been back and forth on the Kelvin Sampson situation. P brings this perspective: as i've said all along, I was blinded by winning, and i just kinda like Kelvin. This is where the argument gets interesting and the question is put out there: If your school could win a National Title now, then you found out a few years later it was tainted by violations, would it be worth it and would you take it? Here is the back and forth. Interesting read: (FYI - PPierce and I are Kansas grads)

MTAC: Kelvin is a likeable guy. I'm with you - give me the guy who wins. Larry Brown got KU on probation, but he got us a title and everyone still loves him in Lawrence.

PPierce: You would have a different opinion if Bill Self got our school into trouble giving us sanctions and post season bans. You don't want a coach who gets your school in trouble with the NCAA. that doesn't help your program much.

MTAC: If he won me a title first, I wouldnt care. Its worth it to me.

Mark P: What if it were one of those titles where they'd have to later pull the banner down and pretend it didnt happen?

PPierce: You don't want a title with tainted recruits. Look at what happened to the Fab Five. Erased from the record book, like they never happened.

MTAC: Don't care....You can't replace that moment of winning it all. That would never be lost on me.

PPierce: My man is desperate for a title.

MTAC: Do you think the Fab Five was really erased? I remember them quite well. Not to mention that was a Football school who sold out to win in hoops. different story.

Mark P: I kind of agree...you think if all of the sudden they find out that Belichick was filming stuff during Super Bowls that led to the win New Englanders will erase those victories from their minds?

PPierce: They cheated to get there. To me it doesn't count. If i win, i want to win above board.

MTAC: You are full of shit. Think about if we won this year. You would never forget that night and the run. It would live with you forever. But say 5 years from now it came out that Self illegally recruited Arthur and Rush and we got three years probation and one year postseason ban. You wouldn't trade that for the title???? You are crazy.

PPierce: I wouldn't want a title that way.

MTAC: I guess you are a better man than me.

PPierce: Oh Whatever.

MTAC: I'll take a title anyway I can get it. See, you are spoiled because you had MJ win you six titles. You don't know what it's like to be me.

Mark P: Here we go again.....

MTAC: Its true!!! I wont go into my list of disappointments again. See the heading of my blog.

PPierce: It has nothing to do with ethics or morals for me. I've put so much time, effort and $ into this team, that if we do ever finally win it, i don't want it to be tainted and have to watch the banners come down 3 years later and listen to all the ridicule. I want it to be legit.

MTAC: There's an easy answer for that and its four words: Get a thicker skin.

The bottom line here is that I've lived almost 31 full years on this earth and I'm an absolute die-hard for my teams, and I have yet to have that moment. The moment where my team is the undisputed #1. I want that one night. I thought this year the Indians were going to give it to me. But they fell short. My teams always fall short. Kansas has a great shot this year. But again, I want that one night. Something that will live with me for the rest of my life. Is that too much to ask for? I don't care how it comes, I just want that feeling. I'm sure next to the birth of my son, it will be the greatest moment of my life. I know that sounds ridiculous. but it's the truth. If it ended up being tainted by scandal a few years later, so be it. That night and that feeling wouldn't be erased from my mind. The question remains for you out there: Would you take a tainted title?

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