Blog Entry

Random act of kindness from IU's Crean

Posted on: September 8, 2011 12:29 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 12:34 pm

By Gary Parrish

Tom Crean has struggled to rebuild Indiana while rival programs flourish all around him.

That's a tough, tough deal.

John Calipari has Kentucky operating at a different level than almost everybody, Brad Stevens has turned Butler into a national brand, and Matt Painter has established himself as one of the nation's premier coaches at Purdue. Meantime, Crean has gone 8-46 in the Big Ten through his first three years at IU. But fans still remain hopeful because recruiting is now going very well.

And stories like this don't hurt either ...
[There is student] at Indiana [who] was finding his adjustment to college a difficult one. Crean saw the young man sitting in the lobby of the basketball practice facility recently and noticed him a couple of times as he went in and out of the basketball offices. He also noticed that the young man appeared to be very upset. Crean invited the student into his office and proceeded to hear his story and counseled the young man on how difficult the transition to college can be and encouraged him to stick with it. He also introduced the student to the rest of his staff and he got him an opportunity to work around the basketball program as a member of the athletic department.
That's a story from David Kaplan at that I stumbled upon thanks to's Eamonn Brennan.

A reader apparently called Kaplan and relayed the tale.

Kaplan called Crean for comment.

Crean declined.

But here's the rest of Kaplan's post.
The young man had turned off his cell phone after telling his parents that he needed to take a walk and think and his parents were very worried when they were unable to reach him. When Crean inquired as to whether the young man had spoken with his parents recently the young man said no. Crean called the parents, gave them his personal contact information and told them he would look out for their son. After arranging for a job in the athletic department the young man is reported to be doing very well and has adjusted to life away from home.
Will stories like this help Crean challenge Tom Izzo, Thad Matta and Bo Ryan in the Big Ten?

Of course not.

But it sure is a helluva nice story.

And my guess is that even the IU fans who are tired of losing smiled a bit when they read it.

Category: NCAAB

Since: Dec 5, 2006
Posted on: September 8, 2011 11:01 pm

Random act of kindness from IU's Crean

Too often our pages are cluttered with senseless actions and sensational stories negatively painting the picture that college athletics is all about greed and corruption. How refreshing to read of a human interest story involving a really good coach going through hard times himself. You cannot help but root for him to have a good year and show the turnaround the school is looking for.

As for helping this young man, I suspect if coach Crean would comment, he would mutter something like - just doing what any man would do. Of course we know too well that not just any man would take the time and the care. I have been where that young man seems to have been. I know the hollow pit inside that can develop. And I know that just one human being taking time out to reach out can alter a man's life. This is what the great coaches do - alter young men's (and women's) lives. The basketball is important but the life lessons are so very much more important. We remember John Wooden, first not for his eleven NCAA championships, but for his amazing teaching about life which continued long after he finished coaching basketball. Tom Crean, this tribute is well deserved. Thanks for being who you are.

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