Indiana coach Tom Crean clearly subscribes to the five-second rule

Jeff Eisenberg

Tom Crean probably didn't glean much about his team from Thursday night's 99-45 rout of Sam Houston State, but the Indiana coach did learn one important lesson during the game.

TV cameras are always watching.

The Big Ten Network caught Crean drop a piece of gum on the Assembly Hall floor during Thursday's game, pick it up and put it back in his mouth without a second thought. It was a hilarious enough moment that fans on social media poked fun at him for invoking the five-second rule and "SportsCenter" included the clip in its Not Top 10 segment Friday morning.

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Crean caught enough ribbing that he took to Twitter late Friday night to explain himself.

"The gum I dropped was a fresh piece of Dentyne Ice," Crean wrote. "No 5 second rule was in effect. Now, even if it was used, it wouldn't matter. Branch McCracken Court at ASSEMBLY HALL is the cleanest and greatest court around."

Crean isn't the only Big Ten coach TV cameras have caught scooping their gum off the basketball floor. In 2007, Ohio State's Thad Matta sent a wad of chewing gum flying onto the court while yelling at the referees, only to pick it back up and put it back in his mouth.

In Crean's defense, better a fresh piece of gum than one that's half chewed and sticky. Plus, as long as the top-ranked Hoosiers keep winning by 54 points, I'm sure Indiana fans will have no trouble tolerating Crean's questionable etiquette.

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