Former Indiana University men's basketball coach Tom Crean went on the The Rex Chapman Show to discuss coaching, the Harbaugh family and Dwyane Wade with the former Kentucky and NBA player. But for Hoosiers fans, Crean's thoughts on taking over at IU in 2008 were notable.
IU fired Kelvin Sampson in February of 2008 for making impermissible phone calls to recruits. Dan Dakich took over as interim coach and Crean was hired prior to the 2008-09 season.
"I had no idea what I was walking into there," Crean said on The Rex Chapman Show. "I found out the first day we had 19 Fs with three-and-a-half weeks left of school, started finding out about the flunked drug tests and that was just the beginning of it.
"I had no idea what I was walking into there. I took the job on a Tuesday, by the following Monday, a (Marquette) vice president said why don’t we treat this like a bad April Fool’s joke and have you come back...
"We would go clean lockers out and find lighters and roach clips. I had a player’s parent try to negotiate down failed tests down, if we got the two failed drug tests wiped out, the player would come back."
Crean would end up with just two returning players for that first season, both walk-ons. The NCAA imposed a three-year probation on the program on top of the self-imposed sanctions due to Sampson's actions and athletic director Rick Greenspan resigned.
The Hoosiers had their fewest wins (6) since the 1915-16 season and went 1-17 in the Big Ten, the program's worst record in an 18-game schedule.
But Crean went on to have a great deal of success at IU, winning the 2013 and 2016 Big Ten titles while coaching players such as Yogi Ferrell, Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo.
"There were regrets during that (first season) but there was a belief we could build it up and the fanbase was so good when we first started," Crean said. "There’s nothing like a sold-out game (at IU). When that game is sold out and the fans are behind you, there’s nothing like it."
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This article originally appeared on Indianapolis Star: IU basketball: Tom Crean on taking over the program with Rex Chapman