March 16, 2017 4:21 PM
Glass: Crean's tenure 'too inconsistent'
CHRIS GOFF | The Journal Gazette
Athletic director Fred Glass explained Indiana's decision to fire Tom Crean during Glass' news conference Thursday. Let's run down the takeaways from Glass' remarks and what the Hoosiers might be seeking in their next coach.
* "Our No. 1 priority is to (have a coach who will) play by the rules," Glass said of the search. "We don't want anybody that's been associated with significant NCAA infractions." Glass specified that Crean's firing was only due to "inconsistent athletic performance," that there were no other issues involved with Crean, who never has been in trouble with the NCAA, unlike predecessor Kelvin Sampson.
* Glass said it's a given that the next coach has to fit the culture and value academics and the players' well-being as human beings.
* Glass expects "great interest" in the job, and he said he "doesn't accept" any notion it this isn't an elite job. He said being coach at Indiana is one of the best jobs in the country.
* The school's internal standards are as high as ever. "Looking forward, we could be a powerhouse to be reckoned with, with the right leadership," Glass said. "I'm confident we'll get the coach we need to meet our expectations."
* Don't expect a quick hire, Glass said. He'll take all the time he needs to get this right.
* "To me, IU ties is a double-check plus," Glass said of what's he's looking for. "Being from the state of Indiana is a double-check plus."
* Glass said college coaching experience is not a prerequisite, which could mean former NBA coach Mike Woodson, who was a Hoosier in his playing days, has a shot if interested.
* Glass said he's reached out to Indiana's players through text and email, but it's spring break, so he hasn't seen them in person. "Players are very supportive of him," Glass said. "Coach Crean connects with the guys."
* Glass said he's already reached out to incoming recruits Justin Smith, Al Durham and Clifton Moore to bring them up to speed.
* Glass said Crean will receive all financial compensation as stipulated by his contract, which means the $4 million buyout will be paid in full. Glass said that's a payment that will be made over time, not all at once. "That's a lot of money, but we can commit to that," Glass said. "The buyout was a non-issue. In 2014, there was talk the buyout was keeping his job. I'm telling you it was not."
* Wednesday night is when Glass said he arrived at the decision to fire Crean. "Last night, after I really had a chance to absorb everything, I felt it would be bad for everybody to leave him twisting," said Glass, who informed Crean Thursday morning.
* Crean's contract was due to expire in 2020, which was just close enough into the future as to cause Crean problems in recruiting. "Three years left on his contract, it seemed at this time I either needed to extend his contract or make a change," Glass said. "I concluded the extension wasn't something I was prepared to do. It's just been too inconsistent for our expectations." Glass said he was tempted to let Crean stay on as coach even without a contract extension but ultimately decided that would have created a situation in which Crean was viewed as a lame duck. Glass credited Crean for being willing to continue as coach without an extension.
* Glass simply said of Crean, "He loves Indiana." Glass seemed truly appreciative of Crean's work and said Crean left the program in a much better place than when he found it. Glass said those initial three seasons saw some of Crean's best work "holding it together with spit and chewing gum and duct tape."
* "Resources will not prevent us from getting who we want," Glass said. "We can't overstate what a big deal this hire is."