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ESPN's Outside the Lines to examine alleged IU mistreatment of athletes

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Saturday, April 22, 2017 08:32 pm

BLOOMINGTON – The legacy of Kevin Wilson’s Indiana football coaching era lingers, and not in a good way.

ESPN’s Outside The Lines is taking an investigative look into allegations of medical mistreatment of Hoosier athletes. Most of it pertains to football players while Wilson was the head coach, but it also looks into the women’s rowing team, and how IU handled and reported athletic injuries.

The show is set to run Sunday morning at 9 on ESPN, and then again at 10 a.m. on ESPN2 and 11 a.m. on ESPNews.

Wilson was forced to resign on Dec. 1. Athletic director Fred Glass said it was due to “philosophical differences,” but declined to say what they were. Then two former players, receiver Dominique Booth (concussion) and defensive lineman Nick Carovillano (back) said their injuries weren’t treated properly.

One allegation was that Wilson pressured athletes into returning before they were healed and pressured the medical staff to clear players before they were ready.

In 2015 IU investigated the allegations, and found no evidence of abuse or mistreatment. Glass said IU athletes received quality care. However, officials decided behavior by the coaches, mostly Wilson, did not create the appropriate environment for the players.

Basically, Wilson would say critical things to injured athletes — whether they were jokes or insults depends on one’s perspective — on when they would return to action. He would say similar things to medical staff. Glass reprimanded Wilson, and the matter was apparently resolved to the point that, early in 2016, Glass gave Wilson a contract extension.

However, Glass said unspecified issues began reoccurring last October and by late November, Glass decided that a change was necessary. Wilson resigned and defensive coordinator Tom Allen was hired to replace him.

In numerous interviews since, Glass has said he is confident IU athletes receive appropriate and quality care.

Wilson has since been hired as the offensive coordinator at Ohio State. Buckeyes athletic director Gene Smith and coach Urban Meyer told Ohio reporters they investigated the matter before hiring  him. Wilson told reporters there the allegations are false.

In an ironic twist, the Hoosiers will host Ohio State in the season opener on Aug. 31.

During an early March interview with Ohio State media, Wilson said he wouldn’t be with the Buckeyes if the allegations were true. He said IU’s investigation found no evidence of mistreated players. He said the program he built was based on love and respect, which is how it went from a losing program to one that has made two straight bowl games. He also said that as a coach, just like a player, you’re always trying to get better.


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