If you’re not caught up on what happened, it’s pretty simple: Indiana came into this summer with 14 players promised a scholarship and just 13 scholarships to give out. That didn’t include Roth, who had played four years with the Hoosiers but was granted a fifth-year of eligibility as a result of an injury during his sophomore season.
The issue was settled when Ron Patterson left Indiana to spend this season at Brewster Academy, but it still meant that Roth was without a home. And when asked by Dustin Dopirak about his status, Roth seemed, well, out of the loop. “You kind of put one and one together there,” he said, mentioning how he and Tom Crean had never had a formal discussion on the matter. And frankly, that seemed unfair.
I wasn’t the only person that read between the lines. Unfortunately, something got lost in translation, and Roth spoke at length with Jeff Rabjohns of Peegs.com in an effort to clear the air and clarify his words:
“I knew at the end of the season, I was in a very unique situation. I realized I was on pace to finish my master’s degree in the spring and that would set me up to begin pursuing work in sports administration. I knew I’d have a lot of options with the popularity of the fifth-year transfer rule to find another program with a different kind of degree. At the same time, I knew there was an outside chance I could stay and play at Indiana and pursue another academic achievement,” Roth said.
“At the time, I had several talks with the coaches. I was very aware there were several things that would have to happen for a scholarship to open up with the recruiting success IU is having and the return of IU basketball to where it should be.”
“I was well aware of all that. They did everything in their power. There were a lot of things they could not control. I was well aware of that.”
“Coach Crean and the whole coaching staff did a great job of keeping me in the loop, helping me as a person, not just as an athlete. They were helping me in both phases.”
It’s still a tough break for a kid that played for years and earned two degrees, but a bitter pill is easier to swallow when you know it’s coming.