On Tuesday, Indiana’s star guard Yogi Ferrell spoke to the media for the first time regarding the drama currently swirling around the Hoosier program.
“We, the Indiana basketball team, have let down our fans, family and friends, and those before that have made Indiana basketball what it is today,” said Ferrell, according to the Indy Star. Since February, six players have had incidents involving alcohol or drugs that have either gotten them in trouble or sent to the hospital. On Monday, news leaked that Troy Williams and Stanford Robinson would be suspended for failed drug tests, a story that broke just two days after Devin Davis was knocked unconscious by a car driven by teammate Emmitt Holt. “We are embarrassed by our actions, even I have made mistakes. I have owned up to those mistakes. Me, being a leader of the team, I have to hold guys more accountable to their actions and what those actions can do to this program.”
The off-the-court issues combined with head coach Tom Crean’s inability to turn Indiana back into a Big Ten powerhouse has resulted in calls being made for his job, most notably by new local columnist Gregg Doyel. There have been reports that Crean has lost the locker room, and the fan base is clearly fed up with his tenure.
“The root cause is the entire team, ourselves,” Ferrell added, defending his coach. “It has nothing to do with the coaching staff. Coaching staff is great … get us ready for each game. It’s just with the team. We don’t hold each other accountable.”
Whoever you decide to pin blame on, what’s inarguable is that this is the most important season in Crean’s tenure. If they can’t build on last year’s 17-15 season, he may be out of a job come March, $12 million buyout or not.