After Indiana won a hard-fought game over Michigan Saturday, Tom Crean turned the attention from his team to himself. Since then, he has apologized for his actions.
While the teams were shaking hands and heading into the locker room, the head coach had a heated exchange with former Indiana and current Michigan assistant coach Jeff Meyer.
According to Zak Keefer of USA Today, Crean aggressively went to Meyer and yelled "You know what you did, you helped wreck our program."
The head coach was then separated from the incident by one of his assistant coaches, but the incident was caught by WRTV-6 in Indianapolis.
Meyer was an assistant under Kelvin Sampson before Crean came to the school from Marquette. During that time, the Hoosiers were found guilty of various recruiting violations and were placed on probation for three years.
Of course, the assistant was cleared of all wrongdoing by the NCAA, according to Doug Wilson of the Hoosier Scoop (h/t MLive.com). Still, it is clear that the entire fanbase will continue to have resentment toward a person that had at least a partial role in the decline of a proud program.
It took a lot of effort to come back to the top, and this team, especially the seniors, was a big part of the recovery. Winning the Big Ten regular season title should have been the culmination of a great rebuilding process under Crean. Unfortunately, the focus is once again on the dark times.
However, the head coach did offer a private apology to Meyer following the on-court incident, according to ESPN's Andy Katz:
Andy Katz @ESPNAndyKatz
Indiana coach Tom Crean in a text said he apologized to Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer for his on-court confrontation.3/11/2013, 1:59:51 PM
In a Big Ten teleconference, Crean stated (via USA Today):
On the way to the plane, I talked to him on the telephone. We talked about some things, and I apologized. In retrospect, I wish I would have never addressed anything in the heat of the battle.
Crean is correct that he should have waited for a better time to get these thoughts off his chest. With fans and cameras all around, you do not want to act like a crazy person, even if you think you are correct.
Besides, anything that Meyer allegedly did happened before Crean came into town. It was not his program during these violations. He suffered the consequence, but the past should be left behind.
Hopefully, the apology will put this incident behind us and allow us to move into what should be an exciting Big Ten tournament.
Then again, do not be surprised if this issue comes up again if these two teams meet in the semifinals.