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"Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former."

So goes a quote attributed to Albert Einstein, which appears on the home page of cellphonetherapy.com, a website as defunct as the tenure of Kelvin Sampson, the recently departed basketball coach of Indiana University. It's a shame, because Sampson, the notorious phone-aholic, appears to be on another bender and could use some help.

Only hours after being terminated by IU for repeatedly violating NCAA regulations regarding telephone contact with recruits, and then lying about it (see our previous Indie Sport post, Reading Comprehension), Sampson sent a text message to Armon Bassett, one of the Hoosiers' players, following their first game under interim coach Dan Dakich. "He told me he loved me, he's happy for me and good win," said Bassett.

The sentiments shared in Sampson's message underscore what many of his players have expressed, that they view him as a father figure whose sudden absence is emotionally wrenching. The evidence was abundant in the wake of his departure as players first threatened to boycott, then struggled to win a game over an undermanned Northwestern squad.

One of the real tragedies in this debacle is the attention Sampson is receiving when the season should be about this marvelous IU team. Regardless of how loving or nurturing he believes he's being with his text messages, the last thing his former players need is to have him hovering like an apparition at a time they need to connect with Dakich and extend their success into the NCAA tournament. Unfortunately, like an out of control teen, Kelvin Sampson has demonstrated a remarkable inability to see the big picture, despite the floor-to-ceiling window he's been given.

One of the great aphorisms about parenting is that its twin goals are to give kids roots and wings. Coach, it's time to repair your own damaged roots. Let your flock go; they need, and appear ready, to fly on their own.

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