Indiana Basketball – Remy Abell’s Mom Too Late Coming to His Rescue

by Kent Sterling

Remy Abell's support system is a little late in helping him out of his decision to transfer.

Remy Abell’s support system is a little late in helping him out of his decision to transfer.

“I’ll take hasty decisions for $500, Alex!”

Michael Pointer of the Indianapolis Star has reported that outgoing sophomore guard Remy Abell’s mom met with Tom Crean to ask him to allow her son to return to the team for his junior season.

There are few means less effective to effect change than by having a parent intercede on your behalf, and even fewer things less enjoyable for a coach than to have a mom in the office for any reason.

Abell’s high school coach told the Star that the reason for his decision to walk away was prompted by both a desire to play more, and due to his friend Cody Zeller leaving IU for the NBA.

And Tom Crean could not care less because he is not the parent to his players – he is the man at the helm of a very important basketball program.  Indiana is better served by having Abell’s scholarship available for one of the incoming freshman, than by Abell’s return.

The decision by Abell may have been made and communicated hastily, but at the point he told Crean of his intention, the ship pulled from the dock.  What port it reaches next is anyone’s guess, but there is no u-turn available – with or without Abell’s Mom’s plea.

The rule in business is that when an employee quits, you shake hands and part friends, if that’s possible.  Seller’s remorse is almost never an option, and for good reason.  The problem that prompted the resignation will remain, and that will eventually undermine the business, and that resignation will eventually be repeated.

An education at Indiana University doesn’t occur only in classrooms.  College is a nice incubator for tomorrow’s employees.  Abell has learned through this episode that petulance is not a good business strategy – assuming that he agrees with his Mom that he should be welcomed back to the Hoosiers basketball team.

Actions have consequences, and if your strategy is to go to your boss with a threat or demand, you need to have a plan B, because if doesn’t share your assessment, your threat might actually be seen as good news.

Jeff Rabjohns of reported a view minutes ago that Abell’s decision will stand.  Of course it will.

12 thoughts on “Indiana Basketball – Remy Abell’s Mom Too Late Coming to His Rescue

  1. Jeff Gregory

    Wow. Now, Abell, a kid that entrusted Crean to help guide his basketball decisions and look out for his basketball best interests is treated like a disgruntled employee? I wonder why> Oh yeah, it is that pesky over-signing thing again.

    Crean told the media that he was going to sit down with Zeller and Oladipo and make sure they make the decision that is best for those kids – do you think parents may be involved in that? Of course! Apparently, Abell didn’t deserve that same consideration.

    I have previously expressed my concern about the shady policy of over-signing. Kent and perhaps others were quick to give Crean the benefit of the doubt. I cautiously was willing to do that to a point, but this little story confirms my suspicions.

    1. Jason

      Umm Jeff,

      For the record Remy himself stood by his decision. He wants to go somewhere he can start.

      Where do you get the data to blame crean for this? Crean needs Remy next year. This was Remy’s decision; twice now.

      Boilermaker I assume.

      1. Jeff Gregory

        Umm Jason,

        No, I am an IU alum. That is why I care about the program and its integrity. If I didn’t, I would be at the win-at-all-cost UK camp.

        You seem to have some details about this story that I haven’t seen. So far, Kent here has been my source. Please share a link if there is more to this story than on this blog.

      2. Jeff Gregory

        I just read the Indy Star story. I will reserve judgment. It doesn’t seem like this story is over. It had a different slant than Kent’s blog piece.

    2. kentsterling Post author

      It’s up to the parent to involve him or herself. If Abell wants to involve his Mom in the discussion, that would be wise. Talking to a bunch of people is always a good idea before making a big decision. It’s not close to Crean’s place to do it for him. These guys are young adults, and the removal of consequences would render mistakes useless.

      If I drove back to St. Louis today and said, “Hey, you know, I was just kidding around a bit,” the people at Hubbard would smile and show me to the door – as they should.

      This doesn’t sound like the result of oversigning, just a kid who played a hand without holding good cards.

      1. Jeff Gregory

        Like I said above, it seems that there is more to the story than I thought. The Star story paints Crean in a better light and made it seem possible that the story isn’t over.

        However, I differ from you in one factor, for sure. I see the relationship between a coach and 19-20 year-old student-athlete much differently than an adult professional and his boss. I don’t believe a coach should take advantage of the immaturity of a student in order to cover his rear end.

        Maybe that isn’t totally the case, but I sure would like to talk to Abell’s mom.

        1. kentsterling Post author

          Not really taking advantage, but preventing a bigger problem later.

          Two things can happen if Crean reversed course – players would believe they can threaten leaving and get somewhere, and a kid who overreacts emotionally gets to mingle with kids who can be easily led. Nothing good enough can come from Abell’s return to justify it.

          1. Jeff Gregory

            Okay, if you interpret what Abell did as a threat, I can see why you take that position. I just don’t see it as a threat. I see it as a kid who was told (despite the statistics) that he would not play and he also lost his bud to the NBA draft. This emotional kid RE-ACTS to that. Threat? I don’t see it.

            I look at it more like if a kid violated team rules and was kicked off the team. Most of the time (unless the violation was particularly serious), the coach takes him back.

            I am not aware of Abell having a record (2 years, mind you) of being over-emotional and making bad decisions. So, I don’t really seeing the contaminating the new recruits an issue.

            I disagree with your last statement. I see a lot of good. The thing that would be the most “good” is that Crean took a step towards protecting the reputation that IU does things the “right way.” That isn’t the talk so much right now.

          2. kentsterling Post author

            You have to be very, very careful about who is invited into and allowed to stay in this culture. When a player turns his back on the culture by announcing that he’s leaving it – holding the door open for his return is bad business.

            That is absolutely the “right way” to handle this episode.

            I’ve been very critical about Tom Crean in some areas, but in this case I would have done exactly the same thing.

  2. Philboyd Studge

    Anybody who has ever played on a team recognizes this for what it is. Crean oversigned, and targeted Abel’s scholarship, then bullied and harassed him until he got it.

    In the end of season “heart-to-heart” Crean basically told the kid he wasn’t going to play, that, “I’m disappointed in your work ethic Remy” or some similar assortment of discouraging words. Properly manipulated, Remy reacts just as Crean knew he would and quits — creating the illusion that he wasn’t booted to solve Crean’s dilemma.

    Oversigning is a nasty, cruel practice. Programs like Kentucky, UNC, Duke, etc. manage to do pretty well without doing it. But Crean is making a yearly policy of it.

    By the way, I recently watched the thrashing Kentucky laid on Indiana in the 2012 NCAA tourney — the 103 point deluge. You know he looked pretty impressive in that game? Remy Abel. He even played a few seconds of defense, almost alone among the Hoosiers.

    1. kentsterling Post author

      You are assuming facts not in evidence. Could it have happened the way you describe? Sure. It also could be that like all non-starters at the end of their sophomore seasons, Abell got antsy.

      Maybe Crean saw the Abell transfer coming, but I think Creek is the sixth scholarship he expected to shake loose.

      And Kentucky was overcommitted, if not oversigned.

  3. shaneskirvin

    i wanted to put out there that before these kids make hasty decisions they should think about what they are doing. Remy probably made a huge mistake for saying he was transferring, but in life if you quit you quit. sorry to see you go Remy i hope your college career ends up a decent story like Malik Story, but in a rat race like college basketball today i stand by tom creans decision. Abell would have bee a great fit in that team next year very similar to oladipo this season…….. his loss


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