Tom Crean took some heat Sunday night, despite his team’s dramatic and conference-clinching victory at Michigan, for a postgame tirade directed at Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer. Meyer had been an assistant coach under Kelvin Sampson at Indiana — Sampson was forced out in 2008 and the Hoosiers placed on three years probation, after evidence of illegal recruiting practices surfaced.
At least part of what went down between Crean and Meyer was caught on tape:
The two also allegedly exchanged words during the postgame handshake line — though, there was even conflicting evidence there, which suggested that Crean skipped the handshake line altogether. Either way, Crean said Monday that he contacted Meyer later Sunday night to offer an apology:
Crean: “A professional misunderstanding I had after the game. On the way to the plane, I talked to him on the telephone … I apologized.”
— Nick Baumgardner (@nickbaumgardner) March 11, 2013
Crean’s aggressive, hyperactive personality (plus quick turnaround of a downtrodden Indiana program) has ingrained him among the Indiana fans … and often rubbed opposing coaches and fan bases the wrong way. The Hoosiers’ head coach has had dust-ups in the past with Ohio State coach Thad Matta and Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan.
Crean lingered for an extended period of time on the Crisler Center court Sunday in the aftermath of Indiana’s come-from-behind win. In addition to seeking out Meyer for the above confrontation, Crean and forward Victor Oladipo shared a long embrace in front of the Indiana bench, before that pair and Cody Zeller made their ways over for a TV interview.
Meyer was not made available to the media after the game, and John Beilein did not bring the matter up in any of his postgame comments.