Indiana AD vague, says 'philosophical differences' led to Kevin Wilson's resignation from Hoosiers

kevin-wilson-hoosiers-1201.jpg
USA TODAY

Indiana AD vague, says 'philosophical differences' led to Kevin Wilson's resignation from Hoosiers

Philosophical differences. Apparently that's what brought Kevin Wilson's six-season tenure at Indiana to an end on Thursday.

After reports of Wilson's firing filtering in throughout the day Thursday, Indiana athletics director Fred Glass announced Thursday night that Wilson resigned from his position not a year after agreeing to a six-year contract extension in January.

Glass was incredibly vague throughout his lengthy press conference, alluding solely to general disagreements he and Wilson had over the leadership of the football program. Wilson will receive his base salary of around a half a million dollars over the next year but won't get anywhere close to the approximately $11 million left on his recently extended deal.

Succeeding Wilson not in an interim role but as the new permanent head football coach of the Hoosiers is defensive coordinator Tom Allen, who did a great job transforming a formerly paper-thin defense into a solid unit in just his first season with the program. Glass said Allen has a six-year deal as the new head coach.

Reports Thursday indicated the situation involving Wilson might have been a replay of the one that played out a year ago in Champaign, when Tim Beckman was fired as the head football coach at Illinois after an investigation into that program found support for claims that Beckman mistreated his players by forcing them to play while injured and holding an inappropriate amount of influence over the training staff.

Glass didn't do much to directly respond to those reports during his press conference but did emphasize that an outside law firm did take a look at the Indiana program and found no medical wrongdoing and that the program's medical staff was doing exactly what it was supposed to be doing, seemingly dismissing the idea that Wilson was doing the same kind of things Beckman was at Illinois.

Glass said there was no "smoking gun" or "precipitating event" that led to the separation between Wilson and Indiana. Glass did make some comments that might've been in the ballpark of condemning an old-school approach to coaching, one Wilson was described as having by outside observers Thursday on social media. But that could also be reading into something that's not there.

Glass failed to move beyond the "philosophical differences" line, saying that issues between him and Wilson he thought were behind them — enough so to give the coach a six-year contract extension less than a year ago — bubbled up again recently.

The mention of "a pretty good run" seemed somewhat flippant considering Wilson was taking the Hoosiers to places they hadn't been in more than two decades. Indiana punched its ticket to a second consecutive bowl game with a win over rival Purdue last weekend, something this program hadn't done since 1991.

But again, Glass pointed to differences in the approach to leadership being the sticking point here, not football.

The end of an increasingly successful era for a program that has historically not experienced much success at all on the field perhaps stemmed from a not much more than a frayed relationship between an athletics director and a head football coach.

Kansas mops the floor with another Big Ten team as Purdue bounced from NCAA tournament

Kansas mops the floor with another Big Ten team as Purdue bounced from NCAA tournament

Purdue was hands-down the best team in the Big Ten this season. But when it's all said and done at the end of this NCAA tournament, Kansas might be the best team in the country.

The Jayhawks proved to be just way too much for the Boilermakers in Thursday night's Sweet Sixteen matchup, using a monster second half to sprint away from the Big Ten regular-season champs and win by a 98-66 score.

Purdue's season came to an end with the loss, though it will be a memorable campaign, one that stretched to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2010.

But much like it did this past weekend against Michigan State, Kansas exploded on a massive second-half run and went from a narrow lead to an gargantuan one in a hurry, flexing its muscles as perhaps the best team remaining in this tournament field.

The incredibly talented duo of Frank Mason III and Josh Jackson scorched the Boilers, combining for 41 points. But it was actually Devonte' Graham that along with Mason led the Jayhawks with 26 points.

Kansas shot 53.6 percent from 3-point range on the night, splashing home 15 of the 28 triples it hoisted.

Purdue's own player of the year candidate, Caleb Swanigan, helped the team stay alive in the early stages of the second half after a 20-7 run gave Kansas a seven-point lead at halftime. After an ugly first half for the Big Ten Player of the Year — six points, two rebounds, 1-for-2 from the field, four turnovers — Swanigan's third 3-pointer of the night cut the gap to just two about three and a half minutes into the second half.

But that's when the Jayhawks took off, putting together an eye-popping 31-9 run to turn that two-point advantage into a 24-point lead in little more than 10 minutes. At one point, Kansas scored eight straight to grab its first double-digit lead of the night, the capper to that burst a Jackson 3-pointer that seemed to end the game right then and there despite the ample amount of time remaining on the clock.

When it was all over, Kansas outscored Purdue 45-15 from that two-point deficit at 53-51.

Swanigan, despite that poor first half, finished with 18 points and seven rebounds. Vincent Edwards, who scored a combined 42 points in the first two games of this tournament, had himself an quiet night with just eight points.

Purdue shot 55.6 percent in the first half but just 31 percent over the game's final 20 minutes. The Boilers also turned the ball over 16 times, leading to a boatload of points for the Jayhawks.

The win advanced Kansas to the Elite Eight, where it will take on Oregon, which beat Purdue's conference-mate Michigan earlier Thursday night. The Jayhawks have been piling up the points in the tournament and became the first team to score 90 or more points in each of its first three tournament games in 22 years.

The loss brought an end to things for Purdue, which had a terrific season despite the blowout finish. The Boilers won the Big Ten title outright and made their third Sweet Sixteen under Matt Painter.

Michigan's magical March ends in one-point loss to Oregon in Sweet Sixteen

Michigan's magical March ends in one-point loss to Oregon in Sweet Sixteen

Michigan's March magic finally ran out.

The guy who's been so fantastic throughout his senior season, point guard Derrick Walton Jr., missed a game-winning 3-point try at the buzzer, and the Wolverines fell to the Oregon Ducks by a 69-68 final score in the Sweet Sixteen.

It was an incredibly competitive game between the Big Ten Tournament champs and the Pac-12 regular-season champs, with neither side ever leading by more than six.

But Moe Wagner, who scored a career-high 26 points in Michigan's second-round win over Louisville, was pretty much a non-factor in this one, scoring just seven points on 3-for-10 shooting.

Still, seniors Walton and Zak Irvin kept an unusually cold-shooting group of Wolverines alive with a combined 39 points, 23 of which came after halftime. D.J. Wilson also scored in double figures with 12, all coming on 3-pointers.

But Michigan, which had been on fire offensively for much of the last month, shot just 43.1 percent from the field and missed 20 of its 31 shots from behind the arc.

The Wolverines actually shot under 40 percent over the opening 20 minutes as the two defenses did good work for these typically high-scoring squads. Michigan turned the ball over seven times before the break but trailed by just two as it went to the locker room.

The tit-for-tat nature of the game continued at the outset of the second half before Oregon reached its game-high six-point lead, but Michigan responded with seven straight and grabbed its first lead of the second half around the 11-minute mark. The Ducks answered that mini surge with six straight of their own, part of a larger 10-4 spurt, before Wilson and Walton hit back-to-back triples to once again give the Wolverines a narrow advantage, this time with a little more than four minutes remaining.

Oregon and Irvin traded buckets from there, and a Walton jumper was Michigan's sixth straight make from the field, putting the Wolverines up three with under two minutes to play. But Michigan didn't score again, and Jordan Bell and Tyler Dorsey got back-to-back layups, the latter the game-winning one ahead of Walton's missed 3-point attempt as time ran out.

Dorsey was fantastic for the Ducks, scoring 20 points, his sixth straight game with at least 20 points. Bell had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Oregon advanced to its second straight Elite Eight with the win.

Michigan's entertaining end-of-season run is over. Entering Thursday night's game in Kansas City, the Wolverines had won seven straight and 10 of their last 12. Those two losses came by a combined seven points. Add this loss in and just eight points separated Michigan from 13 consecutive wins.

Certainly this group of Wolverines will be remembered for its sensational four wins in four days at the Big Ten Tournament after that horrifying aborted takeoff, as well as for reaching the third Sweet Sixteen in the last five seasons under John Beilein.