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Kelvin Sampson, Once Banned, Gets Houston Coaching Job

040214-NBA-Houston-Rockets-assistant-coach-Kelvin-Sampson-PI.vadapt.955.medium.78Kelvin Sampson, who was banned from college coaching for five years for cheating at Oklahoma and Indiana, was named head coach of Houston in a move the Cougars hope will return their program to prominence.

Sampson spent the past three seasons as a top assistant coach with the Houston Rockets of the NBA. At 58, he returns to the college ranks for the first time since 2008, when he received a five-year show-cause penalty — the harshest the NCAA can levy against an individual — for repeated violations involving impermissible and excessive telephone calls and text messages to recruits who landed his last two schools, Oklahoma and Indiana, on probation.

UH vice president for intercollegiate athletics Mack Rhoades said he spoke to former employers and co-workers of Sampson during the hiring process, as well as current and former NCAA officials.

“Those reviews were extremely encouraging,” Rhoades said, “and in multiple meetings with Kelvin, he was candid and completely transparent about his mistakes in the past.

“Coach Sampson is committed to leading a first-class program in all areas and is excited to return to the college game.”

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