Indiana’s Crean apologizes for verbal attack

Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean apologized Monday for starting a confrontation with an Michigan assistant coach moments after Sunday’s game.

In the handshake line after Indiana’s title-clinching 72-71 victory, Crean got in the face of Jeff Meyer, a former Hoosiers assistant coach under Kelvin Sampson. Video of the confrontation shows that Crean accused Meyer of helping “wreck” the program — an apparent reference to the recruiting scandals during Sampson’s tenure.

After the game, Crean refused comment, but he was in a better mood by Monday morning and addressed it on the Big Ten teleconference.

“The one thing I want to get out of the way, because I don’t want it taking away from the game at all, is the professional misunderstanding I had with coach Jeff Meyer after the game,” Crean said. “Later that night, on the way to plane, actually, I talked to him on the telephone. We discussed a couple things; I apologized for that. And in retrospect, I wish I would have never addressed anything after the heat of battle in a game.”

Meyer was not made available for comment after the game, but Michigan coach John Beilein addressed the incident on the same conference call.

“I have seen just a video of it,” said Beilein, who didn’t see the incident live. “Jeff and I discussed it afterwards. I’m not going to comment on another coach or another university. I will say Michigan’s always going to win with class, and they’re going to lose with class. We’re never going to use victory or defeat to vent, as a platform for any frustrations we’re going to have.”

If Michigan can get past Penn State and Wisconsin, they are on course to face the Hoosiers again Saturday in the Big Ten tournament semifinals.