The Indiana Hoosiers basketball team have won 5 national championships, 20 Big Ten championships and used to consistently rank in the nations top 25 teams. In 1975–76 Bob Knight led the team to an NCAA championship without losing a game (the last men's Division I squad to achieve this feat). His 1981 team was led to the title by Isiah Thomas, and his 1987 team by Steve Alford. The 1987 championship game was capped by Keith Smart's jumpshot with five seconds left to play over the Syracuse Orangemen. Knight's volatile temper, though, often brought as much controversy to the school as success, and eventually led to his dismissal in 2000 by then-University President Myles Brand.
Many students and alumni protested the Knight firing, and several players threatened to transfer unless Knight assistant Mike Davis was chosen to replace Knight. Davis ultimately got the job and took the team to the 2002 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament title game. After this initial success, however, the team struggled under Davis. On February 16, 2006, Davis announced he would resign but remain with the team for the rest of the 2006 season.
On March 28, 2006, Kelvin Sampson, formerly head coach at the University of Oklahoma, was named the successor. On October 14, 2007, he was found to have violated a 3-way phone conversation sanction imposed on him by the NCAA while he coached at Oklahoma. He and his staff were also charged with making more than the maximum alloted number of phone calls allowed under NCAA rules and giving inappropriate gifts to a recruit during a meeting deemed to be against NCAA rules. Indiana University punished Sampson by denying him a previously scheduled $500,000 raise, compelling one of his assistant coaches to resign, and taking away one of his scholarships for the 2008-2009 season.
On February 8, 2008, the NCAA informed Indiana that Sampson had "knowingly violated telephone recruiting restrictions and then lied about it." After launching another internal investigation, Indiana University announced on February 22, 2008, that Kelvin Sampson accepted a $750,000 buyout of his contract and resigned as the Indiana University men’s basketball coach. On April 1, 2008, Indiana hired Marquette University coach Tom Crean to succeed interim head coach Dan Dakich.