Act of courage

Posted by RRR on Jan 13, 2011 at 11:20am | Page Views: 12,140

There are a lot of college coaches out there who talk the talk, but not too many who could have walked the walk that University of Indianapolis head coach LeAnn Freeland made this week. In a courageous move, the fourth-year Greyhounds coach released her team’s leading scorer, Samantha Meissel, from her program.

Meissel (Terre Haute North ’07), who played her last game as a Greyhound on Saturday with 22 points,  7 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block in a close 75-73 win over Maryville, was on the cusp of becoming the leading scorer in UIndy history.  She was just 110 points shy of the historical mark (1,887 points set by Liz Ramsey in 2001), but that is where Meissel’s scoring quest will end.

According to comments made by Freeland in the Indianapolis Star, the 6’2 center was let go because of inappropriate on-court behavior.

“I care about Sam and think she’s a really good person,” Freeland said in the Star. “Unfortunately, a number of times on the court, she demonstrated destructive actions not just toward the opponent, but toward officials and her teammates. They were done both verbally and physically. I addressed it on a number of occasions, but there was no lasting improvement in her behavior.”

The four-year starter had a stellar career at UIndy. As a junior last season, Meissel was named first team All-GLVC, GLVC Player of the Year, first team All-Midwest Region, third team Daktronics All-American and earned honorable mention All-America from the WBCA. The multi-faceted post was averaging 18.8 points and 5.2 rebounds, while shooting nearly 52% from the field (40% from beyond the arc) in her senior season.

To say that she was a big part of the Greyhounds offense is an understatement, and to release Meissel, Freeland must have felt that she had no choice in order to maintain the reputation of her program. So the Greyhounds will suit up tonight without Meissel as they try to improve on their 8-5 record against 12-2 Missouri S & T.

I have personally never seen Meissel play, nor do I have any insight to the on-court actions that brought about her dismissal, but Freeland’s decision was a courageous one. There is so much pressure for coaches to win, especially in a solid program that has a lofty history of success; however, there must be a line that should not be crossed where the actions of one individual are tolerated for the win-loss column. Freeland has shown a great deal of moral conviction and fortitude not to cross it.

I’m sure that Meissel is devastated by her removal from the team, but it is an experience that will serve her later in life. Actions result in consequences — whether good or bad. Better to learn that lesson now than when it really matters in life.

11 Responses to “Act of courage”

  1. By LocalMan091 on Jan 14, 2011

    Courage? More like cruelty. If Samantha was such a problem on the court, where are the technical fouls? She had zero. If a player isn’t playing how you want them to, you bench them. So when was she benched? She wasn’t. Did the UIndy Athletic Director have a talk with her? No. Freeland stripped Samantha of the game she loved in her Senior year. 110 points away from the school’s record. As you stated, “I have personally never seen Meissel play, nor do I have any insight to the on-court actions that brought about her dismissal” Well how about you look into this before writing this article? You would change the title to, “Unwarranted Dismissal of Leading Scorer Draws Questions”

  2. By indianabb on Jan 17, 2011

    Obviously we didn’t hear the so-called comments on the court. Being competitive comes with a price. The great players aren’t soft and say “I’m sorry” when they foul you. My daughter attends UIndy and was in Athletics as well. Some coaches are only out to fuel their ego. Coach Freeland has done a wonderful job with recruiting. But this coaching move will only blemish her reputation and the schools. I have seen hundreds of HS and College Female BB games including UIndy. I don’t know Samantha personally, but I have seen my last UIndy Womens Basketball Game with the current coach.

  3. By bbfan on Jan 18, 2011

    And obviously….due to the professionalism of the UIndy coaching staff, nobody knows the details of the events that led up to the dismissal or the process involved in making that decision. Just the fact that it would be expected that people would feel informed enough to post negative opinions based on assumptions, is yet another reason that this was a couragous decision.
    (Nowhere have I read that this decision was based soley on “comments on the court”, I doubt you did either.)

  4. By LocalMan091 on Mar 30, 2011

    Freeland resigns as women’s basketball head coach

    3 months too late!!

  5. By bbfan on Mar 30, 2011

    Think so Ms. Meisel?

  6. By observer10 on Apr 1, 2011

    Let it go, Mr. Meissel…

  7. By indianabb on Apr 3, 2011

    The Drama has left the building! Now lets get back to tuff Women’s Basketball. I can’t wait for the new season to start as I will start attending again.

  8. By bbfan on Apr 3, 2011

    indianabb, you already missed alot of “tuff” basketball while you were pouting. Tough enough to get to the championship game of the Conference Tournament (and do it with class). Funny how the team steadily improved AFTER the DRAMA left in mid January. Validation? Anyway, its a relief you will be attending again, lol.

  9. By observer10 on Apr 6, 2011

    You wanted “tuff”? How about removing a 6’2 center who averaged 5.2 rebounds a game and replacing her with a 5’8 forward who averaged 7.2 rebounds over the last fifteen games of the season? Jovanovic wanted to mix it up on the inside, Meissel wanted to float around shooting threes or running out for cherry-pick layups instead of crashing the offensive boards. The Greyhounds went from a team that was barely floating over .500 in the league (and that only because of wins against bottom-feeders Springfield and Maryville) to being one basket away from the conference championship without her.

  10. By indianabb on Apr 11, 2011

    I’m tired of defending the choices that people make. The choice was to exit the program after recruiting players and dismissing one the best players in several years. Good for her and UIndy. Lets hope the big guy can motivate the team.

    Get over yourselfs observer10 and bbfan. You really have no idea what you are talking about. The team was obviously better with Meissel.

  11. By observer10 on Apr 11, 2011

    I wish I had a hanky to let you dab your tears of joy over Freeland leaving.

    The team was “obviously better” with Meissel? There were only two teams that Indy played both with Meissel and without–Northern Kentucky and Quincy. WITH Meissel they were 0-2 with a scoring margin of -11.0 points. WITHOUT Meissel they were 2-1 with a scoring margin of +1.0 points. I’m sure in fantasy world 0-2 is better than 2-1. In the real world -11 is only better than +1 if you’re golfing.

    But please, don’t let FACTS get in the way of your rant.

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