How will the return of Kevin Wilson be perceived by the Indiana Hoosiers?

Nov 19, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson on the sideline in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 19, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Indiana Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson on the sideline in the first half against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Indiana Hoosiers will host the prospective No. 1 team in the country, Ohio State, on college football’s opening week. This also includes the return of ex-Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson.

The college football season is set to kick off in less than 90 days and it got me thinking about the Hoosiers. Indiana football will be looking at what appears to be a brand new coaching staff lead by head coach Tom Allen.

Along with a brand new coaching staff, the Hoosiers are set to host Ohio State in the opening week of college football. The Buckeyes are the prospective number one team in the nation and are an early favorite to contend for the college football playoffs. The game is going to be nationally televised and kick off on Thursday, August 31.

None of that seems to really have me as intrigued as the return of one person. Ex-Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson who is now the offensive coordinator at Ohio State will be making his return to Bloomington in his first game with the Buckeyes.

It got me thinking: How will Kevin Wilson be perceived by Indiana fans and what are the headlines going to look like?

Kevin Wilson was outed at Indiana last season after a string of accusations of player mistreatment began to surface. The Hoosiers had recently extended Wilson’s contract on January 16, 2016, after a successful season and a bowl game appearance. Wilson and the Hoosiers decided to jointly part ways, although it feels like Indiana pushed harder than Wilson to leave.


Wilson was out at Indiana shortly after the regular season. The Hoosiers made Tom Allen the interim head coach for the Foster Farms Bowl Game against Utah. They later announced their intent to make Tom Allen the permanent head coach.

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The ‘separation’ between both sides, Indiana and Kevin Wilson, was abrupt and swift. On one side, Indiana couldn’t let the possibility of these allegations linger any longer. One of the allegations against Wilson includes making players continue to play and practice when injured. A former player of Wilson was forced to continue to train and lift weights although he was dealing with a back injury.

Nick Carovillano was the player who filed the complaint of player mistreatment. He told the Indy Star, “I went to the training room almost every single day for three weeks trying to express that I’m hurt, I’m having issues,” Nick Carovillano said. “It just felt like they didn’t care. They just saw me as a body that needed to be out there practicing.”

Indiana was prompt, investigating almost immediately after the complaint was filed. They met with Wilson and his staff to reemphasized that the university and its athletic program will no tolerate mistreatment of student-athletes.


Less than a year after Kevin Wilson was removed from his position as head coach, he joined the powerhouse of Ohio State. He stepped into a smaller role as the offensive coordinator and seems to be overjoyed at the opportunity to work with Urban Meyer.

That being said, I am curious how Indiana fans will welcome him back to town. Will the stadium ring with sounds of cheers or the fulfilling boom of boos when introduced? Playing the scenarios out in my head, I would imagine that Wilson will receive a majority of cheers from the crowd in his return.

To his credit, he made Indiana football somewhat relevant again placing the Hoosiers in back-to-back bowl games for the first time in two decades. Wilson should also be credited with producing legitimate NFL talent such as the Atlanta Falcons Tevin Coleman, Green Bay Packers Jason Spriggs, and even recruiting Jordan Howard to play a year in Bloomington.

On the other hand, Kevin Wilson nothing really came of any of the allegations but it does linger questions. It was an ample opportunity to get out of dodge and he ended up landing on one of the best programs in the nation. The Hoosiers knew openly about this report of player mistreatment a year before they signed Wilson to an extension. It floats the idea that the athletic department was putting winning about complaints of player mistreatment.

Wilson reportedly will make $650,000 in his first season which is surely coming at a discount for the Buckeyes. You would think Wilson with his resume would have demanded to be paid over a million dollars per year. Maybe the allegations dropped his cost or took a discount to coach again. Whatever the case may be, the Buckeyes received a bargain.

ESPN’s Outside the Lines with Bob Ley recently aired an episode surrounding Indiana and Kevin Wilson. In much of the report, ESPN came up empty with their digging of Wilson and Indiana’s investigation. The game is going to be televised on ESPN in August will more than likely once again spark the conversation of controversy between Wilson and Indiana.

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To sum it up, I think Hoosiers fans appreciate the work that Wilson put in to build the program up in the recent years. Indiana football, prior to Wilson, wasn’t noted for anything other than it’s tailgating, but now it seems like the program has taken a legitimate turn for the better. We will find out in the first full season under head coach Tom Allen.