Kelvin Sampson was on the fast track to the peak of college basketball's mountain when he was slapped with a five-year show-cause penalty that expired in 2013. The consensus was that he'd never coach again on the collegiate level, yet the Houston Rockets assistant head coach agreed to a five-year deal on Wednesday that matches his show-cause penalty with the Houston Cougars. A month ago, Morgan State's Todd Bozeman was the only show-cause penalty coach to be invited back onto college basketball's sidelines as a head coach. In the last month, college athletic directors have hired two.

However, Houston's selection is the most perplexing because of one variable.

Despite the proximity between the University of Houston and the Houston Rockets, Sampson won't be pulling any double duty for the remainder of the Rockets season. He'll immediately join the Cougars after Wednesday night's Rockets game. If Sampson can work his sideline alchemy once more, the opportunity to awaken a sleeping giant is there for the.

Sampson was under investigation for previous NCAA violations at both Oklahoma and Indiana. During his first season as Hoosiers head coach, Sampson was banned from contacting recruits for making 577 illicit calls at Oklahoma between 2000 and 2006.  However, like any NCAA recidivist, Sampson relapsed without remorse and was forced to resign as the Hoosiers head coach in 2008 in the midst of a 22-4 season after dozens of impermissible phone calls to recruits were uncovered by an internal investiagtion.  

A lot has changed since 2007. Burner phones aren't necessary. Now, Sampson has the option to DM and tweet recruits. There's a whole new avenue available for Sampson to violate NCAA bylaws. Either the third time is the charm or Sampson is on his way to swinging at his third strike. Houston's about to find out.