Another crappy football season, followed by the basketball team stumbling again, and now a home loss to something called Gardner-Webb has thrown the Purdue alumni into a tizzy.
Full disclosure, I've been tizzying with the best of them, and anybody that has watched Purdue sports with me knows that I yell at the TV, scream, and curse when Purdue is losing, which sadly seems to be all the time lately.
None of this news. So what prompted me to pull out the old blog and write? This post from Boiled Sports, who I count as imaginary Internet friends that I hope to some day drink real beers with. They are acting like President Daniel's email is some kind of smoking gun. The part that has them upset is:
On taking up my new duties, I gave our Athletics Director the following guidance, and said the exact same thing to the entire campus. Three things come ahead of all others: 1) high standards of conduct; 2) genuine academic performance; and 3) economic self-sufficiency. After that, I want to win every game, meet, and match, but winning at the expense of principle is not an acceptable tradeoff. So far, Purdue’s adherence to these principles has been exemplary.
That has been Daniel's very public policy since the day he took office as President of Purdue. There is nothing new or exciting about the statement. Did they really expect the President of Purdue University to make a public pronouncement that the football team would return to its glorious past, damn the costs? We went to Purdue, not FSU. With the exception of the Joe Tiller years, we have not been particularly great at football since I was born, and I'm closer to 50 than 40. Mediocre football is the tradition at Purdue. You young folk that grew up in the Tiller years were spoiled. Purdue has always been a basketball school, and I can more understand the concern that Matt Painter is driving that glorious tradition into the ground.
However, let's not forget that these are 18-21 year old kids, most of whom will go pro in something other than sports. They don't owe us alumni anything other than effort on the field and in the classroom, and good behavior as representatives of Purdue. They don't owe us wins or excuses to travel somewhere warm for a bowl game. They don't owe us bragging rights over the IU alum in the next office. If they are not delivering on the effort or behavior part, I've got no problem with yanking a scholarship. However if the coaches mis-evaluated the talent level, that's on the coaches, not the kids.
The financial reality is that the buyout clauses in their contracts give Painter and Hazell pretty damn good job security in the early years of their contracts. The football team showed serious progress in the middle of the season, only to regress in the final 3 games. I'll be disappointed if they don't sneak into a lower tier bowl next year. The basketball team? Who the hell knows. It'll cost $10 million to buyout Painter in 2015, so he isn't going anywhere unless a sugar daddy John Purdue Club member offers up the cash to get rid of him. I don't know why he seems to have lost the ability to coach over the last 3 seasons. Maybe they'll get it together next week, maybe this season is shot. Either way, it doesn't have any impact on the value of your Purdue degree, or really your life at all. So relax, and if you can't watch them lose without throwing a fit on the Internet, then don't watch. There are 150+ other channels beside the Big 10 Network on your cable, and they probably aren't showing the Purdue game anyway.
Feel free to remind me of this post next week when I'm bitching on Twitter...
- I thought a cheerleader picture might cause less heartburn that either the football or basketball teams...