Other changes are expected, with rumors that David Woods and Terry Hutchens to be taken off their respective Butler and Indiana beats.
The Star plans to reach outside the market to fill Wells' spot on the Pacers beat, and what all of this means to Phillip B. Wilson, the always outstanding Phil Richards, and new blood Zak Keefer who has established himself as a very good writer is not known - at least by me.
This may also mean, according to a source, that the Star will hire both a Notre Dame and Purdue beat writer. One of the complaints about the Star's sports department has been a lack of Purdue presence. For years, the Star has relied upon work from the Lafayette Journal and Courier for coverage of the Boilermakers.
IU Indy Star taking Terry Hutchens off the IU beat? At least he can retire comfortably on the merits unforgettable book Rising From The Ashes (Of The Fire They Started Themselves). It is a harrowing tale about a Big Ten program overcoming the adversity of their own self-made mess and rising to the lofty heights of back-to-back Sweet 16's, which is so much better than a Horizon League team making consecutive National Title games. One way of improving as a paper is certainly getting rid of a "talent" like Hutchens. The other is included in the tidbit of hiring a Notre Dame and a Purdue beat writer.
This could be a sign that finally, the Indianapolis Star understands what it takes to survive in the newspaper business. It has been plain, at least to me, that newspapers will only survive by concentrating on more local news and not by trying to expand a national footprint. In terms of a sports department, alienating a major Big Ten university in your state for years is far from a sound business plan, but it what the Star sports section.
Yes, the coverage of Jeff Washburn and Mike Carmin is excellent. I have met both while covering various high school events and they are both great guys who love Purdue. Still, it has been blatantly obvious that even their work is overshadowed on days where Tom Crean buys the latest video in how to beat zone defenses. When the Star would rather publish a "What If" article on Kentucky missing more free throws than publish about Purdue's record-breaking baseball team at the time something is wrong.
With Butler now considered a high major when it comes to basketball the Star sports section should focus on the Pacers and Colts, the four major college programs in the state, and its once outstanding coverage of high school sports in the state of Indiana. Passion for high school sports in this state is second to none and it often serves as a pipeline for those four major programs, especially when it comes to basketball. Instead, the Star has drastically cut coverage while the web has seen the void and taken over.
Places like HickoryHusker, Varvee, MaxPreps, and others do an infinitely better job than the state's "paper of record." That has carried over to their attitude towards Purdue. I suppose I should owe the Indianapolis Star a debt of gratitude because their continued ignorance of all things Purdue has led to my readership here, but I also realize for many readers it has been a point of contention. Their past argument of "well IU sells more papers" is true, but the Star itself is far from being in a position to push away any readers, even if they might be Purdue fans. Grabbing Notre Dame, butler, and HS sports fans is a great idea for a paper that is struggling to stay alive.
I guess this means that the Indianapolis Star might recognize that Purdue exists again, something that hasn't really happened since Michael Pointer was removed from the Purdue beat save for the occasional Bob Kravitz article. Go ahead and give them a shot. I'll still be here covering Purdue (doing a better job than they do on far less pay, mind you) since I never left.