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Quick thoughts on Boilermaker developments

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Quite a bit has been happening to begin the true offseason for Purdue. I haven’t touched on much basketball news of late because there hasn’t been much to report on. Hopefully guys like Kramer and Grant are healing well and will be ready to go for the season. I’m also looking forward to seeing Ryne Smith, Lewis Jackson, and John Hart in Gold and Black. Here are some quick thoughts on the biggest developments, in an effort to spur on more conversation in the comments section.

Dustin Keller plans to make it rain

Last night I was assigned to cover the IHSAA baseball sectional in Lafayette at Loeb Stadium for the Kokomo Tribune. Aside from this being a shameless plug to show I am a real, paid writer at times, it allowed me to get the inside scoop on a great story. So, for the first breaking news segment of Off the Tracks, we have Dustin Keller planning to make it rain for his alma mater, Lafayette Jefferson High School. Recently Lafayette Jeff embarked on the ambitious Scheumann Stadium project. I have been privileged to cover a game there, and it is one nice field for a high school stadium. It includes a state of the art press box, locker room, media room, FieldTurf field, and even a video board. The high school began building it in 2004, but they are not quite finished yet. According to my sources last night, Keller plans to write a $1 million check after he receives his signing bonus from the Jets to help fund the end of the project that will include the locker and media rooms. This is just a wonderful story and it goes to show the type of person that Dustin is. I am proud to have him as a fellow Boilermaker, and look forward to watching him on Sunday’s when I draft him as my fantasy tight end for the defending champion New Orleans Looters in the National Freeball League.

Scott Martin transfers to Notre Dame

…and was never heard from again by the Purdue community. Honestly, it is probably the best for all parties that he ends up in South Bend. Since Notre Dame and Purdue cannot seem to agree on a basketball series, and haven’t for over 40 years, we won’t have to worry about seeing him on the other sideline unless the two teams meet in the postseason. I am not expecting any NIT bids to force the two teams together like they did in 2004, so they will only play on the neutral floor of the NCAA tournament. Boiled Sports offers their thoughts over there, while I am just glad I didn’t get rocked by a 6’8" guy when Scott walked past me at the spring football game. After my short-lived scathing article on his departure it wouldn’t have surprised me to take a beating. The Indy Star also shares my assessment that the Purdue-Notre Dame rivalry will not be sparked anew in the near future.

I think it wouldn’t matter even if the two schools did play with Martin playing. My enmity towards Notre Dame only extends to the football program. I actually like their basketball program a bit and think we lost a great player when Luke Harongody chose the Irish over us. I can tolerate and even appreciate their other athletic teams because of the way they play in a conference and aren’t overly sure of themselves. It’s their football team, and for the most part their fans only, that bother me. I do wish Scott Martin well at Notre Dame since I like it when the state of Indiana puts multiple teams deep into the NCAA’s.

Joe Tiller doesn’t want those new-fangled HD cameras in his locker room

It comes off like he is yelling at some kids to get off his lawn, but I actually like coach Tiller’s decision to nix the Big Ten’s idea to follow Purdue for a reality show this season. With as many questions as this team is facing before the season even starts we don’t need this added distraction. What good does it do us? Only four people on the planet are able to get the Big Ten Network in their homes anyway. To me, it shows that coach Tiller is taking this final season very seriously. I think he wants to go out as a winner and sees that a Big Ten where all but one team has a ton of questions is chance to do just that. I’d love to see Joe go out guns blazing like he did when he came to Purdue.

Torri Williams latest gig.

"Hi, I’m Torri Williams, starting safety for the Purdue Boilermakers. After a hard day of rehabbing my latest injury there is nothing I like more than knocking back a few cold ones at Nick’s, evading police with my boy Selwyn, and taking advantage of the fact that there are some fine women in the greater West Lafayette area."

(gives a Billy Dee Williams smile to the camera) "Even though I am knee deep in the ladies at all times, protection is important. Any fool can just go to PUSH and get free condoms before a nice roll in the hay with a jersey chaser, but I’m Torri Williams. I need that extra thrill. That’s why I use Trojan Magnum condoms from Payless. There’s no better way to say I love you and test my surgically repaired knee and Achilles at the same time than to run from the cops after picking up my favorite brand of prophylactic."

"Remember, your athleticism is a gift from God, but NFL paychecks can only be divided up so many ways. Just ask Travis Henry. That’s why I steal, er, I mean use Trojan Magnum Condoms."

At this point would this really surprise you from this numbnut? It’s another case of someone being incredibly talented on the football field, but possessing no common sense whatsoever. I would not be surprised if he has played his last down as a Boilermaker, but he would probably get hurt again in the opener anyway. It’s a shame, because he’s a great player and probably a good kid.

C-A-N-E-S CANES!

The final note today is not Purdue related, but is still college sports related. The NCAA baseball tournament gets underway today and the Miami Hurricanes, who are well loved here at Off the Tracks, open as the #1 overall seed. The last and only time that happened they won the 1999 College World Series. The committee did the Canes no favors as they are placed in a regional with MEAC champ Bethune Cookman (which features the #2 pitcher in the nation ERA-wise) and preseason top-10 teams Mississippi and Missouri. Also, since the NCAA decides start times for all games, both games today, tomorrow, and Sunday will begin at noon and 4pm in the blistering South Florida sun instead of under the lights. Since the Big Ten has one representative (Michigan) in a brutal regional with Arizona and Kentucky (the winner of which ironically faces the Coral Gables regional winner) it is Omaha or Bust for Miami.

My wife has a theory that the NCAA and the media hates Miami and tries to screw them at every turn. Awarding a 47-8 season and #1 ranking with the most difficult path of any of the eight national seeds has me believing this. As Baseball America basically stated, however, if Miami is truly the best team in the country they will get through it. The Canes have incredibly strong pitching, solid defense, and great hitting. The four games we saw personally this year were all wins, two of the walk-off variety. First baseman Yonder Alonso will be in the majors within two years and be making a team very glad they have him. Second baseman Jemile Weeks is the brother of Milwaukee Brewer Ricky Weeks, and is also expected to be a first round selection next week. This is Miami’s strongest team since their title in 2001, and may even be a better team than that one. Today at 4pm on ESPNU we will find out, though I damn Brighthouse Networks for giving me the friggin’ Golf Channel instead of ESPNU. Can I please have Oxygen Network since you won’t give me the Big Ten Network?