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An Open Letter To Matt Painter

From: The Staff of Hammer & Rails, a top Purdue fan website

Dear Coach Painter,

I realize that it is unlikely you read this. If you know who I am at all, it is because I was the strange reporter that asked Thad Matta about losing Mark Titus and E`Twaun Moore about being the Red Button during Big Ten Basketball Media Day back in October. I write this because a lot of fans read my site, and I feel what I am about to say needs to be said.

You see, we Purdue fans have the same expectations as you. The undercurrent of this whole situation is that you aren't sure Purdue has a commitment to winning championships when it is clear that that is your goal. We agree with you. We have had enough as fans of being satisfied with mediocrity. Yesterday I asked if Purdue's administration has a loser's mentality, citing how we have the fewest national championships and second fewest Big Ten championships as an athletic department in the Big Ten. This is a sad fact, and as a fan, I do not like it one bit.

We want to be a championship program. I know we are far from satisfied that this season ended well short of expectations. I, for one, felt that it was a failure unless we won the national championship. I do not feel this is an unrealistic expectation. I love Purdue with all my heart both as my alma mater and as a fan. I want to see us succeed on all fronts. That is why I started writing this site.

The success of this site is directly tied to your success as coach. Barely anyone was reading when I started year ‘round coverage in the fall of 2007. Now I am getting more than 10,000 visitors and 1,500 comments per day because of this issue with the University of Missouri. If you are reading this and take a moment to peruse some of the comments you will see that the overwhelming majority of them support you, coach Painter. We want you to stay as coach because we want championships and we believe you are the man that will lead us to them. In six years you have taken us from the laughing stock of the Big Ten to the brink of the Final Four. We believe that even better days are in store if you stay. the numbers of the past two days are a testament to this, as we believe in your coaching ability and what you have built.

If you do choose to leave we know it is because you want to pursue a championship, and that you feel you have a better chance of doing so at Missouri. I, for one, do not fault you for pursuing this goal because that is the point of all this: to win.

I have dreamed of the day that Purdue hoists the National Championship trophy in Men's Basketball, and in that dream you are the man that hoists it. I don't know if this letter will make any difference at all, but I feel better writing it. You will see in the comments that I am sure will follow that I am not the only fan the feels this way. We, as fans, want you to stay, put this behind us, and get back to building the program that you want: A championship program.


Travis A. Miller


SLA ‘02