Jim Tressel was feted in Columbus today to honor the 10th anniversary of Ohio State's phantom flag National Championship, but the most intriguing news I heard about him today is that his name is being floated for the possibly vacant Purdue job.
Yes, you heard that right.
Now, I had heard some whispers of him being on campus from different people before today, but I didn't write anything because I figured they were just that: whispers. When I heard the same rumor from MULTIPLE people today I decided it was worth at least publishing because one source is a baseless rumor, while two are three at least get you thinking that It might have some legs.
My first source was a diehard Ohio State fan that was a classmate from my time at Purdue. He messaged me today with the following:
T-mill, someone close to me in Purdue's donor department was told a rumor that Tressel was interviewed this week for the Boiler coaching job
Rumor. Have you heard anything? This is serious :)
Normally, I would have ignored this as something baseless, but it was the second time I had heard something this week. The first came from someone I speak to regularly who is related to a player that played under Hope. This person does not know the person mentioned above, so that is what got me to thinking that there may be some legs behind it:
Do you have a way of contacting Joe Tiller to work as a middleman between Tressel and Morgan Burke?
I'm good, but I definitely do not have a connection to Coach Tiller, short of looking him up in the White Pages for the state of Wyoming. This source seemed to think Tressel would not coach at Purdue per se, but might have some sort of role within the football program. That is a little more likely since Tressel has a show-cause order pertaining to coaching until December 2016.
To add further intrigue, today I talked to various people who are much more in the know than I am when it comes to the athletic department. They have connections that I trust with the movers and shakers that make things happen. Here is what I learned:
1. Donors have been contacted for Hope's buyout, so it seems like him being gone is a done deal.
2. This, too, has legs, from the following Tweet:
Multiple sources tell Peegs.com this is Danny Hope's final season as Purdue FB coach, regardless of the outcome of today's game.— Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) November 24, 2012
Why would an IU beat reporter say something like that if it wasn't true?
3. Much of Hope's behavior, including when he shook my hand coming off the field, seemed like he knew it was over today.
4. The bizarre behavior of Mrs. Hope, which is yet another twist in this odd tale:
Sally Hope, Danny's wife, just walked through the press room. Said she was "gloating because you couldn't wait for us to lose and we won"— mike carmin (@carminjc) November 24, 2012
First off, no one wanted Hope to lose. I feel like she is taking a shot at this site and other media entities that have questioned the direction in which the team is headed. Questioning your team is certainly not wishing for its demise. Second, why on earth would you say something like that? It just doesn't make sense because if your husband is staying, it is basically a giant middle finger to the media and the fans. If he stays, you're bragging about a mediocre 6-6 season in which Purdue didn't even beat a bowl eligible team. If he's gone, then you look like an ass.
All this has made for a very, very bizarre day, one where we should be celebrating the safety of the Bucket and a bowl bid.
Now remember, all of what I have posted above is simply stuff I have heard and should be treated simply as rumor. They are pieces to a much larger puzzle that likely only Morgan Burke and a select few know all the pieces and no one else knows the whole picture. I am posting only what I heard and who I heard it from because it certainly piqued my interest and they were interesting pieces. I trust the source asking about me contacting Tiller more than the source saying he interviewed directly for the job, but they are what they are: sources that simply present an interesting possible story.
So that is where we are. As far as I know Danny Hope HAS NOT yet been let go by Purdue University and it is not known if Tressel has ANY role when it comes to Purdue. The guy has a five-year show cause penalty in effect anyway, so it is HIGHLY unlikely that he will get hired by anyone until that is over in December 2016.
When multiple, unconnected people mention his name, however, it is VERY interesting to see if he will have some sort of role with Purdue.