Some people argued that my earlier post was click bait. It was not. It was a frustrated fan tired of decades of sub-par performance and the occasional tease of greatness only to fall tragically short. Obviously, it would be incredibly foolish for Purdue to leave the Big Ten. The argument was that we SHOULD leave if we're not going to both competing.
Being in the Big Ten is a huge advantage, mostly because of the shared revenue it generates. It is, therefore, high time we start using this revenue for our benefit. Right now it is keeping the athletic department afloat at a time when the football program is so low it can barely draw 35,000 for freaking homecoming.
So, instead of more complaining, how about some solutions? Here are a few:
1. Stop giving $3.4 million to the general fund - One thing I will give Morgan Burke credit for is the way he has balanced the budget. The number about spending the third most per athlete is a testament to this, as Purdue is running a budget with the fewest sports in the conference. So what can Burke do if you give him an additional $3.4 million?
Let's give it to him then. Perhaps he works out a deal with Mitch Daniels in that he gets the $3.4 million until it is replaced by additional football ticket revenue. At that point, it can go back to the general fund AND the athletic department still has it to work with. As I stated earlier today, with $3.4 million being a tenth of a percent of the Purdue endowment it won't be missed.
2. Make football a priority - Ohio State spends the most money in the conference total on athletics, almost double what Purdue spends. It also has more sports to cover, but still runs in the black. How? Football is a massive priority and is the engine that drives everything else. That can't be said about Purdue. By my rough estimate getting just 15,000 more people in the stands per game, something that is doable with football as a priority, can generate at least $4 million in revenue. That's one ticket sales alone. You're not even considering concessions, parking, more donations, etc.
Can you honestly say that football is currently a priority at Purdue? Under coach Tiller we were getting there. It was becoming the engine that was driving everything, but we went away from that.
3. Get everyone on board, from Daniels on down - It is telling that two different fans, one from Minnesota, one from Baylor, pointed this out to me via Twitter:
@MVofDT @SBNationCFB @HammerAndRails it took an awful tragedy to get the Bears on their way. Just need a leader to see the value of sports— BaylorScout Tim (@TimWatkins04) September 29, 2014
@TimWatkins04 @SBNationCFB @HammerAndRails Agree. Took Minnesota almost 30 years and a willing few to use all of their political capital— Matt Humbert (@MVofDT) September 29, 2014
It can be done at Purdue. It is going to take hard work and commitment from everyone involved and it is something I desperately want done. I didn't write what I wrote earlier today because I have a vendetta against Purdue. I wrote it because I love Purdue and want it to be successful. There are also some very good things going on. There isn't a hint of an NCAA scandal at all (though if we were cheating, we're clearly doing it wrong). The athletes are getting a great education and academics are clearly an important priority, which is fantastic.
Still, it is absolutely ridiculous that we have fewer conference championships than a school that hasn't competed in the Big Ten in 70 years. It is ridiculous we're hamstringing ourselves by giving money away. It is ridiculous that football, which is supposed to be the moneymaker, is not a priority in terms of facility improvements, revenue generating, and everything else.
This monotony has to end.