Many people don't know that much like the President of the United States the Athletics Director of Purdue is required to deliver a so called state of the union speech. For Morgan Burke that time is now. Luckily, I was able to obtain an advanced copy of the speech. I'd like to share that speech with you.
"Ladies and gentleman, board of trustees, President Daniels, members of the Paint Crew and Block Party, I come before you tonight with hat in head, and short-sleeve dress shirt on my back, to discuss the state of Purdue Athletics. While none of us are 100% thrilled with where we are I am glad to report that strides have been made and change is coming! (hold here for applause)
While we certainly haven't seen the number of wins with the football program that we'd like I'm proud to say that the era of being happy with competing is over. No more moral victories with suffice. Let's not forget that this season Purdue won three times more game than in the previous season. It's that kind of progress that has kept me in this job! (again hold for applause) If we again triple our victories next year it will be hard for the national media to ignore the rocket ship that is the momentum of Purdue football. I believe we have found the right man for the job in Coach Hazell. The transition has certainly been rocky but I stand behind my position to fire Coach Hope and his staff. Make no mistake, Coach Hope was a good man. A Purdue man and he deserves our respect. Unfortunately, with Coach Hope we had plateaued and I am simply not satisfied with that type of attitude. For that reason and many more I gladly stand by my decision to head in a different direction.
While the naysayers will point out that attendance is down and the fan base has become apathetic I would make arguments to the contrary. When the Purdue football team needed money the John Purdue Club and the Purdue community responded by donating money in large quantities in order to hire a well qualified staff, assistants, and coordinators. It's these steps that lead me to believe that soon the crowds will return, soon the revenue will rise, and soon the victories will come.
Stepping away from football to take a look at basketball I just want to say how about that Matt Painter huh? It's not often you can get back to back victories over top 25 teams in conference play. As we meet today the team sits in second place in the conference. Sure there were some early struggles in the non-conference season but if the guys stay this course and continue to move forward I don't see a reason why they won't make the NCAA Tournament. Once the get into the tournament anything can happen. I believe in Matt and think he's one hell of a coach. The guys are working hard for him and that defense is coming together. Keep in mind too that the team has taken down the Hoosiers twice in a row. The last two games against the Hoosiers can really show you what this team is capable of.
Taking a quick look at the other sports I gotta say I really think Volleyball got screwed this year. Ranked at the end of the season but didn't make the tournament. That's just crazy to me and seems like something we might want to discuss with other athletics directors. I know that a guy like Dave really does things the right way and that's important to not only me but the whole Purdue community. He really has a great group of girls out there. They represent Purdue with skill, pride, and class. I have no doubt that next year Purdue will return to the tournament especially with the way Dave recruits. In terms of women's basketball things aren't looking great. I know some ridiculous blogs are writing about Sharon maybe heading out the door soon but I don't buy that. Someone is writing that from their mom's basement anyway so I don't put much stock in that. It might be a down year but they will get back up there real soon I have no doubt.
I think you can take a look at progress in wrestling, track and cross country, and tennis and see that things are heading in the right direction with our Olympic sports. They may not get all of the pub of the big dogs but they are doing lots of good stuff and we need to do our best to get that word out. We've made changes in soccer and softball that were necessary to move the programs forward. Those are never fun decisions but they are the decision a guy in my place has to make.
While it's been a trying time these last few years I'm proud to report that the state of Purdue Athletics is stronger than it's been in recent years and I only see good things coming down the pipe. I know some people are upset with me about the lack of lights or the lack of national title but there's more to this job than those things. I am here to run a business and I think you all can agree that this business has been good for everyone involved. With an uptick in football that I expect next year I think the fans will come back in droves. I look forward to great things in 2015. May Breesus bless you, and may Breesus bless Purdue University.
What did you think of his speech? Luckily we didn't have to sit through the roughly 65 applause breaks.