Today is June 30, 2016. We have one year left under the ignominious reign of Morgan Burke as Purdue's athletic director. By the time he is done Burke will have been in charge of the athletic department for 25 years and will leave as the conference's longest tenured AD. The last possible event he could preside over is June 28, 2017 if Purdue hoists the NCAA championship trophy at the College World Series.
We're not Burke fans here. That much is obvious. With a year left we cannot wait for his reign to end, and the sooner the new AD is chosen and starts taking over, the better. There are still plenty of things Burke did right, however:
Facilities - Unfortunately, it often came at the expense of football, but Burke greatly improved Purdue's facilities across the board for all sports. Alexander Field, the softball and soccer complexes, the Mackey renovation, and many more. Even his final act, the football performance facility, will be completed shortly after he officially steps down. There is no question that the facility improvements were needed. Even Ross-Ade Stadium, which is the biggest hole in his resume, was still modernized in 2002-03 and is far better than it was. Purdue has a world class swimming and diving facility (that has hosted the NCAA Championships) and golf course (the same). The facilities, for the most part, are in good hands to where the new guy only has to finish Ross-Ade
National Championships - I am as big of a detractor as there is against Burke, but he did preside over two of Purdue's three team National Championships. Before Burke came to power Purdue only had a lone national title back in 1961 for men's golf. It now has two more with women's basketball in 1999 and women's golf in 2010. It is still the second fewest in the Big Ten behind Rutgers, but it is something.
Highlight on Academics - This is often understated, but Burke has done an excellent job of stressing academics and making sure Purdue athletes are students first. Say what you will about him, but Burke has done things the right way without a hint of a major scandal. There have been some minor hiccups that almost every school has, but there has been nothing huge like some of the nastiness at Penn State, what Indiana basketball went through, or what Baylor is going through.
So with a year left what would we like from him? Yes, Morgan has not been perfect, but even with the recent hire of Mark Wasikowski he has done many things right. If that is final hire it at least looks like an excellent one. Yes, football is not where we want it right now and much of that is at his feet, but much of everything else is doing well. Unfortunately, football is king and because of that, the gigantic mess of things speaks volumes.
Personally, my biggest fear is that the AD hiring process drags on to the end of the year. they have said multiple times they would like to have a hire by mid-August, but that is six weeks away and we haven't heard anything concrete even about who they are considering. It has me nervous. the longer this drags on, the more likely Darrell Hazell is retained as head coach regardless of what happens on the field.