While you can still find the occasional Purdue fan that, for some reason, is not on board with Matt Painter staying in West Lafayette, there is one thing we are in unanimous consent about: We all love the work Archie Miller has done in Bloomington. It is hard to achieve sustained excellence at a historically strong and storied program like Indiana. Still, Archie has done it. Let’s look at his accomplishments since arriving in Bloomington four years ago:
· First of all, he is perfect against Purdue. Sure, 0-7 looks bad from an Indiana perspective, but it takes dedication to your craft to have an entire class go through that has never beaten the Boilers.
· Indiana has made history, and that is rare for such a storied program. They haven’t lost nine straight (Tom Crean gave Archie two wins to carry over) to Purdue since 1929-34! Yeah, that era might have been called the Great Depression, but as a Purdue fan it is hard to be depressed when you constantly beat Indiana.
· Even better, Purdue has won five straight in Tommy Luce Assembly Hall for the first time ever. Before Luce came along we had never even won three straight in that building.
· He made history with two of the largest margin home losses in Assembly Hall history, all in year one, by losing by 21 and 20, respectively, to powerhouse programs Indiana State and IPFW.
· There is more history, as a fifth straight year with no NCAA appearance is a first since IU missed every tournament from 1968-72.
But there are reasons for hope from a Hoosier perspective:
· He develops talent! Romeo Langford was an NBA lottery pick and Trayce Jackson-Davis is a terror to Big Ten defenses.
· He recruits! Langford and Khristian Lander are both 5-star guys that bring in a wealth of talent.
· He has unified the fanbase! It is pretty clear that the majority of IU fans have the same level of satisfaction with him.
· He continues to have great pull on in-state recruiting, landing two five-star in state recruits despite a 4-9 record against In-state teams.
· He is a spotless 4-0 against Butler and Notre Dame in the Crossroads Classic!
· Indiana would have probably made the 2020 NCAA Tournament had it happened, so hey, you can’t say with 100% certainty he wouldn’t have won a sixth banner last year!
· He clearly has concern for the academic side of things, as he makes sure his players get extra class time with no games after mid-March. He is making sure they go pro in something other than sports.
It is safe to say that we love the guy, so it is time for a contract extension! I want to make sure Indiana basketball maintains the same level of excellence they currently have, so I have actually started a page to contribute to his contract extension. Let’s keep him around four more years!
Okay, so the above was very much tongue-in-cheek and there is no way Purdue fans would actually get him a contract extension, but I have had this idea as a joke for months now and then it dawned on me: What if I did it, but could do something for good with it? Allies is a local Indiana advocacy group that I strongly believe in. The mission at Allies is to empower survivors of trafficking & sexual exploitation through awareness, prevention education, & connection. For more information on their organization, visit https://www.allies-inc.org/. In my opinion, Sex trafficking is one of the most despicable acts that human beings can do to other human beings. We can do something though.
Regardless of what you really think about Archie Miller, we can take this idea at this little blog site and do some good. After all, what is college sports without a hefty dose of spite, especially when directed at a rival? Here is how Allies is making a difference:
· $2,000+ - Help expand our mentorship program across Indiana where survivor mentors are needed.
· $1,000 - Pair a mentor and mentee for 1-year, providing a healthy consistent relationship example.
· $500 - Support a girl in our job training program, equipping her with tools for a positive future.
· $250 - Send one girl through My Life My Choice, providing her the resources to reduce her risk of exploitation.
· $100 - Provide a fun group gathering for dozens of girls allowing them to laugh, craft and play games.
· $50 - Ensure local communities receive awareness education, empowering them to engage in anti-trafficking efforts.
A major impetus behind this idea stems from the EDSBS Charity Bowl, which was started by a similar group of crazy college football fans. This past year they raised more than $300,000 for New American Pathways in Atlanta. While hitting that would be a deeply humbling experience, I know Purdue and Indiana fans can show out, because y’all had a part of this before. Purdue fans finished 27th on their comprehensive list of donations back in August with $4,347.55 to the EDSBS Charity Bowl. Indiana fans were 34th with $3,576.45, proving we own them in charitable giving as well as on the basketball court.
Anything given is, of course, appreciated. If this idea hits even $1000 I will be humbled. We can have fun with it, though. A common donation in the EDSBS Charity Bowl in the name of a school has some significance to its top rivals as well. Since the Charity Bowl is college football-centric some have donated a Purdue amount of $74.42, marking Purdue’s 74 wins in the all-time football series to IU’s paltry 42. If you want to keep it basketball related you can donate $1,841, $184.10, or even $18.41, a dollar, dime, or penny since Indiana last defeated Purdue in Men’s Basketball.
I am also encouraging Indiana fans to jump in as well. We may hate you in basketball, but you can show out when it comes to doing good as well. How about $44.41 for the last Bucket game? How about a straight $50 for “Banners”? Instead of thinking of it as a contract extension, voice your frustration by donating what you see for a buyout to get rid of Archie.
I’ll even prime the pump. Today I will be donating $124.89, honoring Purdue’s 124 victories in the all-time series to Indiana’s 89.
We can have fun with this. Let’s see what can happen. People may use this link, igfn.us/e/Xrjhwg or text “ExtendArchie” to 41444 to make a donation in favor of Purdue. You can text “LetHimGo” to 41444 in favor of Indiana. Be sure to note which school you’re supporting too and we can see if we need to Extend Archie (for Purdue) or Fire Archie (for Indiana). Allies is even giving away a $50 Fanatics gift card to one random person who donates to the school with the most donations.
Let’s make a difference in the name of Archie’s excellence/struggles.