Welcome to this week’s Boilermusings where I take grains of ideas that I can’t flush out into a story and mash them together to reach the word limit!
Purdue Women’s Basketball
Purdue had to make a change. There was no choice here. The once proud program had become a bottom dweller in the Big Ten and that is simply unacceptable. I’m not sure how we got to this point but it definitely started after Versyp had only her recruits. What the issue was I can’t say, but the fall from the top was devastating to watch.
Is Katie Gearlds the right choice? It feels that way. A Purdue star who played in the WNBA and then went on to coach at a lower level and has had phenomenal success. Bobinski had to make the change and by doing it with the coach in waiting model he saved around $600K. Given the pandemic finances it was probably the smart move. Plus, regardless of if you like Versyp or not it is a good gesture to give her one final run at the thing after everything she has been through. Now we all just have to remember how to spell Coach Gearlds.
Dave Shondell is a great volleyball coach and a great person. He doesn’t get as much attention here on this site because quite frankly we don’t get to watch them as much and we have a real ignorance about college volleyball amongst the staff. That doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the respect and the shotout from time to time. This past week they took on and beat the #8th ranked Ohio State TWICE on the road!
In the latest rankings Purdue sits at #8. To top that off the team swept the weekly conference awards.
Yesterday afternoon was a big one:— Purdue Volleyball (@PurdueVB) March 30, 2021
Highest ranking since 2014
First time in program history
One of two Big Ten programs to do it since 2008https://t.co/rq7KEy3RpH
If you get a chance to watch this team please do so. They are on the Big Ten Network both Friday and Saturday. Check it out below and when the time comes watch these talented women take down team after team. It feels like a special season.
NCAA at SCOTUS
As an attorney who also writes about sports I really missed the best opportunity I’ll ever have to cover a story at the Supreme Court this week. Stupid pandemic. In case you’ve been living under a rock you couldn’t have missed the fact that the NCAA was at the Supreme Court this week to discuss an anti-trust matter relating to paying athletes.
It was a fascinating discussion and one that could have ramifications on all of college athletics in the long run. Could this result in players being paid? Could this result in the destruction of the NCAA? Could this result in the long talked about Power 5 conferences breaking away from the NCAA and forming their own governing body? It seems like anything is on the table right now but that the vast majority of analysts are looking for a narrow decision by The Supremes that would rule against the NCAA.
The arguments advanced by the NCAA were comically bad. They argued that fans watch college sports BECAUSE the players aren’t paid. They basically argued that this is the way it’s always been so that it should continue this way. I don’t know how sophisticated your legal minds are but I’ll just tell you this, that’s not a good legal argument. The lawyer for the NCAA got pounded by all 9 justices. That’s a rarity. Regardless of how the Court rules in the next few months this was a shot across the bow of the NCAA and something they won’t soon forget. It could spur change. What form that change takes is the ultimate question right now.