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Boilermusings - Week of April 15, 2021

Purdue’s returners, NCAA rule changes, NCAA dead period

Nebraska v Purdue Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Welcome to Boilermusings where I take at least three topics that I can’t write a whole article about and cram them together into one. Let’s get to it shall we?

Purdue’s Rising Seniors Unlikely to Use Covid Year

Matt Painter held a press conference this week and unlikely certain other coaches that are employed by Purdue University, I won’t say who, he actually answers questions and provides insights. This week was no different. The NCAA is allowing players in all sports to basically have an extra year of eligibility due to Covid. So the players who will be seniors on next year’s men’s basketball team, Hunter, Williams, and Stefanovic, could theoretically come back for another senior season. Painter says that seems unlikely. Both Hunter and Stefanovic have indicated they will not take advantage of this rule and Williams has entered his name in the NBA Draft. It’s likely that Williams will ultimately return to Purdue but it seems unlikely then that he would come back for an extra senior season.

This is honestly good news for Purdue. Not that the players aren’t returning, but rather that Painter knows. This will give him a better idea of who and what he needs in recruiting and on the transfer market (more on that below). This sort of knowledge will be key in future years as Painter will still have to maintain the roster balance while also keeping a close eye on the scholarship grid. The NCAA is trying to do right by the athletes but they didn’t truly think about the impact this might have on the younger athletes just breaking into the game and the scholarship crunch schools might face. Purdue having this knowledge gives them a leg up.

NCAA Transfer Rules

Long time readers will know I think the NCAA is a bad organization. But, just like that meme of the worst person you know making a good point I have to hand it to the NCAA when they do something right. The NCAA has announced that all players in football, men’s basketball, and women’s basketball (among other sports) will be able to transfer one time with no penalty. It’s not a perfect system but it’s a step in the right direction. These players all too often get hoodwinked by fast talking coaches or lied to about what role they will play on the team and then have to sacrifice at least a year of their lives in order to try and get themselves back on track.

These new rules which were announced this week will be chaotic. They will lead to bad outcomes for some players initially who believe that they are better than they truly are or who have been given bad information by those around them who THINK they are acting in the player’s best interest. BUT, overall I think this freedom of movement, to steal another NCAA term, will be good for players and will hopefully force more transparency in recruiting because you can’t tell everyone they remind you of D-Wade and get away with it if you only play them 2-3 minutes a game. Players will wise up and now they will have options.

I think a coach like Painter benefits from this rule as he is widely known as a no BS recruiter, sometimes to his detriment. Painter isn’t gonna blow smoke. He’ll tell you what your place on the team will be and he’ll tell you what he thinks you can add to the team. He’s not the type to make promises that he can’t fulfill or straight up lie to a player about what he can do for them. I can’t say the same for many other across the country or even in the Big Ten.

NCAA Dead Period is Well...Dead

For college coaches there are few things more important for keeping their jobs than recruiting. In order to stay employed and keep earning that money coaches have to hit the pavement for days and days at a time to reach out to 15-18 year olds and make them want to come and play for them. This sounds like an awful job to me but it is part of the job. For the last year plus it really hasn’t been part of the job. Not in the sense of going to a player face to face at least. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic a so-called dead period was instituted starting on Mach 20th of 2020. This meant there could be no face to face contact between coaches and recruits. So, like all the rest of us recruiting went fully online. I’m sure that has entailed Zoom meetings, phone calls, FaceTimes, etc. etc.

Once this dead period was implemented on March 20, 2020 it was extended eight additional times. However, at those same NCAA meetings in which they agreed upon the new transfer rules they also decided that the NCAA dead period will be dying effective June 1, 2021. With in person recruiting resuming it’s going to be a mad dash to try and woo the unsigned and find those diamonds in the rough. It will be interesting to see the offers go out and see if the coaches haven’t lost their personal connections. It’s been a long year plus for all of us but it seems things are slowly getting back to normal and that starts with a 55 year old man telling a 16 year old he’s been thinking about him a lot, a whole lot. Only now, he can do it face to face.