Welcome back to Boilermusings where I smash together three different stories and see what the end result looks like. Sort of like what I imagine someone at the Crayola factory does when they are trying to create new colors.
Dave Shondell Gets a Contract Extension
It was announced this week that head Volleyball coach Dave Shondell had signed a four year contract extension. The Boilermaker head man is entering into his 19th season with the team. This contract will run through the 2024 season which makes me think that he didn’t have a contract for this upcoming season prior to signing. I assume they had a verbal agreement but that seems a bit wild to me.
Shondell is one of the longest serving coaches currently at Purdue, behind Devon Brouse who is heading into his 23rd season with golf, and Dan Ross who is entering into an astonishing 37 years as head coach of swimming and diving. Shondell is coming up the most successful season in program history as the team went to the Elite Eight and finished ranked 7th overall. The whole team is coming back to take another run at the thing and it looks like it’s going to be a special season. Volleyball in the Big Ten is always tough with teams like Penn State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Nebraska, etc. being consistently good.
Purdue begins their season on Friday at home in the Reamer Club Xtra Special Volleyball Premier (they really ought to think about renaming that because that is a mouthful) against Loyola Marymount. Head out to the BoilerBox and support the team and Coach Shondell if you can.
Jack Plummer - QB1
I’m honestly not sure if I’d ever heard the term QB1 until I watched Friday Night Lights. Matt Saracen became QB1 and the term was thrown around a lot throughout the series. Great show by the way you should definitely watch it. Well, today Jeff Brohm put all the speculation to rest and actually named a starting QB. It came out on the Jeff Brohm radio show. Jack Plummer has regained his starting spot and will suit up as QB1 in week 1.
The Junior has thrown for 2,500 and change yards over two seasons. He’s thrown 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions but only two of those came last year. His completion percentage last year was 71%. I know a lot of those were short throws or dump offs to Rondale Moore but if that’s what the offense calls for and if that’s what the defense gives you that’s what you do. There’s no reason to get fancy when you can make the easy play. Trying to do too much is what can often get you into trouble.
Lest you think things at QB are completely settled though Jeff Brohm threw a bucket of water on that nonsense real quick. During the very same radio program he also noted that Purdue was prepared to play more than one QB. Some on staff here at Hammer and Rails, Travis specifically but he’s not alone, hope and believe that the second QB will be Austin Burton as a change of pace from Plummer. I’ll admit I don’t love that because I want Plummer to be able to play with confidence and not fear being pulled over any mistake but if they use Burton only in a situational role with designated sets I can live with that. I just would love the QB position to be settled and for Purdue to have a true QB1.
Covid and Football
The Covid-19 pandemic is not over as is obvious by anyone who is paying attention to the numbers. The Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine was just given full FDA approval on Monday and it led to a number of policies being changed around the country and Big Ten schools were no different. Indiana had already mandated all students get the vaccine and that issue had gone all the way up to the Supreme Court where they won. In addition to Indiana the vaccine has been mandated at Minnesota, Ohio State, and Rutgers. Prior to Ohio State being added to this list I came across an article discussing Minnesota’s decision and it included additional language about what other Big Ten schools are doing. Note this is before Ohio State announced their intentions to mandate the vaccine.
Minnesota is the eighth in the Big Ten Conference to enact a similar requirement, following Indiana, Rutgers, Northwestern, Maryland, Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State. However, some of the aforementioned institutions will allow individuals to remain unvaccinated if they are tested weekly.
You may be asking why this matters, well I’ll tell you why. The Big Ten has announced that teams that cannot play games due to Covid will have to forfeit the game and there will be no rescheduling unlike last season. By requiring the vaccine these schools make it more likely that they won’t have to cancel games. I’ve been unable to find specific vaccination percentages for each school but one would assume that schools with mandates would outpace those without. I don’t know the number of vaccinated players on Purdue’s team but I hope they are doing everything they can to get everyone vaccinated and to prevent outbreaks of Covid. I hope that not just for selfish reasons like wanting to watch football but also because I care about the long term health and well-being of everyone who puts on a Purdue uniform. Much like the 2020 season Covid will make things interesting. Teams could get wins they don’t deserve just based on Covid outbreaks. It will be some thing to keep an eye on as the season progresses.