Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Credit: Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE

Purdue announced a major and long-awaited facilities improvement for its football program on Wednesday.

Nothing happens in a vacuum, especially a $60 million facility project. Let’s examine the optics around Purdue football as it sits today.

Athletics director Morgan Burke fired Danny Hope after posting a 22-27 mark in four seasons – 9-15 in 2009-10 and 13-12 in 2011-12. Burke replaced Hope with Darrell Hazell, who went 16-10 in two seasons at Kent State.

In his two-and-half seasons in West Lafayette, Hazell has yet to live up to even Hope’s worst season. The Boilermakers went 1-11 in 2013, 3-9 in ’14 and stand at 1-6 this season and figure to be underdogs in their final five contests.

That said, place yourself in Burke’s shoes. Your program desperately needs an updated facility. The path to competitiveness requires it. You’ve also got a head coach that’s 1-18 against the Big Ten.

If you need your boosters to open their respective check books to build the new facility (and he does, see below), don’t you have to offer them something in return, a reason to fund the new facility in the first place? And if you are shopping for a new coach, don’t you need a new facility as a carrot to lure the best possible candidate to your campus?

Purdue facility

We noticed that they plan to seek approval to move forward with the project at a December meeting of the Board of Trustees. December, as in, right after the season.

There’s nothing definitive here, to be sure, and Burke would issue a stern denial if you placed this article in front of him today. But the Boilermakers are  undeniably laying the tracks for the future of their football program, and it feels like Hazell needs to win some games – and fast – to be a part of it.


Update:

We thought some of you might find this chart provided by Purdue (apparently created by design firm Populus) interesting. We’ll see if we can find a larger version; but red is bad, green is good. We trust you can decipher the rest.

B1GFacilitiesComp

Note we’re getting quite a few questions about the red / green dot. Our interpretation of that is that the current facilities are red (poor); but the program is underway with either new build or renovation plans to significantly improve what they have.

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.