NCAA BK

Purdue working to keep coach Painter

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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.

Purdue University has made clear its commitment to keeping head basketball coach Matt Painter from jumping to Missouri, The Indianapolis Star reported Tuesday.

The Boilermakers are working to hold on to Painter, who is reportedly set to meet with University of Missouri athletic director Mike Alden Tuesday to negotiate a potential move to the Tigers' bench.

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"Matt Painter is our men's basketball coach and we want him to continue his leadership of the program," Purdue assistant athletic director Tom Schott said in statement on Tuesday.

"Last night, the board of trustees, president [France] Cordova and [athletic director] Morgan Burke clearly demonstrated Purdue University's commitment to [Painter] and to our men's basketball program. We were proactive, and although we will not go into details at this time, we encourage Matt to stay through our words and action."

According to a St. Louis Post-Dispatch source, a move by Painter to Missouri has a better than 50 percent chance of going through, and a decision could come as early as Wednesday.

Missouri is looking for a replacement for Mike Anderson, who left for the job at Arkansas last week. The Tigers had been hoping to keep Anderson and had reportedly offered the coach a seven-year deal worth $2 million per year.

Painter, who played basketball for the Boilermakers from 1989 to 1993, was handpicked to replace long-time coach Gene Keady in 2005.

"Proactive means they gave him more money," Keady said Tuesday. "But money's not keeping him from thinking about Missouri."

"It's about having the opportunity to win a national title with the backing of everyone. He wants to know if an assistant coach needs a car, he can get it. If something needs to be done, they'll do it, so he doesn't have to worry about all the nickel and dime stuff."

"It isn't about money. I want him to stay and Morgan wants him to stay," the former Boilers coach added.

Painter, 40, has led Purdue to a 130–61 record in six seasons, including five consecutive appearances in the NCAA tournament.

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