Purdue AD issues statement on football program
Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke is looking for a strong
finish after the school’s football team got off to a disappointing
He issued a one-paragraph written statement on Monday
acknowledging that even though this season’s results have not
matched the university’s high expectations, he hoped to see
stronger performances as the Boilermakers fight to become
bowl-eligible over the last four regular-season games.
”Everyone around our football program has high expectations for
the 2012 season,” Burke said. ”We have worked very hard over the
past four years to improve our personnel, facilities and every
phase of our program, which is evident.”
He did not mention coach Danny Hope by name, but it’s clear he
expects to see better performances in November.
Hope was not available for comment Monday, though he is expected
to hold his weekly news conference Tuesday.
The fourth-year coach and hand-picked successor to Joe Tiller,
the winningest coach in school history, agreed to a two-year
contract extension in December after leading the Boilermakers to a
bowl game for the first time in his tenure. The deal runs through
Dec. 31, 2016, and Hope is 19-26 since replacing Tiller.
After three injury-plagued seasons, Purdue was expected to
contend for the Big Ten title this season.
Players and coaches embraced the expectations, talking
repeatedly about playing in a New Year’s Day bowl game,
representing the Leaders Division in December’s conference title
game and putting Purdue football back on the national map.
It hasn’t worked out.
Purdue blew two chances to get back into the national
discussion, losing on a late field goal at Notre Dame and getting
blown out at home by Michigan in the conference opener.
And things have gone from bad to worse.
Following a strong 3-1 start, Purdue has lost four straight Big
Ten games, with three losses coming by 16 or more points, including
Saturday’s 44-28 setback at Minnesota.
The Boilermakers host Penn State (5-3, 3-1) on Saturday. Purdue
then heads to Iowa and Illinois before hosting rival Indiana in the
Old Oaken Bucket game.
Hope said Sunday he planned to bench starting quarterback Caleb
TerBush in favor of sixth-year senior Robert Marve, who is playing
with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. And that
may not be the only lineup change.
Whatever happens on the depth chart, it’s clear Burke is looking
for better play on the field.
”Our student-athletes, alumni, fans, coaching staff and
administration all expect to see the program move forward and take
a step up the postseason ladder,” he said. ”Currently, our
performance has kept us from reaching our goals. But we have a
third of the season left to play, and our focus is to achieve that
consistency over the remaining four games. We need to press
forward, converting potential into results and having fun playing