Mitch Daniels May Live In An Alternate Reality
As you no doubt have heard by now, Purdue President Mitch Daniels penned an open letter to “the people of Purdue.” Our man, Mitch, spent a fair amount of space letting us all know that Purdue football and men’s basketball will probably only be successful by chance in the coming years, not because he’s committed to athletics:
It is highly likely that the next few years will bring us markedly increased athletic revenues, regardless of the winning percentage of our men’s football and basketball teams. Our Big Ten Conference, led by the extraordinarily skillful commissioner who created the Big Ten Network, is in the process of renewing the conference’s national television contracts at much higher rights fees.
If successful, this would represent a fundamental acceleration of an already apparent trend. Not long ago, the vast majority of Big Ten athletic department revenues came from ticket sales and related receipts; soon, the commissioner reports, a majority will derive from media payments. So the impending major increase is a big moment. But not necessarily a purely positive one because, if every penny of this new revenue is poured into athletics, it will simply fuel the next round of an arms race that is already out of control.
Other schools will indeed pour that money into athletics. But Mitch is letting you know here that this will not be the case at Purdue.
But perhaps our favorite passage was the following one, which is followed by BS’s take on Mitch’s pearl-clutching:
"2015, like all recent years, saw a rash of scandals, both behavioral and financial. There were more incidents of schools recruiting or transferring in players with histories of violence against women or other unacceptable misconduct. [...] Against this discouraging backdrop, Purdue continues to hold itself to standards of which our Boilermaker family can be proud. Athlete conduct has been generally exemplary, and when transgressions have occurred, they have been dealt with promptly and firmly."
We sincerely hope Mitch's fainting couch was nearby when he heard about all of these terrible, terrible unpleasantries happening at those *other* institutions. Thank god for Purdue, a beacon of honesty and truthfulness in an otherwise ugly and awful college sports landscape. We can only hope to serve as an example to those other institutions. Why, we never have had athletes at Purdue assault women, get in fights at a bar, drink underage, use illegal drugs, or drive drunk. As a school, we would never tolerate a coach engaging in an inappropriate relationship with an athlete, nor would we tolerate lenient punishments for star players who repeatedly break the law, and we definitely wouldn't institute one of the most opaque and toothless drug testing regimes in the conference. Nope, Purdue is a candle in the dark, a north star for all who have lost their way.