After waaaaay too many hours of high drama, the soap opera is over.
Morgan Burke, the trustees and France Cordova have failed in their last-ditch effort to keep Matt Painter as Purdue's coach. And Painter will shortly be announced as Missouri's Head Basketball Coach.
Burke hired Painter as a coach with a thin resume and a small salary (compared to the rest of the league)...and Painter developed into one of the most-respected coaches in America in his six seasons in West Lafayette. Once developed, he and his staff obviously garnered a salary and subsequent budget to compete with the elite programs in America. They simply didn't get what they needed.
Painter, his agent Buddy Baker and Matty's former assistant, Cuonzo Martin thought so lowly of Purdue's athletic department, that they decided Martin's best opportunity would be at the University of Tennessee. This is the same UT program that is currently under NCAA sanctions due to Bruce Pearl's poor decisions and subsequent cover-up.
My Dad graduated from Purdue in '70...I was born five years later and was clad in black and gold diapers (if you will) from the very beginning. This is by far the worst day I can remember as a Purdue fan...and is definitely a watershed moment for my Alma Mater. Rumors began swirling two days ago about Painter's successor...and I didn't then, nor really do I now, want to focus on who would be hired. But, thanks to poor handling of Matt Painter and his staff, it must soon be addressed.
Will Purdue continue to chastise its alums and fans for wanting more? Will the athletic department keep focusing on non-revenue sports while not investing an equitable fair market amount for the staffs of the revenue-generating sports? Who knows. But the program...and really, the athletic department is at a crossroads.
Missouri was desperate for a winner...and Mike Alden did whatever he needed to do to hire the guy he thinks can make that happen. Congrats to Mizzou, its fans and alums- you're getting a great coach who does things the right way.
But this still stings...no it flat-out hurts.
This isn't Kentucky, Duke or UNC poaching a good Purdue coach, this is a school that just allowed Arkansas to take its coach, pilfering a 3-time COY...who is a Purdue alum. So where does Purdue stand in the pecking order of NCAA basketball? That question will be answer in how Morgan Burke hire the next coach and if they understand why Painter, Tiller and Keady all felt they weren't given the tools to create a consistent contender.
To quote the coach that Purdue allowed to escape its grasp 60 years ago, Purdue needs to "Be quick, but don't hurry" when seeking Painter's successor...and maybe most importantly, give that coach the resources to succeed.
But honestly, why should we believe they'd do that?