Friday, May 25, 2012

Boiler Briefs - Money Talks Edition

There's been a bit of general Purdue news the last few weeks that we haven't yet weighed in on, so here we go.  This week's theme is money:

  • I've really enjoyed what other writers have said here, here, and here about the cluelessness coming out of the Purdue athletic department regarding installing permanent lights at Ross-Ade.  The $1 or $2 million installation cost is acceptable when considering the life of the lights, local businesses would benefit, and the added exposure of more prime-time games should be a good thing (if you can win them).  And while I understand not wanting too many night games that make it hard on families travelling or with young kids, more 3:30pm or 4pm start times would make me weep with joy, and you need lights for those.  Week after week of noon starts is annoying for everyone involved.  Purdue also needs to keep pace with other BCS schools.  The majority of the Big Ten schools have lights on their stadiums, and almost every other major conference program (90%!) have lights.  This isn't Wrigley Field, and people aren't in the streets protesting to keep more day games, so get it done Purdue!
  • Speaking of spending money on athletics, check out this recent story in The USA Today.  Based on their database, Purdue is last in the Big Ten regarding athletic spending at $66.2 million  (Northwestern is excluded as they're private).  Purdue athletics were actually profitable, as were all Big Ten schools (although Minnesota broke even), assuredly thanks in large part to the Big Ten Network.  While some will read this report and merely be appalled by how little Purdue spends on athletics, I'm proud of the fact that we can field competitive teams, make a profit, and provide no university subsidy.  Our athletic department is fully self-funded, doesn't take money from the more important academic endeavors of the university, and still makes $3 million annually.  Seven Big Ten schools receive anywhere from $272,000 to $7.8 million in university subsidies.  For comparison, Indiana receives almost $3 million in school subsidies and wouldn't have been profitable without that margin.  Obviously football is king for athletic revenues, and powerhouses Michigan ($11 million) and Ohio State ($9 million) make the largest profit with little or no school subsidy.  We'd probably all like Purdue to spend more on sports and their facilities, but I don't want to see that happen at the sacrifice of our students and academics.
  • Next season's money-making ESPN Big Ten/ACC Challenge schedule is set, and the Boilers will head to Clemson on Wednesday, November 28th.  Hopefully the road game will be a good early season test and Purdue can make it four straight Challenge victories.
  • Yes, we missed out on Julius Mays, and that sucks.  I was trying to ignore posting about this since it just makes me angry.  Could we have used him?  Yes, and I told you many of the reasons why.  Do we need him? Probably.  Here's hoping Ronnie Johnson is the immediate point guard stud we think he can be.  It seems like Mays would have fit in well, but the siren song of Kentucky basketball and this money-loving class act caught him.  I wish Mays the best and hope he gets everything he wants out of that arrangement (playing time, national exposure, connections, money, etc.) to help make his NBA dreams come true.

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