I really thought that I was done writing about the Purdue basketball team for the short term. Last week I heard rumblings about Matt Painter leaving Purdue to go to Missouri. At first I didn’t put any stock into them. Then tonight I just decided to read up on Purdue a little and realized that over the weekend things started to pick up. Apparently there has been some sort of contact between Painter’s reps and the Missouri Tigers. Right now I don’t know what to think. I just assumed that Matt would be a Purdue Boilermaker until he retired. I guess I never considered the fact that he might want to leave.
A week ago I would have put the chances of Painter leaving at around zero. Earlier tonight I would have put them at about 50/50. Right now I don’t know what to tell you. Terms that have been thrown around are 7 years at 2 million a year. To me that just doesn’t sound like enough to leave a program that you have built up. He wouldn’t be making enough extra to change jobs. Add to the fact that I am sure Purdue would counter any offer that Missouri would make, or at least offer some kind of incentive to stay.
Earlier tonight the biggest wrench was thrown into the situation when former Boiler player and coach Cuonzo Martin was hired at Tennessee. I would have guessed he was the heir apparent to Painter if anything weird should happen. Now I think the search for a new coach would be very interesting. If they won’t pay to keep Painter who will they pay for?
Of course all of this is just speculation right now. Rumors are that Painter has until Tuesday to make a decision. The next couple of days will go a long way in my opinion towards the future of the Purdue program. Right now they have a solid base with some nice recruits coming in. Who knows what will become of the recruits if Painter leaves. I for one will be glued to my phone the next couple of days trying to see what is going on with this program. I don’t think it would be the end of the world, but I think we will be able to see it from there.
Are there any facts here? No. This is just a way to vent some frustration at an awkward situation. I really like Coach Painter. I don’t know what inside sources to believe. Some say he is staying for sure. Others say that he is gone. I feel like I am waiting for JJ to decide all over again, but with much higher consequences. When will someone pop out and yell “April Fool’s!”
Update (3/28 7 a.m.) One of the sources above saying Painter was gone was a Columbia tv reporter. It turns out he was getting his information from a guy with a few tweets who was just randomly tweeting about Painter. I thought that a TV station might be a good source, but I guess you had to check his sources.
Another strange development is the fact that I am starting to care less either way. I really thought that since I really started watching basketball when Painter started coaching that it would bother me. For some reason though it really hasn’t. Nobody on the Purdue side has said anything yet so this could all be a ploy by Missouri. The way this thing went viral last night it could also be the best use of social media by a man to get a raise. The amount of people that were sending emails to Burke based on Twitter had to be worth just sitting back in Florida and watching. I would guess that Morgan Burke has contacted Matt to see exactly where his head is at. If anything this has added some excitement to the start of the week.
Update (3/30 12:00 pm) The deadline set by Missouri is here, and nothing new has really happened. Still seeing people trying to get the scoop on both sides. Seth Davis has re-tweeted that Painter is leaving followed by a re-tweet that nothing has been decided. This just goes to show you where good reporting has gone. Instead of getting facts everyone wants to be first.