Big Ten Conference

photo provided by Purdue University

By many accounts, Purdue doesn’t compare well with its Big 10 peers when it comes to underrepresented minority student enrollment and success. During the Spring 2015 semester, African American, Pacific Islander, Native American, Hispanic and multi-racial students made up only 11.5-percent of the school’s student body.

According to census data, those same groups, minus those who identify as multi-racial, comprise more than 18-percent of the state’s total population.

Purdue Athletics

When the Big Ten Conference suggested limiting the participation of freshmen athletes, it was all but laughed at. But Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke says it’s no laughing matter, even as he acknowledges the fact his conference can’t go it alone.

As the NCAA tournament gets set to conclude this weekend, we talk about whether Kentucky coach John Calipari is wrecking the spirit of intercollegiate athletics with his open endorsement of the “one-and-done” philosophy of recruitment.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

It's hard to tell much from watching warm-ups. Shots are taken, passes made, slam dunks attempted. But those slams told the tale Wednesday for Purdue's Basil Smotherman, whose energy fueled his team whenever the sellout crowd's adrenaline began to wane.

Though Rafael Davis led the Boilers with 19 points, it was Smotherman's end line-to-end line pushes that defined Purdue in a 83-67 win over a top-20 Indiana team.

Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

 Long scoring droughts plagued both ends of the court, but Wisconsin was able to make up for lost time with a late second-half run that led to a 65-56 win.

While Wisconsin shot 45-percent from the field, Purdue flailed, making just 31-percent of its shots. This meant longer dry spells for the Boilers and more time for the Badgers to bank 12 points off of 11 Purdue turnovers.

"Our transition defense was God-awful in the last four minutes and that's when they got a run," Purdue coach Sharon Versyp said.

Purdue Athletics

It’s a new year and we’re turning over a new leaf on WBAA’s Off The Field with Morgan Burke. Sure, there’ll be the same question-and-answer format, but on this first show of 2015, we give Purdue’s athletics director a chance to take a crack or two at us in the media. What do we get wrong, screw up and step in?

On this week’s show, we also dig a little into why the Big Ten’s revenue sharing agreement means Morgan Burke is rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes to beat Oregon in Monday’s football national championship game.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

Missing some of its top receivers and playing a team fighting for its postseason life, Purdue couldn’t afford many mistakes Saturday. Five turnovers proved way too many to overcome on the way to a 38-14 loss.

Northwestern scored 17 points off Boilermaker turnovers and rushed for 237 yards, including 147 yards and two touchdowns from freshman Justin Jackson.

Purdue’s first possession of the ball came on an interception by Danny Ezechukwu just nine seconds into the game. But when the Purdue offense had the ball, it struggled to advance.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

A major factor in several losses for Purdue's football team this year has been the team's deficits -- not on the scoreboard, but in personnel. A Boilermaker math major might make an equation out of it: fewer athletes means fewer wins.

Men's basketball coach Matt Painter has had many more years to find Big Ten-caliber athletes than has Darrell Hazell, and it's beginning to turn those deficits into dividends.

Purdue University

Purdue’s two-year-old tuition freeze appears to be lowering the amount of debt Boilermakers are assuming.

In the 2010-2011 school year, students on the West Lafayette campus had amassed about $223 million in debt. Through the first month of this school year, that number is about $40 million smaller – an average decrease of about $1000 per student.

Purdue Athletics

Some questions in this week's conversation:

You’re on the record as saying it’s gotten harder in recent years to draw students to games. There are a lot of factors to which one might attribute that – what stands out most in your mind?

You mentioned on our last program that when the Big Ten Network money came rolling in a few years ago, you doubled down on improving facilities. What other amenities are you considering putting into sports facilities?

Big Ten and Pac-12 paired for two more bowl games

Jun 24, 2013

The college football bowl season is six months away, but the Big Ten and Pac-12 are making future plans. The two conferences have new arrangements.

The first is a deal with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in the San Francisco area. The other is with the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.

The Pac-12 has an existing relationship with both bowl games, but each will get improved selection rights for a conference team. Officials with the two bowl games are still working on selection order for the Big Ten Conference.

Expanded alliance between Big Ten, Pac 12 is over

Jul 13, 2012

After months of planning, the Big Ten and Pac 12 conferences cannot reach an agreement on increasing the number of games played between the two.

Last December, it was announced football teams from each league will play against one another beginning in 2017. Other sports would see more match-ups between the two conferences as well.

A news release today (Fri) canceled that arrangement.

Statement from Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott:

Hummel named Big Ten co-Player of the Week

Feb 27, 2012

Robbie Hummel has been named Big Ten co-Player of the Week.

The 6' 8" forward led the Purdue Men’s basketball team to wins over Nebraska and 11th-ranked Michigan last week.

Hummel recorded a season-high 29 points against the Cornhuskers, and had 17 points and nine rebounds in the road win against the Wolverines.

The Valparaiso native plays his final regular season home game Saturday at Mackey Arena.

Tipoff is at 6:30 against Penn State.

Senior Night ceremonies for Hummel, Lewis Jackson, and Ryne Smith will follow the game.

Rayburn Earns Player of the Week Honor

Jan 17, 2012

A Purdue athlete is the Big Ten women’s basketball player of the week for the first time in three years.

Brittany Rayburn won the honor for her play against Minnesota and Iowa.

Against the Gophers, the senior scored 38-points and hit an NCAA record-tying 12-three-pointers.

In the Boilers win Sunday against the Hawkeyes, Rayburn made the go-ahead free-throws and blocked a potentially game winning shot.

This is the first Player of the Week award in her career and first weekly award this season for any player on the team.

The Big Ten conference season opener for Purdue’s men’s basketball team ended with a win.

The final score against Iowa Wednesday night was 79 - 76.

Robbie Hummel had 16 points and D.J. Byrd had 14.

Purdue is 1 - 0 in the Big Ten and 11 - 3 overall.

The Boilermakers return to play Saturday at 4 p.m., taking on Illinois in Mackey Arena.

The Big Ten Conference is entering a new arrangement with the Pac-12.

Beginning in the 2017 football season, each team from both leagues will play against one another. The inter-conference match-ups will start as soon as next season in other sports.

The agreement also will provide more content for the Big Ten Network and the soon-to-start Pac-12 TV network.

Administrators and conference staff members will meet in the coming year to continue to work out details of the collaboration.