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Athletics Director Burke: Purdue Football Team To Focus On Processes, Not Outcomes

Stan Jastrzebski

Purdue Athletics Director Morgan Burke insists it wasn’t pressure from boosters that caused the firing of the Purdue football team’s offensive and defensive coordinators following a season-ending loss to Indiana. However, he says he wants their replacements to be better able to explain their plans for the team.

Burke was unequivocal when asked how much the prospect of having to pay $6 million to buy out the remaining three years of Darrell Hazell’s contract led to the head coach being retained.

“Zero. Z-E-R-O,” Burke says.

During a season wrap-up news conference Wednesday, Burke also maintained that, despite pressure from fans for changes following a 2-10 season, that wasn’t why offensive coordinator John Shoop and defensive coordinator Greg Hudson were sacked. But Burke did suggest the two had trouble explaining why their schemes might work, and he’d expect more from their successors.

“I want to be able to understand, I want Darrell to be able to articulate to me, who’s a quasi-layman, what they’re trying to accomplish, why they think it’ll be successful in the Big Ten and why they think with our roster right now why they think they can be successful,” he says.

Burke also says he wasn’t focused on the number of wins and losses as much as fans are.

But if Purdue’s football team does not win at least seven games next year, the 2017 graduating class will leave West Lafayette with the worst winning percentage over four years since the class of 1942.

A year after the Purdue football team brought in about $3 million fewer than the athletics department was expecting, Burke insists he doesn’t yet know just how disappointing this year’s figures are.

“I haven’t done the final accounting. I don’t guess on those things like that," Burke says. "It’s not a good picture.”

Purdue did report an average of more than 2,000 additional fans per game for this year’s seven home games versus last year’s, though Burke says some of that is attributable to lower ticket prices for family packages of seats.

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