Purdue athletics officials say the reason they chose to upgrade the school’s football training facility before fixing Ross-Ade Stadium is two-fold -- the program needs better players to succeed and it was the only one of those two projects the department could afford in full.
The bulk of the $60 million set to be spent on the Mollenkopf training facility will come from Purdue’s portion of the Big Ten Network television contract.
Athletics Media Relations Director Tom Schott says the team needs a recruiting focal point to help lure better athletes to Purdue, and some shortcomings of the current setup have been hampering recruitment and training of players.
“Not from the ‘we can’t share and all get along’ standpoint, but the fact that the football players, if the goal to have them all work out together, they wouldn’t because of having to jockey schedules around,” Schott says.
So while the Mollenkopf project could be completed for $60 million, it’s unclear the same could have been said for the widespread and even more costly changes needed at Ross-Ade Stadium, which Athletics Director Morgan Burke described to WBAA last winter.
“I’ve given you two items: one scoreboard and the maintenance and I got you over $30 million," Burke said. "So when you’re all said and done, this will be a large undertaking – it’s a large project.”
Schott says football coach Darrell Hazell helped spearhead the Mollenkopf plan and added that, despite some calls for Purdue to replace Hazell, he believes the coach will be on campus to see the plan’s expected completion in 2017.