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Boiling Point

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Recruiting: Getting in touch

By now, Sara White is settling back into the rhythm of eating real meals for dinner.

Not the Lean Cuisine, pop corn or cereal she usually is relegated while husband Martin Clapp, one of Purdue's assistant coaches, is on the road recruiting during July.

Having a different diet is only one thing that's tough about being a coach's spouse in the month and being left home.

Simply finding time to chat with those on the road isn't easy either.

"We talk every day, but, sometimes, he might only have five or 10 minutes or he's really tired when he gets back to the hotel at night," White said. "I turn in pretty early, so sometimes I'm asleep by the time he gets back from the gym. So we make sure we touch base, but it's tough."

Matt Painter's wife Jerri said it's nearly impossible to have serious conversations with her husband while he's on the road.

Earlier in July, she said she called him at about 10:30 p.m. and there were things she "absolutely, positively" needed his input on.

But conversations are usually disjointed because Matt is distracted, she said.

"It's not things I can make decisions for myself," she said in a telephone interview in mid-July. "I'm having this parallel conversation with him, trying to talk to him about some things that are emotionally charged. He's going, 'Yeah, I'll have water. OK, go ahead. What do you mean I can't get supper? I can't get anything to eat? Well, I've got to have something to eat. I'm sorry, I'm going to have to go somewhere else.' I'm going, 'Hello? Are you talking to me?' He's like, 'I'm sorry. I haven't eaten.' I'm like, 'Could you just call me at a reasonable hour so we can discuss this thing?' Then he goes someplace else and is like, 'Can I have an omelet ...' "

Problem is, there really isn't a "reasonable hour" for coaches, especially while they're on the road in July.

"They live such a different reality," Jerri Painter said.

Jerri Painter said it gets to a point when she simply has to make what she thinks are the right decisions and move on.

Jerri Painter said she wanted to get daughter Maggie, 16, a car because she's a bad driver and has dinged Jerri's Escalade. Matt offered: "I'll think about it."

"So I go look at cars, come back and give him the information and say, 'You've got two weeks to tell me what you think and if you don't, then I'm going to make my own decision,' " she said. "I've found that e-mails or anything that's written is good so when I go back I can be like, 'Hey!' "

  • Got a lot of great stuff from speaking with Jerri Painter that likely will wind up in a profile of Matt Painter at some point during the basketball season. She's intelligent, got some spunk and hilarious. Can't wait to share some of the other stuff she talked about, including calling him a "control freak," saying there is a "two-sentence rule" in the house, about how consuming coaching is and its effect on the family and how difficult it can be for the family to go out without being mobbed by fans.

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