Purdue made another stop on its Coaches Caravan on Tuesday, hitting Fort Wayne Country Club, and about 200 fans attended the event to get autographs, food and hear the coaches speak.
The set-up is great access for fans to say hello to coaches and get an autograph. Check out the video for a quick peek.
I spoke with Matt Painter, Sharon Versyp and Danny Hope. We'll have a story in Wednesday's paper about their reactions to the Big Ten's pay-for-play proposal.
But here are some other notes from the event:
Painter talks Bade decision
Back-up forward Patrick Bade opted to leave the men's basketball program to be a walk-on on the football team.
Painter talked about that decision-making process.
"I'm very direct with our players. Sometimes it's a turn on and sometimes it's a turn off, depends on who you are and the situation," Painter said with a smile. "But I pride myself in being honest. I told him like I told others, 'You have an uphill battle because you had a really great opportunity (last) year with Rob (Hummel) being out.' Now with Rob coming back, it's something circumstantial because in recruiting, we thought we'd be going to his junior year with (Hummel) being out of the program, and that wasn't the case. We talked about a lot of different opportunities, but it was his idea about football. But I did throw out a lot of different ideas trying to figure out what makes him happy and what he wanted to do."
- You've all read the ESPN.com story on Indiana Elite, A-HOPE and IU recruits by this point. In the story, Indiana coach Tom Crean said people talk bad about his program because they want to hold it down and gain a leg up in recruiting. The story said, "He wonders aloud whether Baylor and in-state rival Purdue might be shoveling dirt."
"Only reaction I would have to the whole subject is the fact that the guy from ESPN called us multiple times and we refused to talk to him. It's really none of my business," Painter said.
Versyp handling transition in program
Last week, assistant coach Ukari Figgs left Purdue to take a job as an assistant athletic director at Kentucky and junior-to-be Ashley Wilson decided to transfer.
"With Ukari, it's all based on family situation. It's a great opportunity for her to get back close to home and to do the things with her family she needs to do," Versyp said. "I'll hire an assistant on Thursday.
"With players, if the goals match up and it works out, great. If it doesn't ... I have 14 players next year, so we'll be fine."
- Incoming freshmen Liza Clemons and Torrie Thornton arrived on campus Sunday. Clemons still technically hasn't graduated from Snider High School. But she's finished her finals and will be back in Fort Wayne on Friday for the last day of school and graduation, Versyp said.
- The team will travel to Europe to play games against international competition in August, and the team is allowed to practice 10 days before that. Versyp said they've staggered those practices out for July and August.
Hope talks about policing players
In the wake of the Ohio State scandal -- players busted for selling items, for getting cars from local dealerships -- I asked Danny Hope how he goes about policing players.
"It is a challenge, but our situation is a little bit different," Hope said. "We're in a little bit smaller town, so it's a bit tougher to blend in, if you will. Most of our players and our athletes, they park in one or two parking lots. I recruit a guy and I have some idea what type of financial situation he may come from, and if I see him pulling up in the parking lot in a Lexus, I can become skeptical in some ways.
"So I think being closely connected to your football team helps you manage your players and keep an eye out that could go on that aren't supposed to. When you smell a rat, recognize that and address it and follow up on it. You can't turn your back on anything that you think might be an indication of potential monkey business. I think it's a lot of common sense application is probably a good policy."