You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Purdue University

  • Ross-Ade patio to offer alcohol
    With nearly 6,000 bleacher seats removed, the south end zone at Ross-Ade Stadium is being turned into a patio area that will serve alcohol and food during games, Purdue announced Tuesday.
  • Purdue’s top teams haven’t been on top
    Raheem Mostert. Dani Bunch.The names do not rise readily from the brainpan, unless you are one of those people who bleed black and old gold from every pore. Yet they are a big deal these days in West Lafayette.
  • Pair of Fort Wayne products key for Purdue
    If the Purdue basketball team is to bounce back from consecutive losing seasons, the reversal of fortune almost certainly will have a strong Fort Wayne flavor.

Ex-Boiler coming to grips with situation

– Jay Simpson was not at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, absent from Purdue’s locker room.

If he watched the Boilermakers’ 63-61 loss to Ohio State on Thursday in the Big Ten tournament, he did so like most students: on the West Lafayette campus, via television.

This is Simpson’s new reality since doctors discovered his enlarged heart, a condition that last week put an immediate end to his basketball career.

Now a non-athlete, he is totally immersed with his studies in organizational leadership and supervision.

“I’m trying to stay positive, get my grades up, get my degree as quickly as I can, graduate and get on with my life,” Simpson said when he met with reporters this week.

The redshirt freshman does plan to remain around his teammates when they are on campus.

But Simpson is still coming to grips with the fact that he won’t play another game with them.

“It’s sunk in a little bit,” Simpson said. “It didn’t right away. It took a few days for me to realize that it’s actually over. I’ll be all right. That’s just hard to take when something like that is just taken away from you.”

Simpson said he had never experienced anything like the fall and resulting dizziness he suffered at Nebraska on Feb. 23, the last time he took the court.

“When I fell, I didn’t really know what was happening,” Simpson said. “I was like, ‘What are you doing in my face, (trainer) Chad (Young)?’ He asked if I needed to go to the locker room. I said I was OK.”

Simpson has hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and continuing to play could have been fatal, as it was for Boston Celtics great Reggie Lewis.

“I’m pretty blessed because usually the first symptom of this is death,” Simpson said. “With it being just fainting for me, I thank God every day for that.”

Simpson said hearing that he had this genetic disease of the heart muscle left him in initial shock but that he is trying to make the best of it.

“It happened so quickly, out of nowhere,” Simpson said. “Even though it’s hard, I’m trying to stay positive and get more in touch with God and my family.”