Hagen addresses negative recruiting rumors

So apparently, there’s long been a nasty internet rumor going around about then-Purdue linebackers coach Mark Hagen negative recruiting against Indiana back when then IU coach Terry Hoeppner was sick.

I saw this being discussed on Peegs’ message board (and there might have been a mention of it here, though I don’t recall) and considering that it was apparently a pretty pervasive rumor, I thought Hagen deserved the opportunity to address it and clear the air.

Let me be clear about this. I told Hagen this was something I knew very little about, and that I was not making the accusation, but that it was going around and I wanted him to have the opportunity to address it, and he could feel free to not discuss it if he so desired.

But Hagen was adamant that the rumor was false. He said he had been asked about it before and wanted to make it clear that it never happened.

“Anybody that said I negative recruited is lying,” he said. “Anybody that knows me knows that I’m not that type of person. I don’t need to negative recruit. Go ask any high school coach in Indiana or the state of Illinois. Go ask any coach if I negative recruited against Terry Hoeppner at Indiana and they’ll tell you it’s absolutely a lie.”

Hagen admitted he had some bitter feelings toward Indiana after coach Bill Mallory was fired. He obviously played for Mallory and was close with all of his sons, especially Doug, who he will now work with.

“When they fired Bill Mallory that was a flat out bad decision, and you can print that,” Hagen said.  “Hindsight is always 20-20, but if you look at the history you can see tat. I was bitter when that happened and that’s well documented. I can remember late in the day, when it happened, in 1996. I worked with Mike Mallory. He came in and said ‘They just fired my dad,’ and it bothered me.”

But Hagen said it’s something he’s grown to accept and it certainly would never influence him to negative recruit against Terry Hoeppner.

“They hit a home run when they hired Terry Hoeppner and I would never stoop so low as to use someone’s illness against them in the recruiting process,” Hagen said. “Whoever is saying that stuff is a liar … People that would use someone’s illness against them in recruiting… that’s just… that’s beyond… people that would do that are just scum.”


  1. I guess Ill buy it. Sounds a little defensive though. Did I read right that Doug Mallorys team gave up 44 points a game last year or was that a bad dream or misprint? Im all for the Mallory family being involved in IU football but hmmm…

  2. Of course he’s defensive. He gets hired at his alma mater, and there are nasty rumors going around about him.

    And New Mexico is a terrible place to be right now. The previous staff left them on probation and in a hole.

  3. would have never known if I was not reading this blog topic. Not sure it even needed bringing up…especially if it was just rumor…gotta love the Peegs posse on message boards, pure crap!

  4. It’ll just be nice to see Hagen with proper-colored clothes in his wardrobe again. That black and gold just doesn’t match up right with an IU class ring.

    I’m with J Pat on this one…I’m sure the rumor came from some clown on the Peegs board or something. I’m sure some of that recruiting nonsense went on, but I can’t imagine Hagen, a player from the Mallory era, stooping that low against Hep — maybe against DiNardo or Cameron, since they were actually bad coaches and not the greatest flag-bearers for IU, but not against Hep.

  5. Mark Hagen and his family are nothing but top-shelf first class people. Welcome back to Bloomington. We will find out who started nasty rumors and have them go through about 10 minutes of one of your drills. Dustin – negative, anonymous bloggers may have some journalistic significance to a few of the younger social networking genre of sports writers, but not to coaches/people like Mark Hagen.

  6. I had heard something about this, but it more centered around the recruitment of Jerimy Finch. I remember watching a press conference with Bill Lynch and he got very aggitated when asked about it, which led me to believe it was true. Never heard anything about Purdue doing it though.

  7. This is all based on some ridiculous Internet rumor created by that moron Mac624 on the Peegs board. I feel bad for recruits and coaches like Hagen who that guy posts nonsense about. It’s unfortunate that Hagen has to answer this BS, but I guess that is the downside to our culture of blogs/message boards.

  8. I believe Hagen is telling the truth and I don’t believe he negative recruited against Hep or IU. I appreciate the way he strenuously denied the accusation. I would have done the same thing against a false accusation. Sounds like he has some pride and integrity. Good for him!

  9. As I understand it there are two flame throwing know-it-alls on Hoosier Nation with one claiming to be a well connected ex-player pushing the Hagen rumor button, hard. Saying they have first hand knowledge of a HS recruit confirming to them everything from broken eggs to Repunzel’s golden hair. But no verifiable proof has been offered for substantiation. Hell I’ll tell you who shot Kennedy if you will only ask.

  10. Wow. Who knew? Something like a LIE on Peegs- when did this start. Gee, I do some work for a couple of months and come back and now someone on Peegs is lyiing- shocking…………….

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