Hoosiers looking for big men to lead the way

Tom Allen says it all the time.

At Indiana, big men lead the way.

Or, at least, they need to. They better. In order to compete inside the rugged Big Ten East, strong, cohesive play on the line of scrimmage is an absolute requirement for the Hoosiers.

After 13 practices this spring, IU has a better idea of which big men will lead its offensive line into the 2019 season. It’s an important spring for the Hoosiers, who are retooling up front after graduating right tackle Brandon Knight, left guard Wes Martin and center Nick Linder from last year’s team.

There’s still more work to be done, and jobs generally aren’t won in the spring. But with all but two of Indiana’s spring practice sessions in the books, the Hoosiers are moving toward the summer with a more complete understanding of who will lead the way this September.

“There’s a bunch of guys that I think we just need to have a great next few months in our offensive line room and our defensive line room because all those young guys have to grow up,” IU coach Tom Allen said. “They gotta get bigger and stronger and it’s gonna show up in the fall. It’s a long season. We’re gonna need them all. We’re trying to get as many guys as we can as many reps as we can and just keep coaching them up every day.”

Though the departures of Knight, Martin and Linder mean IU is losing a combined 77 career starts from its program, a trio of returners provide at least a measure of stability up front.

Senior Coy Cronk has started all 36 games in which he’s appeared at left tackle, taking over the position in 2016 and making it his own. Fifth-year senior Hunter Littlejohn started the first four games at center last season and played in all 12. Littlejohn’s classmate, Simon Stepaniak, is coming off a season in which he started all 12 games he played at right guard.

Success on the offensive line this season will start with them.

The key for Indiana will be filling the holes around Cronk, Littlejohn and Stepaniak, a multi-faceted mission that has begun to yield some results this spring. Perhaps the most pressing question is who will take over for Knight on the right side. After 13 practices, redshirt sophomore Caleb Jones and fifth-year senior DaVondre Love are the top contenders.

Jones, a 6-foot-8, 360-pound former left tackle, has received most of the work with the first team offense this spring. Love has been taking most of the reps with the second team.

The early returns on Jones have been encouraging.

“Even (Tuesday), I tried to put him into some spots in the screen game to where I could see if he can get out and run and move and I thought he did a really nice job,” first-year offensive coordinator Kalen DeBoer said. “It was our first day with a certain screen that we put in. I specifically put it in the way we did to see what he was capable of doing. To me, that’s part of installing the offense. It’s finding out what our guys can do. I think he’s done a really nice job. Steady improvement from where we started early in the spring and he’s fit in nicely.”

With Martin moving on, Indiana is turning to Harry Crider as his potential replacement at left guard. Crider is a versatile junior who also played in eight games as a center in 2017. Should Indiana also need long-term help at center, Crider could be the next best option.

Michael Katic, a freshman interior lineman from Pennsylvania, is another potential option along the interior. Katic enrolled at Indiana early to get a head start on the fall, and after the starting the spring at center, he has since moved to guard.

“It’s kind of hard to snap and learn a new system, so we’re gonna try and get him seasoned at guard first, then he has a chance to be a guy in our center rotation as well,” Allen said. “There’s a bunch of different guys.”

It’s also worth mentioning the impressive spring of walk-on Charlie O’Connor, a 6-foot-2, 314-pound redshirt freshman from Western Springs, Ill. O’Connor has been IU’s No. 2 center all spring, and will look to earn a spot on the two-deep when fall camp begins in August.

“(He) does a lot of good things,” Allen said. “Big, big guy, who’s broad shouldered and strong and works extremely hard.”

As IU moves to fill holes on its depth chart, offensive line coach Darren Hiller says he’s intrigued by his options.

“Britt Beery’s coming along,” Hiller said. “Came here as a D-linemen. We flipped him over after his first year. He’s coming along. He’s played multiple spots along the line.

“But I think Coy has been good, Harry’s been good, Hunter’s been good in there, Simon. It’s what we’ve expected. We got some veteran guys that have played and then we’ve got these young kids, and the spring’s been good. It’s a daily grind. We’ve just got to keep coming.”

After a poor showing during the 2017 season, IU’s offensive line demonstrated gradual growth in 2018. By the end of the fall, the line’s improvement as a unit was evident in Indiana’s rushing totals across the final five games against Penn State, Minnesota, Maryland, Michigan and Purdue.

In that span, IU averaged 4.8 yards per carry and 168 rushing yards, while scoring nine touchdowns on the ground.

From practices one through 13, DeBoer says the line’s further growth in the running game has been one of the most encouraging developments of the spring.

Slowly, but surely, the Hoosiers are identifying the big men they need to lead the way.

“We’ve done a better job every day of communication, both in the run game and in our protections,” DeBoer said. “I know that they have a lot of ownership. You can tell that there are a few upperclassmen who have put a lot of time into this program and it means a lot. I’ll certainly be riding their emotions and their desires that they have to make sure that we get this thing right.”

49 comments

  1. Reading between the lines, I’m guessing DeBoer is closely scrutinizing his O-line coach’s performance. Not just his performance in developing offensive linemen, but his ability to recruit them, too! I hope these two coaches are on the same wavelength and working well together, because the offense has to improve its performance in 2019 if IU is going to have any chance at producing a winning season. And with at least a full year on campus, the new S & C staff should be able to produce significant improvement in the size, strength and quickness of these linemen. It’s T.A.’s third season, a more challenging schedule, and he can’t afford to have his program appear to be going backward.

    1. In a recent interview, DeBoer said he had been putting Jones in spots where he had to make more athletic blocks. Sounded like Jones was passing the tests so far.

  2. 1. Let’s hope fifth-year man Stepaniak displays some leadership this year instead of immature stunts that draw flags.
    2. Let’s hope we get a write-up soon about special teams. They really need a lot of work.

  3. The pieces seem to be in place for the OL to be improved this year but only time this Fall will tell us how they have developed. The OL is bigger and stronger from time in the weight room as they will average 6’4″ and 315 lbs or more. How it impacts their ability to move defenses off the OL will have to be seen this season. If the OL develops this year it could be a big boost for the defense made up of young players.

    Off season practices are tough to evaluate because you are only going against themselves. Is the offense good or is your defense is poor. If the defense is playing well is it very good or is your offense not up to par. The first game of the season is tough for coaches as they never know for sure how well the team can play until after the first snap of the season. Then the season becomes can you get better game after game.

      1. FS,
        I agree and also always appreciate V13’s assessments. Stevie Scott was probably the best development from last season. IUFB appears to be starting to accumulate a good stock of RB’s, and that is always good news. As for Stevie Scott, I thought it was amazing how effective he was playing against B1G defenses stacking 8,9, & 10 men in the box. Imagine how much more effective he could have been (and may yet be), if the defenses had to fear a QB capable of putting the football downfield.

        Here’s hoping that both Penix and Tuttle are the real deal, because no matter how good your O-Line is, they can only do so much against a defense stacking the line of scrimmage. If you cannot force the defense to spread out against the threat of a QB capable of putting the ball anywhere on the field, you’ve O-Line at a tremendous disadvantage. Can’t do that to your O-Line when they have to contend with B1G caliber defenses, especially in the east side of the conference.

        1. Agreed, Stevie Scott was a very pleasant surprise last season. I honestly had him pegged as a LB when he committed.

          I think we saw how much different the offense looked in Penix’s short cameo last season. I can’t see any team stacking the box against him unless the situation calls for it.

          1. FS,
            That is the point I have been hammering on ever since the PSU game. Lest I run the risk of H4H saying I can’t let go of a point, even one with a modicum amount of FB understanding should have seen this one. It didn’t matter whether it was Penix or not at QB, it was the threat that his arm posed to the PSU defense which changed their strategy radically. Not that he only has a canon arm, but rather he is a skilled passer in addition to having a decent set of wheels in the package.

            It remains to be seen as to whether or not TA can pull this off operationally, but one thing is for sure, he has the right ideas strategically. Question is, will Hoosier Nation recognize this and give him the measure of support he needs to have a chance to succeed. Jury is still out on whether he has the right HC stuff needed, but he sure is trying.

  4. ^^^ True to a large extent….But I also believe phenomenal running backs can find the smallest gaps. They can also serve to keep d-backs, safeties, corners, linebackers far more honest. In other words, superb strength at the running game can open spacing in the mid to mid-deep passing game.

    If we had an explosive Coleman or a tackle-buster like Jordan Howard, who’s to say Ramsey doesn’t have a much more effective mid-range to mid-deep passing game? Walter Payton made life a hell of a lot easier for Jim McMahon….And don’t forget how easily the Bears could exploit when they’d use Payton to slip out in the flat and exploit via a little drop off pass behind charging linebackers of a screen pass.

    Versatility and strength at all aspects is needed. IU will no more exploit with a cannon arm if they can’t convince a defense to truly fear the talent in the backfield. Getting the ball deep will certainly help…but it’s not like we haven’t had big arms in our past. You have to make a defense pick their poison.
    Nothing is a panacea. You must have depth and breadth of talent at running and passing. You must have some explosive players(a running back or dangerous wheels on your qb) difficult to stop no matter a “stacked box”….or dishonest defense unworried about a Hoosier deep threat. You must have steady leaders and heady decision makers who function without fear under duress.

    1. Exactly H4H,
      You said it best when you said, “Versatility and strength at all aspects is needed.” That was what the offense was missing last season with the tremendous handicap at the QB position. There is a reason why the Wishbone offense fell out of favor despite having great running backs and O-Lines. If there was no credible threat of the pass, even a “mid to mid-deep” passing game was ineffective. The passing game does not have to be the greatest aerial show on earth, but it does have to pose a credible threat. That did not happen last year because the capability was not there.

    2. I won’t argue that having a cannon for an arm is the answer to IU’s problem. Richard Lagow had a howitzer for an arm but he was inaccurate and made terrible decisions.

      Can you ever remember a time when IU had this much talent up and down their roster? I can’t. Now, I can’t say I’ve followed IUFB as long as some of you but I’ve followed it for quite a long time. Some years I had tuned out by game three because even Ray Charles could see that IU had no chance to compete in the B1G. Those days are over. IU might be young at some positions but the talent is there at every position. The coaches need to step up now.

  5. “It remains to be seen as to whether or not TA can pull this off operationally, but one thing is for sure, he has the right ideas strategically. Question is, will Hoosier Nation recognize this and give him the measure of support he needs to have a chance to succeed. Jury is still out on whether he has the right HC stuff needed, but he sure is trying.” BINGO! You nailed it, think.

    But after 11 consecutive losing seasons, those few citizens of the Hoosier Nation who still care about IU Football, absolutely don’t care about why or how! They’re tired of excuses, people justifying another losing season, and hearing about the new coach needs for more time. They just want a winning season.

  6. Here are the seasons of IUFB:

    Spring: Neutral- Ok last year didn’t turn out as planned but the team has some new players/coaches/techniques to build on.

    Summer: Optimism- Hey the new rb/qb/db/lineman look really good! Players X,Y and Z are much improved over last year. The team looks bigger/faster/stronger. 6, 7 or even 8 wins are in reach!

    Fall: Reality- After a few wins against inferior competition, IU get’s murdered in league play- 3,4,5 game losing streaks. Those bigger/faster/stronger guys from Summer don’t look as big, fast or strong as any Big Ten school not named Rutgers. Coaching mistakes, foolish penalties and inferior talent spell another sub-500 record.

    Winter: Pessimism- We’re a basketball school and a declining one at that. All of IUFB’s traditions start and end in the parking lots. At least basketball is back.

    Maybe this year will be different. Maybe.

    1. 123,
      You said a lot when you repeated something which we all have heard many times. “Winter: Pessimism- We’re a basketball school and a declining one at that.” The question is, “Why, why is IU not only a failure as a FB school, but a declining one time BB school?” How can it be that one time FB only schools in the SEC of all places, are now becoming BB powers? Like it or not that is what is happening. How can IU not only be a failure at FB, but for a quarter century be a struggling BB school?

      The answer is inescapable, it is those in leadership at the university. How did they get there? At the hands of the trustees either elected by the Alumni or appointed by the Governor. There will be the obvious excuse that academics are more important, which is correct. Funny thing though, some pretty prestigious academic institutions don’t seem to have a problem with presenting a competitive presence in athletic competition. Stanford, Duke, and Northwestern come to mind immediately. No lightweight academic institutions there, and reasonably competitive in many sports including FB & BB.

      1. Think- IU is not a prestigious academic institution. The scores needed to be in the top 25% of all IU students is lower than the average score of the bottom 25% of Northwestern. IU ranks in the lowest 1/3rd for test scores of the Big Ten. So academics are not the issue. The problem is the entrenched dynamics. Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State generate millions more each year from their football programs. If IU does start beating them, they have the resources to upgrade their facilities, recruiting and coaches. It’s like Dell Computer saying, “this is the year we take down Apple!” Well good luck with that.

        1. I agree 123,
          That was the point, if prestigious academic institutions can be successful then IU has no excuse from the academic side. It is therefore an institutional problem which despite the difficulties can be overcome with the right people in charge. The are plenty of schools out there with similar or greater challenges which have turned it around successfully. This is totally a problem at the top and you correct that by changing the dynamics on the Board of Trustees, and that begins at the Governor’s office which controls 6 of the seats.

  7. The perception of IU football is that of a historically bad program. Even during the Coach Mallory era, specifically between 1987 thru 1994, IU’s most successful run, the perception was IU not being a real threat. Beating OSU and UM was viewed as more of an outlier, a fluke, then IU actually being good, which we were.

    Is that perception something that IU will ever be able to change? That’s a tough question because IU is in one of the toughest divisions in college football, and many automatically give IU three losses (UM, OSU, PSU) with a strong possibility of four with MSU on the schedule. That puts us at a disadvantage before a game is played.

    Coach Allen has improved recruiting, but coaching decisions have been suspect at times. Hopefully the new coordinators will help him to overcome these lapses, and that will result in a .500 or better record, but it cannot be just one season. IU has to string 5 or 6 years of .500 or better to really draw the attention of those highly desired recruits.

    1. SOSD,
      That’s the reality of being in the B1G East. Which also serves to underscore the insanity of the B1G running with 9 conference games instead of 8 like the ACC & SEC. All it will do is further diminish the B1G nationally. If anything, the B1G should have cut it to 7 conference games.

  8. Comments of hope just like the last 100 years.
    Then, Po and others say or think innocently “don’t care about why or how, they just want a winning season.” I would include they don’t care “who” either. Most people including IU fans make general statements not realizing what is actually being said which leads me to thinking about perspective. The money and emphasis placed on things that have allowed no perspective or out of control perspective that has blinded a large part of society including the sports society. Specifically, as I look at stories coming out regarding Michigan State University which included US gymnastics. Now, jump to the latest news where Bailey Kowalski accusing 3 basketball players of rape and her stating how Michigan State University counseling officials responded to her. Of course like always University officials main goal is protection and damage control as they stated Izzo knew and knows nothing. (He probably doesn’t) Again protection and damage control system. (Paterno, Sandusky, and Penn State is another example). Where has all the perspective gone?
    No, it doesn’t mean all are guilty. Overwhelmingly most are good. Maybe? People talk. The word gets around (among individuals and players; hush, hush… some like to brag). Innocent until proven guilty, yes. Naive, decision making and consequences? Then, of course there are the pro sports, entertainment, political arena, religion, business examples that include an infinite number of cultural behaviors. No, not all are guilty. However, when is enough, enough? Do all have to be involved in a culture of behavior that is familiar to us all, that so often we turn our heads as if it is on a well lubricated swivel. I have only brought up a couple examples. There are many more examples. Society, its values and laws are only as good as its people make them. After watching sports, continue to read about and watch all the troubling stories regarding sports I wish I were able to take a step back. The addiction and where is the perspective moving forward?

  9. It’s about leadership, or the lack of it. And as for the IU Athletics, ask yourself, “what is the common denominator over the last eleven years?” Answer: Fred Glass.

    Now I’m not saying it’s all Fred’s fault. He has a boss that has tolerated this extended mediocrity and/or decline for far too long. And the Board of Trustees are responsible too, but it’s hard to hold trustees accountable when they’re constantly turning over. And what about the Hoosier Nation? We’ve continued to tolerate this sub-par performance for decades, so we share in the blame. But it’s the guy who gets paid over $600,000 per year, and whose job description is to oversee IU Athletics, that is most responsible. Where’s the accountability? It kind of makes you wonder what IU’s President and Board of Trustees have communicated to Fred Glass? Obviously, they have not emphasized to Fred that winning in football and basketball are top priorities! If they have, how is he still employed as IU’s A.D.? I don’t believe any other Power-five conference school would continue to employ an AD whose football program has not produced a winning season in 11 years! No, I suspect Fred’s bosses have assigned him other priorities that they believe are more important than building/sustaining winning athletic programs and competing for championships. What those other priorities are, we may never know. But I’ll guess they are something like “maintain clean programs,” “minimize expenses and stay within your budget,” and “don’t tolerate any behavior that would embarrass the university.” And those priorities are all well and good, but they’re milk toast and represent the minimum standard of performance. And it seems that IU’s President and Board of Trustees believe that a university can’t abide those priorities while building winning athletic programs! Either that, or Fred Glass is a world class con man who continues to convince IU’s risk-averse administrators (i.e., losers) that success is just around the corner and all he needs is a little more time (until he retires). Hey, maybe if we install an even taller flag pole and buy an even bigger American flag ……

  10. Hey, maybe if we install an even taller flag pole and buy an even bigger American flag ……

    So it’s o.k. to suggest disingenuous behavior as it pertains to patriotism/flag-waving by our leaders/coaches within IU Athletics, but totally off-base to suggest the use of religious symbols/quotes/bible-waving as disingenuous?

    I would argue that the American flag is a symbol to unite all of different races, origins, ethnicity, sexual orientation, creeds, and faith under a common good….while religious proclamations tied to one chosen faith often have the effect of separating and dividing out those who do not espouse to what is being preached.

    The American flag does not deserve the disingenuous exaggerations of ‘enlargement’ to gain favor(political or moral) anymore or less than a specific ideology/faith being regularly boasted/enlarged/exulted. Both should be open to critique. Would flying a 50′ x 50′ flag of a cross next to the gigantic flag be any less ostentatious?

  11. If you’re going to do it the right way (clean), then it’s going to take time. And as fans, time is all we have. I’m still sticking to my “Tom Allen is our Barry Alvarez” claim and I’m certainly not ready to throw the towel in on Archie Miller.

  12. I appreciate Tom Allen as a man, and I applaud the moves he’s made this year (new OC, new DC, focusing on being a head coach, improved recruiting, etc.) But it took two years for him to make those moves and he’s yet to prove himself as a Power-five conference head coach. But compare IU’s last two football season’s to Purdue’s last two seasons. They’re in stark contrast, and if the differences don’t stick in your craw, your not a passionate IU fan. Purdue has excellent leadership at the top of their University, and those leaders hire and empower coaches who produce winning seasons in the two most important college sports. Two years after four consecutive losing football seasons in which they lost to IU, Purdue Football has just passed IU by with two head-to-head wins, two winning seasons, two bowl games and consecutive higher-rated recruiting classes. It’s not about T.A., …..yet! And those who say he needs time are correct. But we’ve been giving un-proven head football coaches time since Hep died. Lynch needed time, Wilson needed time, and now Allen needs time. Why do IU’s students, alumni and fans need to suffer because the coaches Glass hires need time? How about we emulate Purdue and hire coaches who don’t need a lot of time?

    As for doing it clean. Of course. That’s part of IU’s DNA. But there are many programs that win while abiding by all the rules. Is Purdue football and basketball dirty? Are’s Purdue’s coaches breaking the rules? I don’t think so. So let’s stop suggesting IU is special because our coaches follow the rules. In football, we’re clean losers. In basketball, we’re become the epitome of clean mediocrity. It’s time we joined the group of schools that are clean winners. Real leadership does that.

  13. Again, the wins are coming.

    Jeff Brohm is an ELITE level coach and he won’t be at Purdonkey much longer. Hometown Louisville nearly brought him home a few months back. Whatever ELITE level program that fires their coach after this coming season will go full force after Brohm. BOOK IT.

    Why would we want to emulate Purdonkey in hiring Brohm who will move on to greener pastures sooner than later? Again, IU needs their Barry Alvarez who will be a lifer and not someone who is gone and in a few years where the AD has to find the next up and coming guy or some past their prime has been coach.

    As far as running a clean program, it’s a hell of a lot harder than you think when it comes to basketball and football. I’ve seen first hand the shady stuff that goes on and a lot of the programs that are perceived to be “clean” are not.

    1. Generally speaking, someone usually has to actually do something ‘elite’ to be considered as personally elite. Usually, more than once.

      Based on the criteria of actually doing something, Brohm is ‘slightly better than average’.

      When and if he should ever actually do something elite, then it is another conversation.

      1. Yea, it’s not like he’s won a B1G crown or anything but to get THAT team to back to back bowls with what that roster was made of? That was the work of a miracle worker. Having a veteran QB and superstar Fr WR helps but that defense should have given up 50+ to MAC teams.

        1. Well, as of now he is 13-13.

          Of the two bowl trips, one of them was a record setting effort for futility. Purdue put up the worst first half performance in the history of college football bowl games.

          To honestly evaluate his performance you have to include the failures as well as the successes.

          You can’t look at 13-13 and the worst bowl game performance ever recorded and call it ‘elite’.

          1. Lets boil 13-13 and 10-14 down to the lowest common denominator. PUke’s OC is B1G elite. IU’s ex-OC was DII average. But the 3 win advantage was heavily leveraged by David Blough. Who is very possibly going to have an NFL tenure. DeBoer is now in town. Thankfully DeBord and Blough are not. Circumstances more positive for the fortunes of PUke are no longer involved.

          2. Only one problem with that 13-13 record at PU. The coach just got a 7 year 36.8 million deal. How much is IUFB willing to pay?

          3. thinkaboutit,
            Sounds like they were trying to use the same thought process Fred Glass used when giving Tom Crean contract extensions…only Crean had actually won something first. Purdue is operating completely on faith.

            That might work out for them or they may have crippled their athletic department for the next decade.

            Time will tell.

            I’m with HC. Take away Blough and you are likely looking at a couple 4 win seasons.

          4. Chet,
            Even more so, put PU in the B1G East for the last two years and see if the results are the same.

  14. Fish. Agree 1000%. And it is beyond shady. One cheers for a good play. What is exactly being cheered for? The shady, unclean, criminal off court or off field etc??? (includes everyone not just players) or just who are the same individuals on court or field etc???

    1. I just try and look at it only as a fan. Getting caught up in the shady stuff kills the game for me. The world is a giant shady business now. The shady stuff trickles down to youth sports now more than ever. I’ve seen things at every possible sports level that would blow your mind…or maybe just confirm some of the ideas you thought were going on in the shady world of sports.

  15. fish. I understand. I don’t expect an answer to the question of what is actual reality, what is actually being cheered?supported? liked/loved? identified with? idolized? who one thinks he or she knows but doesn’t know?dr Jekyll vs hyde of sports? In all the shallowness of the sports fan that only sees the play on the court or field and blind to all things not positive or good. Cheers, applause, good feelings of superior highness; it is truly a world of make believe.

  16. Come on, guys…In the days of the sexual revolution and reefer revolution, there was more going on out in the open than what happens behind locked dorm room doors these days.

    The times are not more morally corrupt. The current times are more about hypocrisy and those making gazillions attempting to sell themselves as squeaky clean (often wrapping themselves in symbols of purity) .

    The degeneracy is more in the protections, collusion and nepotism….of a small percentage of perverse leaders who sell everyone else as absent character, class and decency. Enter Robert Kraft.

    It is a puritanical wave of the upper crust always targeting the dorm room weed smoker(and far less engage in drugs than when it was the rage in the 1970’s), the minor stumbling into a night of sexual innocence…or the athlete who gets a measly few bucks on the side to wear a certain sneaker.

    The real crooks and perverts walk around as if they walk on water(selling a high bar of morality while living like scoundrels to judge everyone else)….because they never had any GD fun when they were young!

    Don’t be so hard on the present. Live and don’t judge. We all were far more fortunate to live in times of braless coeds in halter tops , freewheeling potheads and fantastic parties on dorm room floors, fast and loose sex with no fear of getting filmed or catching the most deadly of diseases a shot of penicillin wouldn’t fix…and a far more liberal stance on a women’s control of her own body.

    Today’s youth is tempted by much more than any cookie jar I ever knew…But all in all, for the level of puritanical scrutiny and the invasions of privacy, it’s a tame generation.

    1. Check out the 1953 John Wayne movie ‘Trouble Along the Way’. It is all about cheating in college football recruiting.

      I believe there is a line in Forrest Gump about playing 5 or 6 years at Alabama.

      The Kentucky basketball team was the only basketball program to ever receive the NCAA death penalty. It was for a point shaving scandal. That was for the 1952-53 season.

      Things are far, far from being worse. They are simply different.

  17. “Entertainment.” “Make believe.” Let’s never forget that. Obsess about how Glass is milking the system until retirement or who is clean and who is dirty as you will, sports is naught but a diversion from our work-a-day lives. And said diversion includes me typing these words and reading what y’all have to opine. Which is why I’m not embarrassed to say I’ve never given any money to any college sports programs. I’ve read here that some of you have been regular contributors to IU athletics, and to that I say “It’s your money.” If you call me a free rider, I won’t take exception. OK, I do pay for cable TV (or whatever it is) so, yes, a few of my dollars trickle into the fetid world of “amateur” big time college sports. But otherwise, I’ll stay on the sideline as long as far more worthy causes need some help.

  18. Never seen so many sour-grape statements on one string before.

    Brohm may not be an elite coach yet, but he’s getting Elite money from Purdue. Averaging over $5.2 million for seven years, I doubt he’ll get poached by another school for quite a long time. Meanwhile, Allen is the lowest or second lowest paid coach in the Big Ten.

    Yep, Purdue has a “superstar” wide receiver. It didn’t happen by accident. They recruited him. They had a veteran QB who was talented. How’d that happen? They recruited him and developed him. But how’d Purdue get transformed from one of the worst teams in the Big Ten into a team that produces a winning season and goes to a bowl game in a matter of one year? And how, in the next season, did that team beat the stuffings out of the #2 ranked OSU? And how did that team just sign a top-25 recruiting class? I guess it’s just luck.

    1. Do I think that Brohm is overpaid at this point? Based on the historical 2 year production, probably. Is PU making a calculated investment? Apparently so. Has IU showed any inclination to do make similar calculated investments in the last 50 years? Only once and it produced 3 national BB championships. Maybe twice depending on how CAM fares. I know some will want to raise the issue of the minor sports, I’m speaking strictly of the two sports which actually have the potential to pay for themselves.

        1. Not so sure about that, at the time he was considered a pretty hot coaching property. The thinking was if you can win at Army in BB, you can win anywhere. Can’t remember the dollars involved compared to his peers, but early on they certainly did what was necessary to keep him.

          1. Chet is correct. Knight was nowhere a high $ option in the industry. I know having a car as part of the financial package was a big deal for Bobby. Which is a good deal for any employer instead of the equal amount outright given as salary. Nope RMK was a tremendously successful investment for IU athletics but a relatively cheap 1.

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