|Danny Hope went 22-27 in four seasons at Purdue. (USATSI)|
Purdue finished the 2012 regular season with a 21-point win over rival Indiana which helped the Boilermakers qualify for a bowl game for the second straight season. Unfortunately for coach Danny Hope two straight trips to a bowl game was not enough to save his job and he was fired the very next day.
As you'd expect, Hope wasn't very happy with athletic director Morgan Burke, and he didn't make any attempt to hide his feelings when speaking publicly about his dismissal for the first time Tuesday night.
"It came down to ticket sales," Hope told WLFI, a television station in West Lafayette, Ind. "But ticket sales have been dropping here since 2000. It's not all about what happens just behind the whistle. You have to have some accountability behind the necktie as well.
"I know it wasn't an easy thing for Morgan to do, but I felt like if he had been a little more accountable then he would not have had to ... exercised the responsibility of dismissing me. We had finished strong. And the players wanted us to be there. We hoped we had done enough. But I knew it was close. We had a tough stretch there and didn't come through at a critical time of the season and, obviously, had lost the support of our administration."
Hope went on to say he was "very angry" about being fired, and that he also didn't appreciate the way it was handled.
"How they went about doing it, I really didn't appreciate," Hope said. "I thought it was handled unprofessionally. I don't need to elaborate on that, I don't think. I thought we had done enough, made enough commitment to retain our jobs."
It's hard for me to blame Hope for being upset about losing his job as it's a natural reaction. However, I'm not sure going on television and blaming ticket sales and his boss is the right way to go about all of this. It wasn't just ticket sales, it was the sight of thousands of Purdue fans leaving Ross-Ade Stadium at halftime after Purdue looked lifeless against Wisconsin. The score was only 17-7 but the fans already knew there was no point in sticking around.
Combine events like that with the fact that Purdue went 22-27 in Hope's four seasons, and winning three games in a row against bad teams -- Iowa, Illinois and Indiana were a combined 10-26 in 2012 -- to barely qualify for a bowl game just wasn't enough to save Hope's neck in West Lafayette.
So while Hope might want to blame ticket sales and Burke, it's rather ridiculous to pretend his performance in four seasons had nothing to do with it.
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