Danny Hope was the coach of the Purdue football program for four years, and in that time, the Boilermakers compiled a listless 22-27 record. He was fired following a 21-point win over in-state rival Indiana in the regular season finale, in spite of the fact that the win got the team to bowl-eligibility.
Understandably, Hope was upset after being fired. He did not speak out on his pink slip until Tuesday, but apparently that was not nearly enough of a cool-down period for the mustached man. Instead of taking the high road, he blamed his firing on sagging ticket sales.
“It came down to ticket sales,” Hope told WLFI, a television station in West Lafayette, Ind., via CBS Sports, “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.”
Watching a Purdue game — any Purdue game — under Hope immediately makes the administration’s lack of support glaringly obvious. However, the now-former coach was not finished. Not only did he blame his actual firing on extenuating circumstances (and yes, winning some games would have gotten people to attend those games in the first place) but he then went on to express his dissatisfaction with how the administration went about letting him go.
“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.”
Here’s the catch in Hope’s statements, and it’s pretty simple: If he had performed his job to the very best of his abilities (and maybe he did and he just stunk, in which case, the firing was reasonable anyways) then the administration could have done theirs in a more admirable fashion.
The facts, however, forced the hand of the athletic department. Beating Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, who were a combined 10-26 in 2012, to sneak into the postseason simply is not going to cut it.
You hear that, Darrell Hazell? Enjoy your first Spring practices as Hope’s replacement — because your predecessor is most likely hoping you fail.