OT--Purdue making last-ditch threat, er, plea to a transferring Sandi Marcius

Submitted by StateStreetApostle on April 30th, 2013 at 11:18 PM


For the TL/DR crowd, Purdue's AD has flat-out told the press that if Marcius transfers, he has to pay for his summer school (which he needs to graduate in order to avail himself of the grad year exception) himself.  This is about $7K.  If you come back, all is forgiven!  School is free again!!  Plus you get to cuddle with AJ Hammons in the low post for another year!!!

"Burke told Marcius that he has endeared himself to the fan base and that a permanent affiliation with Purdue will help him in the business world."

Wow. Now, I'm certainly not arguing that universities should have to actually care about the welfare of their student athletes, at least if they're ceasing to be their own, but let's look at this critically, shall we?  

It's one thing to make this "offer" (in fact, it's fairly understandable) but quite another to make it public.  What does that gain Purdue?  Other basketball players have ears, and all this story needs is a little traction and then you have Bo Ryan / Jarrod Uthoff v2.0.  Then Purdue will WISH they'd just paid the $7K and saved the face.  Then, even if he DOES come back, what have you won?  A year's worth of Sullen Croatian?  (And the paper, to its credit, does bring up the fact that they have paid for others in the past...)

I'm thinking this is the NCAA equivalent of "don't break up with me or you owe me for the tux i rented for prom".

Other things we can learn from this:
1)  Never, ever, trust a dude named "Morgan".
2)  Huge universities can indeed act like a jilted sorority girl even when dumped by a single one of their 40K+ students.
3)  One would have thought that in "leaving Croatia behind" you'd perhaps have also left behind "getting suspended by your thumbs under questioning by the authorities".  Welp.
4)  Matt Painter has been listening to the Eagles' "Hotel California" on repeat play on his iPod ('you can check out any time you like...')
5)  If your coach looks like a used-car salesman, he will probably act like one too.
6)  Don't go to Purdue.  Just don't.



April 30th, 2013 at 11:31 PM ^

I mean... I get the not going public about it thing... but I can't get outraged by this.  Why should the school pay for an extra semester of summer classes when the guy is planning on transferring to play for another team the following semester? 


April 30th, 2013 at 11:36 PM ^

I'm certainly not saying that they should!

But aren't you bothered by the semi-blackmail of "if you just change your mind, we can make that ALL disappear for you"?  Their making an allusion to an angry Purdue alumni base not helping him out for the rest of his life simply because he didn't spend a fifth year there?

Just say, "fine, pay your own way."  But don't be all, "if you come back, i won't post these pics on the internet".


April 30th, 2013 at 11:52 PM ^

But aren't you bothered by the semi-blackmail of "if you just change your mind, we can make that ALL disappear for you"?

Not really. It's sort of the standard reality of the situation as far as I'm concerned.  As has been mentioned, I don't think anyone ought to expect Purdue to pay for his school if he leaves, and if he stays, they will pay.  That's just how it is; telling him so isn't blackmail.  The rest is recruiting.  I do think it's a little odd to fight the battle in the papers, but it's probably nothing that doesn't happen elsewhere.


May 1st, 2013 at 12:03 AM ^

Even if that were "standard reality", that doesn't mean it should be ever thus.

What is different about this situation is that

  • the player has already requested a transfer, and they're still trying to win him back...which...awkward.  Just let go already!
  • they paid for a grad-year-transfer's summer school credits (John Hart) just last year!


May 1st, 2013 at 10:01 AM ^

Because basketball players are encouraged to take fluff classes during the season and make it up in the summer when they have time to study.  He already put in his two semesters this year, and deserves his summer classes to catch up.

Ali G Bomaye

May 1st, 2013 at 10:40 AM ^

Should Michigan continue to pay for Denard Robinson taking classes this spring?  He's already said he's going to play for the Jacksonville Jaguars next fall.

Or more on point, should NC State have pulled Russell Wilson's scholarship in April 2011 when he announced he was going to transfer to another school for the fall of 2011?


May 1st, 2013 at 4:37 PM ^

Are we allowed to pay Denard's tuition now?  I'm not sure what the rule is about that.

Did Wilson continue to attend classes at NC State over the summer of 2011?  I'm assuming he didn't.

This is a weird issue.  Normally, when guys transfer, that's it - they go to school at their new place.  Wanting to transfer from PU but still go to school there in the summer is kind of strange.


April 30th, 2013 at 11:34 PM ^

It's one thing to make this "offer" (in fact, it's fairly understandable) but quite another to make it public.

This is just bad PR. I have NO problem with them telling a kid who is transfering, "Alright, but your athletic scholarship is only good so long as you're a member of the athletic team." None. That's just logical.

However, coming out with it seems pretty foolish. Maybe they assumed it would get out anyway, so why not do it first? But if so, find a better way to frame it! Something like this:

"Purdue University has reached out to basketball star Sandi Marcius, hoping that he will return for a final season in Black and Gold. Marcius, a fan favorite, is considering transfering for his final season, and the university wanted to ensure he was aware of all the benefits returning might hold as he considers his final-year decision."

Space Coyote

April 30th, 2013 at 11:36 PM ^

I don't really know who made it public, Purdue or the player (this may be a response by Purdue, or some sort of attempt to quell backlash if the player leaked it to papers and tried to make Purdue look shady), but I really don't have a problem with Purdue telling someone to pay for school that isn't fulfilling the obligation he made in return for getting free tuition. He wants Purdue to pay for his schooling so he can play somewhere else.

Yes, player welfare, caring about your students, that's all fine and dandy and nice in a hypothetical world, but it just doesn't make much sense here other than maybe it would look good to future recruits. But I don't see many guys helping out their soon-to-be-ex-girlfriends find a new boyfriend.

Now if he was planning on playing basketball at Purdue, he would have school paid for. If he finished in four years he would have had school paid for. If he wants to transfer and play a graduate year elsewhere, he's perfectly able, he just has to graduate. And to graduate he either had to do so in four years and gotten a free-ride due to his ability to play a sport, or he could get four years paid for and have to pay for one summer semester, which compared to my college funding, seems like a wonderful idea still. Then he can get one year of graduate school paid for whereever he ends up. Not too bad.


April 30th, 2013 at 11:43 PM ^

  • As far as "made it public", Marcius hasn't talked to anyone in the press except for a text message confirming that he was seeking to transfer 3 weeks ago.
  • Also, Purdue has done this for other transferring players, like John Hart just last year!  THEN Painter basically comes out admitting in the article that 'this is a different situation because Marcius left us and we cut John Hart'


April 30th, 2013 at 11:38 PM ^

If he's no longer playing sports there, why would the school need to pay his tuition? You can always find a way to spin it if you want to hate someone/something, but this would happen just about anywhere.


May 1st, 2013 at 7:12 AM ^

If college basketball players are just mercenaries, then there is no need to pay them once they stop playing.  If they are student-athletes, then the school should pay what it costs for him to complete his degree, because he has given them the agreed-upon four years of playing on the team.

There is no way Purdue's AD doesn't come out of this looking like an asshole.  I suspect that this is true because the guy IS an asshole.

snarling wolverine

May 1st, 2013 at 6:29 AM ^

This seems like a non-issue.  Of course he won't get tuition paid for if he's not going to play for them.  I don't think this would hurt them in recruiting.  They have a perfectly logical explanation.  The kid is asking for a release from his scholarship, so why would he remain on scholarship?




Mr Miggle

May 1st, 2013 at 7:34 AM ^

It seems stupid, you have a point there. The outrage? It seems misplaced as to every other point. I fail to see anything resembling extortion, blackmail or threats. Purdue is certainly entitled to try and persuade a player from transferring. I dare say that happens all over. As far as paying for John Hart in a similar situation, you pointed out the difference. They weren't going to offer him a fifth year. Helping him transfer without havng to sit out a season was the right thing to do under those circumstances, even if they weren't obligated to do so. Bo Ryan took heat for placing unreasonable roadblocks to a player's transfer. There's nothing unreasonable about asking a player who's left the program to pay his own way. 


May 1st, 2013 at 8:54 AM ^

I saw this thread and read through Section 15 of the NCAA Division I Handbook, which governs financial aid and the circumstances under which it can be provided.

Long story made short, Purdue would be explicitly prohibited from providing aid to a student attending another institution (if he transferred), but further, even if he did stay but not in his present scholarship, he would not be eligible to play except under certain conditions (i.e., the aid comes from his family, from a non-athletic scholarship or from certain types of grant programs).

In essence, if he is released from his current athletic scholarship, it seems like Purdue can do almost nothing so long as that is his status. 



May 1st, 2013 at 12:20 PM ^

Seems to me that if Marcius dedicated 4 years of basketball to Purdue, Purdue owes him 4 years worth of education, which in any Div 1 players case will have involved spring and summer semesters.  This sure smacks a bit of indentured servitude.


May 1st, 2013 at 4:43 PM ^

But you could argue that this year's spring/summer terms apply to 2013-14, since only athletes eligible to play that year are going to be in school.

I don't think Purdue is doing anything amiss.  He wants to transfer, so he should take classes at his new school.  It sounds like the problem is that he can't make up his mind where to go.