Road map for Purdue sports laid out

This photo provided by Purdue University on Thursday, June 5, 2014, shows a mock up of the helmet that will be worn in the Sept 27, 2014 football game against Iowa. The Motion P logo looks similar to camouflage, but it's actual photos made up of 600-1,000 photos provide by season and student ticket holder wearing Purdue gear. (AP Photo/Purdue University)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – In January Purdue University Athletics Director Morgan Burke will post the department’s five-year road map for Purdue’s 20 sponsored sports. The plan includes specific details in the categories of athletics, academics, fiscal, equity, image and leadership.

On Saturday before the Purdue-Northwestern football game he briefly outlined the plan to fans.

The theme of the road map is to be in the 25/85 club. That means to have a top 25 Director’s Cup finish, when usually the school finishes about 46, with 85 percent student athlete graduation rate.

First, athletically, the school has a little bit to go to make that top 25.

“We need to have 16 of our 20 teams in post season on a consistent basis,” Burke said. “We’ve had 14. That’s out high water mark, but we have to have 16.”

Of those 16 teams, eight of them need to be in the top 16, and the other eight in the top 32.

Burke said one of the ways he wants the teams to get there is by improving certain people on the sidelines- the assistant coaches.

“We’ve got to get the best,” Burke said. “Then, we have to train them. We can’t assume when they come in they know what they’re doing.”

Academically, the school has an 84 percent student athlete graduation rate. Burke credits that in part to excellent student advisers.

This year data found math courses gave the students the hardest time, so students started math classes early as Freshmen. Burke said math scores midway through the semester are encouraging.

“I could see us finding one course, we have a good system in place, let’s find the next one,” Burke said.

It will also be a busy five years for facilities. Burke said in his 10 year financial plan he has a schedule to work on the facilities to keep them contemporary.

Softball will make the move out to the McCormick Road complex this spring, wrapping up that complex’s transition which also includes the facilities for Purdue baseball, tennis and soccer.

On December 5 a group will sit down to look at designs from six architectural firms from around the country. The design will be the permanent design for Ross-Ade’s south end zone.

“I’m telling you it’s provocative and transformative,” Burke said. “The question is do we have the courage to make a bold step.”

The plan also includes a large capital campaign. The Purdue Athletics Department is one of only a few self-supporting athletics departments. Burke is also encouraging more participation in the John Purdue Club, which has lost 1,000 members since 2008.

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