Boilers and Hoosiers Caught Cheating: Same Story Different Results

Boilermaker fans enjoy trying to point out how much cleaner and classier their program and fans are. I mean really, they do it a lot. Go check out Hammer and Rails and the fan post section and you’ll see a poll on how classless they consider the IU fandom to be. They’re above us and we aren’t worthy to be in the same building as them. Par for the course in this rivalry. Purdue fans complain of arrogance in the IU fan base, but then tell us how much better fans they are than us because more people who didn't attend IU like us.

But how about the class of their athletic department? They always rip on IU for being a bunch of cheaters, even though the entire system has been purged since that debacle in 2007-2008. Not a single individual remains from that regime. New AD, new coach, new everything. IU did something wrong and they self-punished themselves to the tune of completely blowing up a top tier program. But AJ, what does any of this have to do with Purdue you ask. This seems to be tearing us down than propping us up. Well hold still my little birdies, I’ll feed you.

In March of 2005-2006, Purdue women’s assistant coach Katrina Merriweather, wrote, corrected and revised a research paper for point guard Cherelle George. The NCAA launched an investigation into the cheating ways of the Purdue program and found that it did indeed occur. They also discovered that head coach Kristy Curry was made aware of the violations twice and proceeded to do nothing about it. Purdue was an Elite Eight team that year and the only personal consequences Purdue invoked upon itself was the suspension of said player. That’s it. You had a coach, writing papers for players and the player got suspended. Very strong of you Purdue AD.

But wait, there’s more. When NCAA investigators looked further into the academic scandal at Purdue, they also found that Merriweather made over 100 impermissible phone calls to recruits. Which as all IU fans know was a major rules infraction. The NCAA, not the university mind you, punished the Boilermaker women by docking them two scholarships for a season and 2 years of probation. That’s it. That’s all. Kelvin Sampson’s staff made a total of 45 impermissible phone calls to recruits. Indiana blew the program up and fired everyone that even looked to be involved. The NCAA didn’t have to take action, the University took care of itself. This wasn't so with Purdue. They cooperated when the NCAA launched an investigation into the matter, but they never took matters into their own hands. They took the easy route and just crossed their fingers that the NCAA wouldn't sacrifice them at the rule book altar.

Purdue had a similar situation at a similar timeframe that also included doing academic work for a player. The NCAA docked two scholarships and that was the end of it. A much less prominent team than the Indiana Men’s basketball team was left to continue on it’s path (Mainly because that’s the only thing that does win at Purdue). So I ask you who has the integrity between athletic departments? The one that took a known risk and paid dearly for it through self sanctioning of its flagship athletic program, or the one that knew of some violations, didn’t take any action and suffered much less punishment for nearly identical offenses? Purdue had the opportunity as an athletic department to take the high road and police itself in a non-revenue program. Instead, they opted to take the slap on the wrist and continue like nothing happened.

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