The Hope/Rodriguez Fallout

There has been quite a bit of buzz around the internet since the shameful way Danny Hope went about voicing his contention with Rich Rodriguez after his Boilermakers won their first game at Michigan since 1966.

According to what I've read, #75 Zach Reckman was suspended for punching a player who was on the ground from Northern Illinois at the end of the game.

Video clip:

As far as I can tell, I don't see Rich Rodriguez anywhere on the field. In no way should Rodriguez be blamed for Reckman being suspended. And, even if it was a comment that Rodriguez said that may have led to the Big Ten taking swifter (word?) action, what does it matter? Reckman punched a kid on the ground and it was obviously blatant.

The story goes, Jonas Mouton was suspended for one game after he punched a Notre Dame player. Now, this was a judgment that was handed down by the Big Ten. Upon hearing the news and obviously upset about the whole situation, Rodriguez said this...
"As a coach you say, 'OK, the precedent will be set,' and that's why I saw we’ll look at every act," Rodriguez said in late September. "And, in fact, it's funny you say that, I saw a Big Ten game, in the locker room as we were leaving, highlights, and it was the end of the game and a guy jumped on someone on the last play of the game and did a little of this right here. Now is that a non-football act? It probably is, so that may be turned in and see what happens." 
That week, Reckman was suspended. Would he have been suspended if Rodriguez didn't say anything? Probably. I'm just guessing the Big Ten keeps tabs on stuff like this.

So where does Danny Hope get off blaming a fellow Big Ten coach for the stupidity of his own player? Especially when that fellow Big Ten coach wasn't even at that game or had anything to do with it?

I'm sorry, but Danny Hope really needs to take a step back and realize his own player is to blame for his own actions. And if those actions take place on the football field, then the coach also shares some of that responsibility.

Taking your own player and having him follow you over to rub his suspension in the face of the coach you just beat...who had nothing to do with how dumb of a move it was to punch another team's just simply shameful. It says a lot to me about the kind of guy Hope is, and the kind of players he is leading at Purdue.

Now, there are those out there who feel that Rodriguez looked like "a little lady" during his presser after the Purdue loss when he brought up the post-game incident with Hope/Reckman at midfield...saying that it was not the time to bring up such a minor thing like this. But I have to say to them is, when is the right time?

I was in the room. Rodriguez was pissed. He was pissed that he lost. He was pissed that it was his 5th straight Big Ten loss. He was pissed that his defense has turned into Swiss cheese. He was pissed that he's struggling in his 2nd season. And he was pissed that during a time when a coach is supposed to just shake your hand and say "good luck next week", Hope decided he would rub some salt in Rich's open wound.

If anything, I'd say it was Hope who decided to bring up this whole debate at the wrong time and the wrong place. The midfield handshake is not a place to grind your ax. You shake hands and walk away. But he couldn't resist. And he did it in a very classless way by bringing his own player to help pour it on. If Danny Hope has a legitimate gripe about Rodriguez, then why didn't he it up when it happened...or maybe at last weeks presser...or the post game presser?

Oh I know why...because he's a classless coach who wanted to make a stronger statement by being a jackass about it. This is a step in the wrong direction for the Purdue program. Beating Michigan was a huge victory for the Boilermakers, one in which the Purdue players and fans should be proud of...but Hope's actions have taken away from his team's achievements by making his personal gripe the leading story from the game.

1 comment

  1. Being a boilermaker I am very disappointed in the actions of coach hope after the win. It was just unnecessary...I hope this isnt a reflection of who Danny Hope is, he hasnt seemed like that kind of guy any other time...I will say this about classless acts...When Rodriguez was at WVU he had funding cut from swimming and track and field to line his pockets...what does that say about him? He took away opportunities and a means for other students to pursue a college education. I understand that football and basketball programs bank roll all University athletic departments across the country...I just found that incident pretty classless and unfortunate in general. I am not trying to defend Hope, but Rich Rod doesnt appear to be a stand up guy either. These type of classless acts belong in the SEC not the Big Ten.