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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 1

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Page 8 of 78

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 1 9 PASSING THE BATON A s clear as he could be. That is what Morgan Burke was during an Aug. 24 press conference that served as a farewell of sorts. "When MIke (Bobinski) gets here on Sept. 1, he will be the athletic director," Burke said as if there should have been an exclamation point after the statement. "I will help him in any way I can, but the baton has been passed at that point. I like the relay race analogy in that we have built a lot of good things here, but it is Mike's turn to take it and run with it." There probably should be an exclamation point after that statement as well. As you will read in our story on Bobinski on Pages 12-15, he comes from a different place than Burke. That is not surprising considering that Bobinski is the first athletic director in Purdue history to have no tie, direct or indirect, to the University. But it is reasonable to pre- dict that the two personalities might actually serve to complement one another. During this transition time and beyond. Burke is a process guy and Bobinski has said that he is less so. Yet, it is likely comforting to the incoming A.D. that the trains have usually run on time on Burke's watch. And the rationale behind Burke's de- cisions over the years were always based on a great deal of analysis and thought. The lawyer in Burke assured that. But Burke balanced it with his "all about the kids" philosophy when dealing with the student-athlete. Did all of Burke's decisions work? Of course not. Foot- ball needs to be in a better place, everyone knows that. But my guess is Bobinski will spend time evaluating the "elephant in the room," with the help of Burke's perspective. Bo- binski's known as a good listener. My first impression of Bobinski is simple: I like him. That means I like his personality, how he handles him- self and the indication he has given on how he will manage Purdue's athletic department. Both Burke and Bobinski share an extremely compet- itive nature. They both want to win, but not at all costs. From the get-go, Bobinski will operate in an environ- ment where he will be judged on whether he can makes the right calls to ensure a turnaround in football, among other things. For better or worse, that is the world we live in. It is about winning, and likability and empathet- ic listening count, but only for so much. As the baton is passed between the two men, it seems that the race to win is speeding up even more in college athletics. How Bobinski thrives in that environment will no doubt determine when he, and his de- partment, cross the finish line. From Publisher Alan Karpick Gold and Black Illustrated A publication of Boilers, Inc. 2605 Yeager Road, West Lafayette, IN 47906 765-237-5002 or 1-800-876-GOPU (4678) Fax: 765-497-2110/ President/Publisher Alan Karpick 765-237-5078 Editor Brian Neubert Publications Coordinator Kyle Charters Associate Editor/Football Stacy Clardie Photography/Cover Photo Tom Campbell Graphic Designer Gary A. Hoffman Advertising Sales Alan Karpick Subscriptions/Marketing Lucas Ball, Jordan Cory, Hayley Karpick, Reid Karpick, Michael Wood Printer Walsworth Printing (St. Joseph, Mich.) "He's a competitive SOB, and he will fit us." University president Mitch Daniels on new athletic director Mike Bobinski "When a guy asked a question, I gave an honest answer. To me it was always all about the kids." Outgoing athletic director Morgan Burke on a couple things he wanted to be remembered for during his 23 years as A.D. "I think there's some fight in these guys." Coach Dave Shondell on his volleyball team, which was picked by league coaches to be in the lower half of the Big Ten this season.

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