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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 5

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 5 55 be things we need and want to do going forward, we're going to have to raise lots of money to do that because our debt capacity is not infinite. We've taken on a fair amount, so we're going to need great and lots of private support to make some other projects happen that are going to be important to us as we move forward." Gold and Black: Speaking of money, you had said you were going to make a financial commitment to football, and you certainly have even if we're strictly speaking of coaching salaries and support salaries for the staff. Brohm's salary was about a $1.5-million yearly increase. The assistant coach salary pool and what's been paid to support staff is about another $1 million. That's a significant amount of money. Where is that money coming from? Bobinski: "I would tell you that certainly wasn't just me. That really was from our Board and President (Mitch) Daniels. When I came, one of the conversations we had on the front end that I had is if we end up with a football transition, which obviously was a possibility, if we're going to do this, we need the opportunity to do it right. We can't halfway it. We can't try to sneak in the side door here and fake it. We've got to do it. I received every assurance at that point in time that is in fact what we would be able to do, and that has been backed up every step of the way. We've tried to be responsible and smart about it. We've not done anything that's outland- ish or completely off the reservation, but we've been far more aggressive than maybe we've been able to be in the past. That's where we're situated today, that's what it took. That's what it required. If we were going to make a big change in results, you've got to make a big change in approach. That's what we were able to do." Gold and Black: Looking at basketball, Caleb Swanigan was in contention for national awards and, as a person, has a great storyline. What are your thoughts on all of that? Bobinski: "Caleb and his whole story has been told nationally in some really inspiring and effective ways by many different outlets. I have had many people from around the country call me after seeing or reading a special on him and say, 'Wow, this is really something special.' And it really is. "First and foremost, it is a tribute to him and every- one that has helped him get where he is. From a pure Purdue perspective, it is one of those things that has been a profile-raiser for us. It has allowed us to reach a different realm of consciousness and has allowed for our brand and our name to be out there. It has been a great thing for Caleb and a great thing for Purdue, no doubt about it. Most importantly, though, this is great for him, and he has remained grounded and not everyone in his circumstance has kept it together the way he has. He has carried himself so consistently, professionally and responsibly. You couldn't draw it up much better." Gold and Black: You've been regarded as a recruit- ing-intensive AD. What can you do to make Purdue more of a destination for recruits and what can you tell your coaching staffs as expectations for recruit- ing? Bobinski: "Recruiting is undoubtedly the beginning and sometimes the entire story to whether a coach and a team will be successful. You can certainly coach kids up and develop talent, but if you don't start with a certain level of talent and ability, you'll never be able to get to where you should be. I talk to our staff about how they recruit and what their strategy is. I want to focus on our strengths and all the positive things we have here. I nev- er ever want to down-sell and under-emphasize what we have here. Making sure we are effective in how we present our strengths and ourselves is really important. We've added resources in the graphic design areas to make sure we are communicating and backing up what they're doing with the right kind of channels to get to recruits. Nobody is doing that better than we are moving forward. I want to make sure we arm them with all of that. "From a student-athlete experience perspective, we want to make sure things like our athlete nutrition pro- gram is really good. We don't want to lack in anything that an athlete's experience is comprised of. We must present a really complete package, and we have a great platform through Purdue and being in the Big Ten. We have this great and powerful academic institution with a half-million alums around the globe. It is just a substan- tive place. We want to sell that they will not only be part of something great while they are here, but they will be for a long time. That's not always easy to communicate, but when kids get it, it can be of great substance.

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