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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 28 Digital 3

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 28, ISSUE 3 23 getting this space switched will be a plus for us because academics are pretty important for Purdue. We don't want to in any way say one thing and then show some- thing else. If we say how important a Purdue education and degree is and then show you half-baked academic facilities, then that doesn't add up. "Then to go ahead and answer the follow-up ques- tion, there are things in the stadium to work on. There are projects which we continue to refine our thinking on, and for me, the next near-term thing is the tech- nology in our stadium. The south end zone scoreboard, a much more high-tech and prominent display for the north end zone and a complete re-do of the sound sys- tem. I have seen renderings of possible setups in the north end zone, and they look really cool. It is another way in which we can continue to move forward. "The south end zone is the one I get a question about seven times every day, and that is a little bit further down the road because it requires such a significant invest- ment. We made a $60-plus-million investment (in the new Football Performance Complex), which increases our debt load significantly, and there is no short-term capacity to do that again. The south end zone is not a $60-million investment. This is larger than that by at least a magnitude of three. We have not taken our eyes off that, but you have to have an economically sound and viable approach. We will continue to fight hard to make that happen as soon as possible, but it is not im- minent." Gold and Black: You can do a new south vid- eo board without recreating the entire south end zone, right? Bobinski: "We don't have to do much right now. We have a significant structure in place that houses that south end board. That south end board is not in great shape. Once the season starts, we turn it on and leave it on because we are afraid it might not come back on. That structure can continue to exist, but with new elec- tronics. We know that structure will come down once the new one is put in place, and the boards can be re- purposed. If you remember watching the Mackey boards go in, they are modular and can be put in new formats or be put in other buildings. If we do that, it is not a lost investment or sunk cost (once the south end zone is completed)." Gold and Black: Do you see the early signing day in December being a one-time thing since the sched- ule for teams involved in bowls is really tight? Bobinski: "I am curious to hear what Jeff and our as- sistants think about this since it is our first time through. We'll kick the tires on it nationally too, but I think that currently, Jeff and our staff think it is a good thing. You used to go through December and into January babysit- ting the commitments, and it never seemed productive. I think there is value in an early signing period, but I'm not sure if we have the date right and I don't necessarily have a suggestion. Things clearly changed during this recruiting season while high schoolers were in-season. Things change and the whole thing remains fluid, so if you made it prior to the season, then you wouldn't have all this additional data and more time to evaluate. "It has compressed things dramatically, especially when you're in a bowl game. There's a lot of everything at the same time. Once signing day comes and goes and you have around 90 percent of your class done, that is going to feel pretty good." Gold and Black: What have you done in your time here to make Purdue an easier sell on the recruit- ing front? Bobinski: "I think we have done a lot. More than anything, people know that the way you recruit has to do with the trajectory of your program, not that devel- opment isn't important, but focusing on what we can do to help our coaches from a recruiting perspective is something we have tried to do. We had someone come in the other day and present to our assistants and some of our head coaches on recruiting messaging. How to accent the positives. How do you take what your cur- rent athletes are saying about their good experiences and translate that into a positive recruiting pitch? You want to be presented an attractive picture, but also an accurate one, too. There's a survey and lots of informa- tion being gathered. He and his team did a deep dive on what makes an effective visit and where should a visitor's time be spent. The old-school thinking says a recruiting visit should touch on a certain list of 17 ele- ments. For today's young person, maybe 10 of those 17 are completely not of interest. Make sure you're spend- ing time on things that will move the needle and make you as attractive as you can be. "It is a constant evolution and conversation, and it is about making sure we have the resources in place

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