It was reported by the Lafayette Journal & Courier that former Purdue basketball player and current Purdue football player, Patrick Bade, was arrested for suspicion of public intoxication in West Lafayette around 3 a.m. Saturday.
Sophia Voravong of the J&C reported that Bade was arrested after a scuffle with a bouncer at Harry’s Chocolate Shop. The incident prompted this tweet from the former president of the Paint Crew:
Bade’s arrest is the latest in a number of incidents over the last year that has attracted negative attention to Purdue athletes. This includes the guilty plea of Ralph Bolden for public intoxication, DJ Byrd‘s conviction of public intoxication last spring, the dismissal of Kelsey Barlow for breaking team rules, and the second arrest of Dwayne Beckford last December.
It’s surprising to see this behavior in Purdue athletes, especially with Matt Painter’s track record of graduating all of his players in the last four years, and Danny Hope reaching benchmarks for the football team’s cumulative GPA and graduation rate (as indicated by his bonus in December 2011).
So with the success in the classroom, why are the athletes of Purdue’s revenue sports finding themselves in repeated trouble with the law? Some say that law enforcement is particularly tough on students near the Purdue campus bars. It’s not uncommon though for student athletes at other major D1 colleges to get in trouble, which is evidenced by the annual Fulmer Cup rankings.
Still, something has to change in the culture of Purdue athletes to be more conscious of their actions and avoid trouble like this. The most obvious solution is to avoid being at the Purdue bar scene late at night since this was the setting for the arrests of Bade, Bolden, Byrd, and Beckford (who all coincidentally have last names the start with “B” and earned me major alliteration points). However, a coach’s rules are surely to be broken when there are a whole team of 18-22 year olds. Accordingly, there has to be punishments for when the rules are broken.
Personally, I like Matt Painter’s approach: two strikes and you’re out. If you have a run-in with the law once, then learn from it and keep your nose clean the rest of your college career (see Tarrance Crump, Keaton Grant, and DJ Byrd [so far]). But if you screw up again and earn a second strike, pack your bags (see Gordon Watt).
It’s not clear exactly what discipline guidelines Danny Hope uses, but all signs point to Dwayne Beckford being reinstated with the team this fall despite multiple arrests. So it appears that Hope does not follow Painter’s two strikes and you’re out approach.
We don’t know the threshold for Hope to take swift disciplinary action. The lack of clear punishments established might relate to the recent problems with the football team getting arrested. With a flurry of incidents for Purdue football, I wish Coach Hope would take a cue from Painter and ramp up the discipline to curb this kind of behavior.
If not, we might see more of the same and Purdue could even make some noise in the annual Fulmer Cup rankings.