The Big Ten’s move to a geographically based division set-up starting in 2014 and a nine-game conference schedule beginning in 2016 will disrupt Purdue’s long standing rivalry with Notre Dame.
Purdue athletic director Morgan Burke explained, “Sometimes, you get a square peg in a round hole. We’ll do everything we can. I can’t sit here and in all honesty say there’s an easy solution that fits both schools until we sit and talk. Hopefully, there is.”
Keeping the rivalry game with Notre Dame will soon leave Purdue one game short of enough home games needed to balance their budget. Purdue, like most schools, would need 7 home games a season but the out of conference matchup with Notre Dame would take up that spot beginning in 2016.
Burke went on to explain, “I cannot balance the budget on six home games. Can’t do it. It doesn’t work. That’s the cold-hearted realities of the business we run. Our business model is built on seven home games. Everybody’s. Notre Dame’s too.”
Burke will try to work out the possibilities with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick in upcoming weeks. He explained, “I don’t think either one of us is eager to lose the rivalry. He has issues. I have issues. We’ll see if we can work them out. If we can, I know we will. I know there’s an interest on his part and my part to see if we can make it work.”
The sides seem deadlocked for 2016 and Burke acknowledged that, “If it turns out we have to have a short break, we’ll have a short break in order to get on the right rotation. I don’t think we’re in a situation where Notre Dame and Purdue will never play. The issue is whether we can come up with a rotation that works for both sides.”
The instate rivalry game has been around for nearly 70 years and the schools are currently in an agreement till 2021. Notre Dame won last year by just 3 and the two will next play September 14th, 2013.