Purdue Basketball: Reaction and Analysis To Matt Painter To Missouri Rumors

James EvensCorrespondent IMarch 28, 2011

CHICAGO, IL - MARCH 20:  Head coach Matt Painter of the Purdue Boilermakers looks on in the second half of the game against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Virginia Commonwealth won 94-76 in regulation.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

This is the time of the year when Purdue fans should be watching the Final Four, and reflecting on a great season, but this year, it is being overshadowed in West Lafayette by a coaching struggle.

According to KOMU, the job at Missouri is Matt Painter's if he wants it.

After a weekend of constant tweets, and worry by Purdue fans, it looks like one of their worst nightmares could actually come true. Matt Painter could leave the program that he has led to one of the nation's best.

It is a surprise to most people that Painter would want to leave his alma mater and even consider it, but that is a reality at the moment.

People need to realize that this is Painter's decision and Painter's decision alone.

Will a lot of people be upset if Matt Painter leaves, yes, but how can a honest individual sit back and actually say that they wouldn't consider taking a higher paying job.

The fact of the matter is, Painter is one of the lowest paid coaches in the Big Ten. According to information obtained on CBSSports.com, he is making a base rate of $1.3 million per year plus bonuses for incentives earned based on performance.

Mizzou is reportedly offering Painter somewhere in the ball park of $2 million per year to be their head coach.

It looks as though the Purdue athletic department will need to pony-up or end up losing one of their key-figures of the athletic department.

When asked about all of these movement issues by CBSSports.com, former Purdue coach and current St. Johns assistant Gene Keady had this to say, "Matt wants a situation where he will be able to make a run for a national championship, the administration here has to step up and help him."

Current Purdue AD Morgan Burke better get this right, or he could not only end up losing his head coach, but he could lose his job.

What Matt Painter has done for the Purdue program cannot be accurately put into words, but here are a few stats from his tenure at the University:

As the head coach at Purdue, Painter has a record of 138-54, and has amassed five straight tournament appearances, only missing the tournament in his first year at the helm of the program.

Personally, I don't think he will leave.  

He has brand new facilities that are almost completed that were basically designed to his wants and desires, and he is at his alma mater.

He has built this program to the top of the nation, and will continue doing so until he reaches the pinnacle with a national championship.

All of this hoopla surrounding Matt Painter is reminding a lot of people of what happened last year with JaJuan Johnson declaring for the draft, and look how that turned out.

What could be Purdue's saving grace in all of this, is what many believe to be the reason the Boilermakers have yet to win a national title, Robbie Hummel's ACL.

With Hummel back for his senior season and two fresh 6'8" recruits coming in, it is hard to imagine Matt Painter leaving, but crazier things have happened of course.

James Evens serves as a National Featured Columnist for college football and basketball, as well as the FC for the Purdue Boilermakers. Follow him on Twitter or like him on Facebook.