Purdue responds to Michigan coach's comments

- -, GoldandBlack.com staff
Gold and Black
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USA Today

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh delivered statements during his Monday press conference about his willingness to see a standard in visiting locker rooms throughout the Big Ten.

His comments came after the Wolverines visited Purdue Saturday, winning 28-10 in West Lafayette. Harbaugh voiced general concern with Purdue's setup, calling the standing locker room a "hot box" because it didn't have air conditioning and also referencing displeasure with one of his players having to go offsite for X-rays.

It's likely injured quarterback Wilton Speight was taken to Purdue University Student Health Center, which is less than a mile away.

Purdue's athletic department released a statement Monday afternoon that directly addressed some of Harbaugh's concerns.

"Purdue regards the welfare of all student-athletes as its No. 1 priority. We would fully support a conversation regarding a conference-wide set of guidelines for visiting football team accommodations because we have experienced less-than-ideal conditions on the road. There is no place for gamesmanship when it comes to player care and safety.

"The after-the-fact concerns expressed by Michigan are somewhat surprising because a member of its football staff conducted a walk-thru of our facilities with our athletics department staff at Ross-Ade Stadium on July 18.

"Furthermore, to help teams prepare in advance, our visiting team manual highlights in bold type “there is no air conditioning in the (visiting) locker room,” with accompanying Purdue Athletics staff contact information about how to request preferred temporary accommodations. We did not receive any such request.

"Basic x-ray is available within our athletic footprint and more-sophisticated capabilities are located two blocks away, similar to the arrangements at many other schools. Our sports medicine staff members, in fact, have received numerous compliments from their Michigan counterparts regarding the care they received at Purdue."

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