With a loaded 2022 ballot, odds are long that Larry Burton will join Purdue’s legacy of College Football Hall of Fame members this year.
Burton was among 78 players and seven coaches from the Football Bowl Subdivision placed on this year’s ballot. The voting also will include 99 players and 33 coaches from the divisional ranks.
There’s a heavy Indianapolis Colts presence on the 2022 ballot, notably Andrew Luck. The former Stanford quarterback seems like a shoo-in to make it this year along with USC running back Reggie Bush.
Other former Colts on the ballot are tight end Dallas Clark (Iowa), wide receiver Marvin Harrison (Syracuse) and defensive end Dwight Freeney (Syracuse).
Former Indiana quarterback Antwaan Randle El is back on the ballot as well.
In addition to being a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic track team, Burton earned first-team All-American honors and was voted the Outstanding College Athlete of America in 1974. The speedy Burton led Purdue in receiving as a junior and a senior.
Another name on the ballot with Purdue ties is Divisional coaching candidate Alex Yunevich. He had six undefeated teams at Alfred (NY) during his tenure from 1937-41 and 1946-76. His 1971 squad was named the Lambert Bowl Division III champions of the East.
Purdue has had six representatives voted into the College Football Hall of Fame since 2005 (Rod Woodson-2016, Dave Butz-2014, Otis Armstrong-2012, coach William “Lone Star” Dietz-2012, Mark Herrmann-2010, Mike Phipps-2006). Overall, Purdue has 16 inductees in the College Football Hall of Fame.
Purdue Olympian
Annie Drews made Purdue volleyball history this week with her selection to the USA team that will compete at the Tokyo Olympic Games this summer.
Drews is the first in Purdue volleyball program history to be selected. The U.S. National team, for whom Drews has played since 2017, is ranked No. 1 in the world. Tournament play begins July 24.?Testifying to the strength of Big Ten Conference volleyball, Drews is one of eight women representing the league on the 12-person U.S. roster.
Drews will be joined in Tokyo by Purdue swimmer Nikola Acin, who will compete for Serbia in the 400-meter freestyle relay.
Purdue’s Olympic history is nearly as old as the modern Games themselves. Just four years after Greece hosted the first modern Olympics, Ray Ewry earned three gold medals (standing long jump, standing triple jump, standing high jump) in 1900 at Paris.
Ewry swept those three events again in 1904 at St. Louis. Ewry won gold in the standing high jump and standing long jump in the 1906 Games at Athens, Greece. That year, Ewry was joined by fellow Boilermaker Ed Glover, who was third in the pole vault.
Ewry’s gold medal count reached 10 at the 1908 London Games, again winning the standing long jump and standing high jump. Ewry’s 10 gold medals were the record until swimmer Michael Phelps surpassed him, coincidentally in London in 2012.
Purdue graduate Cliff Furness competed in the 5,000 meters in the 1920 Antwerp Games but did not medal.
The Purdue basketball team might have represented the U.S. in the 1936 Berlin Games but coach Piggy Lambert turned down the invitation to play in the qualifying tournament due to his disdain for postseason games and concerns about missed class time.
Boilermaker swimming was well represented in the 1948 London Games. Keith Carter earned a silver medal in the 200-meter breaststroke, while Jeanne Wilson-Vaughn and Carol Pence-Taylor made the U.S. women’s team.
New Ross’ Howie Williams brought home a gold medal to Montgomery County in 1952, as the U.S. basketball team went 8-0 at Helsinki, Finland. Purdue Hall of Fame swimming coach Richard Papenguth led the U.S. women’s swimming and diving team, which included Boilermaker backstroker Coralie O’Connor.
The 1956 Games at Melbourne, Australia saw Purdue’s Joan Rosazza win silver as part of the U.S. 400-meter freestyle relay team. Fellow Boilermaker Betty Mullen-Brey swam for the U.S. and Beth Whittal represented Canada in the 100-meter butterfly.
Terry Dischinger brought home a second basketball gold medal for Purdue in 1960. Teaming up with Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Jerry Lucas, Dischinger helped lead the U.S. to an average margin of victory of 42 points in the Rome Games. That feat led to Dischinger and his U.S. teammates earning berths in the Olympic and Naismith Memorial basketball halls of fame.
It wasn’t until 1976 in Montreal before Purdue had another Olympian. Two, in fact, with football All-American Larry Burton and wrestler Joe Corso. Burton finished fourth in the 200 meters.
The 1980 boycott of the Moscow Games cost diver Mark Virts a chance to medal off the platform. Former Purdue women’s basketball player Carol Lindsey made the women’s handball team in 1984.
Injury cost basketball great Glenn Robinson his spot on the 1996 U.S. Dream Team. Four years later, Chris Huffins earned a bronze medal in the decathlon.
Douglas Sharp made the transition from pole vault to bobsled for the U.S. in 2002 at the Salt Lake City Winter Games. Sharp earned a bronze.
Beijing was colored gold and black for the 2004 Summer Games as five Boilermakers earned Olympic berths. Divers David Boudia and Mary Beth Dunnichay were joined by Purdue’s first baseball Olympian, Mike Duursma (Netherlands), Nedzad Mulabegovic (Croatia) in the shot put and Kara Patterson in the javelin.
The second time was a charm for Boudia, who at the 2012 London Games became the first U.S. gold medalist in the 10-meter platform dive since 1988. Boudia added a bronze in synchronized 10-meter platform with Nick McCrory. Soccer player Lauren Sesselman earned bronze for Canada.
Eight Purdue athletes earned Olympic berths in the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Games, with Amanda Elmore helping the U.S. women’s eight rowing team to a gold medal. Boudia teamed up with fellow Purdue national champion Steele Johnson for a silver in synchronized 10-meter platform diving. Patterson competed for the third Olympics in the women’s javelin. Purdue also claimed its first Olympians in women’s basketball (Aya Traore) and women’s golf (Paula Reto). Carmiesha Cox (Bahamas, track and field) and Jinq En Phee (Malaysia, swimming) also represented Purdue in Brazil.
Purdue’s Furst honored
The Purdue men’s basketball team will have the two most recent winners of Indiana’s Gatorade Player of the Year award on its roster this fall.
Indiana Mr. Basketball Caleb Furst received the honor last week. Fellow incoming freshman Trey Kaufman-Renn won the award as a junior in 2020. Before Furst and Kaufman-Renn, Purdue’s most recent Gatorade Player of the Year was 2015 Indiana Mr. Basketball Caleb Swanigan.
The 6-10 Furst led Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian (28-3) to the last two Class 2A state championships, averaging 21.4 points, 14.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 blocks per game as a senior. He also was named the recipient of the Class 2A Trester Mental Attitude Award.?During his career, Furst scored 2,087 career points and was the school's all-time leader in points and rebounds. He was the first Class 2A player in Indiana to win Mr. Basketball since DeShaun Thomas of Fort Wayne Bishop Luers in 2010.
Furst and Kaufman-Renn also have been invited to the 2021 USA Basketball Men’s U19 World Cup Team training camp along with Purdue guard Jaden Ivey.
The athletes, age 19 years or younger, will compete June 20-22, in Fort Worth, Texas, in hopes of being named to the 12-member team that will represent the USA at the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup for Men.
Also representing the Big Ten Conference at the training camp are Meechie Johnson and Zed Key of Ohio State along with Wisconsin’s Jonathan Davis. 
Purdue has had major success in the U19 World Cup in each of the last three events. Caleb Swanigan won gold in Greece in 2015, Carsen Edwards won bronze in Egypt in 2017 and Trevion Williams was a gold medalist in Greece in 2019.
This year’s U19 World Cup will be played in Latvia from July 3 to 11.

Kenny Thompson is the former sports editor for the Lafayette Journal & Courier and an award-winning journalist. He has covered Purdue athletics for many years.