Purdue is putting air conditioning in the standalone visiting locker room at Ross-Ade Stadium, athletic director Mike Bobinski says. That news comes after a 2017 spat with Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh over the visitors’ accommodations in West Lafayette.
During Michigan’s 28-10 win at Purdue last September, the Wolverines apparently had to deal with some uncomfortable locker room conditions. Purdue’s visiting locker rooms did not have air conditioning, and temperatures outside were in the 90s.
Wolverines blog Maize n Brew reported at the time:
Michigan’s starting players had to go and sit in the air conditioned team bus to get out of the heat. That was the only possible way they could escape the heat.
The news of no AC dominated the pre-game chatter in the press-box. It sounded awful to me, but then I was able to experience it myself after the game was over. Awful it was.
The locker room and visiting team press-conference area is the equivalent of a big utility shed, from the outside it even looks like one. In the short time I was in there, sweat was coming out of my pores quickly in an almost profuse manner. The small building was stuffy to say the least.
Harbaugh gave a poor review to Purdue’s facilities for the visiting team, calling them “unsanitary.”
Purdue has a brand new football complex, but it looks like the visiting team amenities are not good. Wow. pic.twitter.com/ARQHrXTXDX— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 25, 2017
“It’s become apparent after going around to all the visiting schools in the last couple of years that a conscious effort of gamesmanship that is unsportsmanlike when you have locker rooms that are too small, that are not heated or cooled properly, in this case, there’s no air conditioning, Harbaugh said via the Detroit News.
“Such a tight, cramped environment where you have to open the doors to get some kind of ventilation going in a very small area. People are walking by, they’re watching you dress. The number of urinals or bathrooms for the players and staff, I think there were two. There was not even a private door around it.”
At the time, Purdue responded combatively. The Boilermakers said Michigan was given the chance to request alternate accommodations:
Purdue's response to Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh saying they have inadequate visitor's facilities. (Click to enlarge.) pic.twitter.com/jZph90B1oE— Lori Schmidt (@LoriSchmidt) September 25, 2017
He added via the newspaper that he wasn’t blaming Purdue, but he would like Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany to look into it.
“It doesn’t even seem sanitary,” Harbaugh added, via Land of 10. “You were all in there. We already talked about the heat. And it seems to be a conscious effort for gamesmanship. I wish I would’ve have taken a picture of the actual table the players are treated on,” Harbaugh said. “It looks like it was from the 20s. It was ripped … it’s just not good.”
Purdue’s making a series of upgrades to its stadium this offseason. The school is also adding a horn, to be sounded after Boilermaker touchdowns, that it purports to be as loud as a military jet taking off.