The Sandi Marcius story was supposed to have a different ending.
Marcius had finally begun putting it all together. The potential which the La Lumiere product brought to Purdue was finally beginning to show—better late than never. Toward the end of the season, he was making an impact on the court while pushing the inconsistent A.J. Hammons.
“We expected those guys to be a tandem for us next year,” said Purdue coach Matt Painter on Tuesday. “But [Marcius] wasn’t happy, and he expressed that to us.”
After the season, Marcius met with Painter and explained his decision to leave. He opted to take his fifth year of eligibility elsewhere, with the hopes of finding more playing time, as a source explained.
As he requested, Marcius was released from his scholarship and has begun to evaluate his options. Georgia Tech and Kansas State head up the long list of suitors for his services. But leaping the logistical hurdles won’t be so simple.
In order to leave Purdue, Marcius must finish the two classes required to earn his engineering degree. He must pay his own way—approximately $7,000—now that he’s off scholarship. Purdue owes him nothing more.
“We committed to Sandi from day one, and have paid for all of his schooling while he's been with us,” Painter said. “Now, he has decided to leave our program, and he's not with us—he voluntarily did that. No one told him he had to leave. We wanted him to stay. That was the decision that he made."
In his four years on campus, Marcius was given every chance. He averaged just 2.1 points and rebounds in 75 total games, but his coaches stood by him. They remained invested in him.
Purdue isn’t to blame for Marcius being forced to pay from his own pocket, or the fact his transition became so convoluted. That isn’t how it works. Marcius chose to leave behind his scholarship and must pay bill, and the consequences if this was indeed a costly mistake.
Painter shouldn’t ask the John Purdue Club—which funds the university’s athletic scholarships—to write a check for someone who is leaving the program behind.
It was Marcius who chose to move on, and that came against Painter’s will.
“I talked to him two or three times and really expressed that I wanted him to stay,” said Painter. “But he didn't, so we gave him his release and wish him nothing but the best. He is a great guy and hopefully he finds a home and is happier at his next school."
Well wishes and a fond farewell are all Purdue owed Marcius.