WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — At Purdue games when those notes strike up from the band around the third or fourth quarter, everyone knows what's coming.
However, that controversial chant could have a whole different meaning Saturday. That is, if 50,000 fans can be convinced not to scream their favorite jab at their rivals down south.
Purdue's infamous, and slightly controversial, "IU Sucks" chant somehow started around a decade ago. Students love it. Others, not so much.
"They don't get the letters I do," said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. "People say, 'I can't bring my 8 year old to a game anymore. I'm trying to raise them in a certain way, and that's not it.'"
However, Boiler Nation is taking to social media to ask other fans to change from screaming "IU Sucks," to "Cancer Sucks." The change would be to rally around one of their own, in the fight of his life.
— Purdue Athletics (@PurdueSports) October 17, 2018
Purdue student Tyler Trent recently announced a leave from the school to battle bone cancer. Trent has been battling Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer, since 2014. Purdue presented him with an associates degree earlier this month.
"We're hopeful he can get to the game," said Purdue Head Coach Jeff Brohm Monday. "We will see what we can do for him."
"He's just an inspiring young man," said Daniels."We've all found him that way. I don't know that I could summon up half the courage and character that he has shown in a very very difficult situation. He's been a source of, I think, unification. All of us are so concerned and care. He's just a wonderful person and we are so pround he's a Boilermaker."
"I'm all for our fans and what they want to do," said Brohm. "Obviously, with Tyler Trent, his situation is special to us. And we are hoping he continues to fight the fight the way he has the whole time."
Whether the fans are convinced to change it or not, Daniels knows he can't do anything about it.
"We are adamant around here about protecting free expression, and we mean it whether we like the expression or we don't," said Daniels. "Just maybe at some point, it will wear out its welcome or folks will think of something more clever."
So will it change? You will find out during opening kickoff Saturday. Purdue hosts #2 Ohio State at 7:30 p.m.