West Lafayette, Ind. — Coach Gene Keady and Purdue think he's on the verge of winning his 500th game.
The NCAA disagrees.
While school officials will count Keady's next victory as No. 500, the NCAA has a different tally. It won't credit him with 19 victories that the Boilermakers forfeited because of rules violations in the 1995-96 season.
"It's ridiculous they don't count them," Keady said. "That was the biggest joke I've ever been involved in."
Purdue (5-3) plays Dayton on Saturday.
The NCAA men's basketball record book credits Keady with 475 wins entering this season. Purdue says the Kansas native had 494.
A two-year NCAA investigation into the basketball program found that assistant coach Frank Kendrick lied to investigators and told a former player to do the same. The NCAA also ruled that Kendrick helped secure a $4,000 loan for former player Luther Clay, and that a booster helped a player's mother get housing in Indianapolis for former player Porter Roberts.
The 24 games Clay played in during the 1995-96 season were forfeited, dropping Purdue's record from 26-6 to 7-25.
Keady said he still talks weekly with Kendrick, who was head coach last season for the Gary Steelheads of the Continental Basketball Association.
Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said that if the Boilermakers were to beat Dayton on Saturday, there would be some sort of celebration for Keady before Monday's home game against Illinois-Chicago.
"Gene was not implicated nor was there a finding of a lack of institutional control," Burke said. "We footnote it in our book. The reality is that he won 500 games. Whether we treat it at 500 or 519, I don't think the NCAA cares about it. It won't stop us from recognizing a great career."
NCAA spokesman Wally Renfro said he hoped Purdue would reconsider its position, but admitted the organization was powerless to force the issue.
"Purdue is a member institution. They direct us what to do, we don't direct them," Renfro said. "We understand the member institution may look at it differently."