News came out today over Twitter feed that there will not be an IU-UK basketball game on this year’s schedule. With as much excitement and press this season’s game received, you would think it would be a no-brainer. According to the Indianapolis Star, it looks like location was a big part of the discussion.
Here’s what was posted on Indy Star today.
I’m not blaming Kentucky for insisting the rivalry be moved to neutral sites to increase revenue.
I’m not blaming Indiana for standing firm in its stance that the games stay in Assembly Hall and Rupp.
But one way or another, this was one of those issues where the two sides needed to lock themselves in a room until they figured out how to get it done.
IU-Kentucky is a rivalry that shouldn’t go away. No way. No how. It’s good for the schools. It’s good for the fan bases. It’s good for college basketball.
The excitement from an Indiana perspective that the regular season game last year brought with it is all the evidence you need. That single shot by Christian Watford was the signature image for all of college basketball from Dec. 10, 2011 through the NCAA Tournament. And the rematch was pretty good, too. There were a lot of people that believe that IU-Kentucky in the Sweet Sixteen was one of the more exciting games of the 2012 NCAA tournament.
And yet now it’s all going away simply because the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement on where it should be played.
Here’s my opinion: IU and Kentucky need to play next season. I don’t care if it’s on campus, in Louisville, or anywhere else, but the game needs to be played. Especially considering what happened last season. The 2012-13 IU-Kentucky was going to be the end all game to find out just how good the two teams were going to be a few weeks before heading into conference play. And both teams are expected to be very, very good.
Tom Crean indicated this week that he had spoken with John Calipari and that both coaches want the series to continue.
IU-Kentucky have played every season since 1969. How do you just throw all that away?
While the words in this press release are pretty clear that there won’t be an IU-Kentucky game next season, I still have to issue a challenge to athletic administrators from both schools to take a deep breath, take a step back, and then go back to the bargaining and get this done.
This is not the time for Indiana-Kentucky to become a thing of the past.