Mitch Barnhart issued a release about the IU-UK series. It follows.
I was contacted by Fred Glass, Indiana AD, on May 10 via telephone about the mutual interest of continuing the series, starting this fall. He mentioned the possibility of a four-year series with the first two years in Indianapolis before playing in Lexington in 2014-15 and Bloomington in 2015-16. I informed Fred that we were disappointed that our previous verbal agreement for a two-year neutral site contract was off the table, but we would consider the new proposal. I also noted there were some challenges in our current schedule that were not present prior to Indiana’s announcement on May 3 that they were moving on with their schedule for 2012-13.
After May 3, we finalized a home-neutral series with Baylor for the next two seasons that included our women’s teams in a doubleheader in Dallas and restarted our home-and-home series with North Carolina beginning on the road in 2013-14. Those two additions to our schedule were made prior to hearing from Indiana on May 10.
During the process, DeWayne Peevy and I conducted a conference call with Fred Glass on May 21 along with Indiana scheduling contacts Chris Reynolds and Jayd Grossman to further discuss continuing the series. We offered the possibility of playing in Indianapolis on December 15 or 22 this season and possibly playing as part of a multi-team event in Indianapolis again in December 2013 while continuing discussions about a future home-and-home series.
On May 24, DeWayne Peevy expressed to Jayd Grossman our concerns about buying out either Portland or Samford and signing a four-year agreement. Jayd responded that he would talk with Fred about our concerns and also get back to DeWayne about Indiana’s availability on December 22. However, we did not receive a response until Fred Glass’ letter dated May 25 arrived this afternoon.
We currently do not have any agreements with more than two years remaining and would like to maintain the current flexibility of our future scheduling. If we entered into a four-year deal with Indiana, including the last two years at campus sites, not only would that alter our flexibility but it would also mean that we would have to end our home-and-home series with Louisville in order to keep our non-conference road schedule balanced. We are not interested in doing that.
We also finalized dates with both Samford and Portland that affected Indiana’s desire to play on December 5 or 8 this season. We did not feel that it was fair to Samford or Portland to pull out of a contracted game at this point in the scheduling process.
We have held the last two games on our current schedule while continuing discussions with Indiana about playing this fall. December 15 and 22 are still options for the upcoming season and Lucas Oil Stadium is available for both dates. In the best interest of our fans, I would hope we can come to a conclusion to continue this storied series this December.