Report: Could IU and Kentucky resume the rivalry? #iubb

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Spoke to IU athletic director Fred Glass, who said fans shouldn’t get their hopes up about resuming the Kentucky series next season. There are no current talks between he and Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart, but Glass said he’s open and willing to engage in any possible future conversations to restart the rivalry.

“There’s really nothing new. Really nothing new at all,” Glass told the H-T. “… I haven’t talked to my counterpart there. There’s no ongoing conversations with us. At the staff level, there are some general conversations about the scheduling and the general desire to get back together, but it’d be overstating that considerably to say that they were in preliminary talks to restart the series or anything like that. I think it’s a good sign that there’s a good relationship at the staff level, but it’d be overstating it to say that we were on our way to get it put back together again.

“Having said all that, I really want to get it back together again. I think it’s important for college basketball. I think it’s important for us. I hope we can do that, but there’s nothing new to report on making progress toward that.”

Asked about conversations with Louisville, Glass was more optimistic:
“I would say those talks are fairly active,” Glass said. “I think there’s some opportunity there. So I think it’s fair to say there’s some conversation there. Unfortunately on the Kentucky side, there’s really not.”

UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: A UK official sent the following statement to The Herald-Times:

“Our schedule is near completion for the upcoming season, but Jayd Grossman and I have continued to talk as we have in the past about playing in the future. At this point there is nothing to report in regards to the Kentucky-Indiana series.”
– DeWayne Peevy, UK Deputy Athletic Director


Indiana’s longtime series with Kentucky was killed in the spring of 2012, when the athletic directors at the two schools couldn’t agree on a contract that would keep the rivalry between two of college basketball’s blue blood programs intact.

After a three-season hiatus, could the series make a comeback? Maybe.

According to a report by the Indianapolis Business Journal, Kentucky officials confirmed this week that talks have begun about restarting the rivalry.

“The (Kentucky and IU) basketball staffs have had some general discussion about playing,” Kentucky deputy athletic director DeWayne Peevy told the IBJ. “Up to this point, no contests have been scheduled.”

Resuming the series has been a hangup between IU athletic director Fred Glass and Mitch Barnhart, his counterpart at UK, since talks stalled in May 2012. That month, Barnhart rejected a proposal from Glass that would have moved the next two games in the series to Lucas Oil Stadium, followed by a game at Rupp Arena in Lexington in 2014 and a game at Assembly Hall in 2015.

Barnhart reasoned at the time that Kentucky wanted to maintain scheduling flexibility and did not wish to sign any deal that locked it into a series for more than two years.

After Christian Watford’s buzzer beater gave Indiana a 73-72 win over the Wildcats on Dec. 10, 2011 at Assembly Hall, UK coach John Calipari expressed concern over the amount of fan vitriol his team experienced that day in Bloomington. Calipari reportedly told IU coach Tom Crean after the season that it was time for the two programs to “move on” without the series.

Calipari wanted the series to move off campus to Lucas Oil Stadium, while Glass maintained that he wanted at least one game in a four-year cycle to take place in Bloomington. Without a marquee non-conference series pinned to its schedule, Indiana is also exploring the possibility of beginning a yearly series with Louisville.

Indiana and Kentucky have not played since the 2012 NCAA Tournament, when UK won 102-90 in the Sweet 16 in Atlanta.

It’s not clear when the IBJ spoke with Glass, but the IU athletic director appears hopeful that things might change this spring.

“Things evolve,” Glass told IBJ. “Hopefully, things have cooled down, passions have cooled since our last conversation and we can revisit this. I’d definitely like to make another run at (putting a deal together to restore the rivalry). Hope springs eternal.”


  1. Screw what the fans want. The egos of the powers at be won’t allow themselves to be professionals about this to actually do their job.

    In other news, looks like Billy Donovan is going to OKC to coach Durant.

  2. We can “revisit” it because defeatism only works so long at Indiana. Glass and Crean fear Kentucky. The fans can much more easily live with avoidance over embarrassment. Crean fears getting completely embarrassed on a neutral court(even in an arena in our state). Calipar gets more McDonald’s All-American’s than Dairy Queen puts out soft serve. The guy can also out-coach his buddy that he declared deserved “Coach of the Year”(talk about a farce calling another farce “Mr.Special”) until the collapse that found Indiana losing 6 out of its last 8 games including three straight blunders at home….Hell, Purdue might as well be taken off the schedule….They owned us in Assembly the same way UK will own us(vitriol or no vitriol). Our greatness is now measured by defeating Northwestern at a neutral United Center……That’s our new “Wildcat” rivalry.

  3. It’s a shame that our football team can’t take OSU off the schedule.. I simply hate all that vitriol those Columbus fans bring to fill our Memorial. Wilson got it so easy.. He’s got the UK of Hoops in a football version bringing a paddle to Memorial year after year…after year.. He’d probably rather see the game on a neutral site on some island ……Choices…Nice to have choices. The candy stripes once feared can now simply duck….Just can’t get it done and we just shrug our wimpy defeatist b-ball shoulders and say “what the f____?”

  4. With Hawaii trip playing some tough teams there and N D at Indy, fans better be prepared for a bunch of cupcakes at Assembly Hall for the pre Big Ten Schedule.

  5. I really could care less about Kentucky. The rivalry has been tarnished when KY decided against the home and home concept. I backed Glass in the debate all the way, and for exactly the reasons he stated. The students deserve to see those types of big rivalry games on campus. Of course, to Calipari, the students are irrelevant.

    Also, I’m not sure playing the NBA’s top ranked D-league team is good for schools that honor the concept of student athletes.

  6. Harv, we actually played OSU pretty tough at the Horseshoe this year. Remember that 90+ yd TD that Coleman had? One the highlights of the football season for me, for sure.

    Po, I do care about the UK series. I don’t care, either way, where the game is played. Either way, the fans are the ones that pay for it.

    Rivalries are not easily made. IU/UK was a great one. I truly miss it. Although, UK’s handed us our butts just about every year since I arrived on campus as a freshman. That part sucks.

  7. Po I am with you. Fact is I could not care less. pUKe is exactly that. There is only 1 reason Criminallypari wanted a big venue game within Indiana against IU, RECRUITING.

  8. We can play Butler in Indy but we can’t play UK there? Come on, gents…Get off your high horse…This is fear of getting our butts handed to us. To be more precise, it’s Glass and Tommy Bahama’s fear. I’m with Double Down. You play the series…You show the nation how those that want to preserve college basketball apart from a mini NBA camp can fight with honor. We are not saving any reputation by refusing to play the series. We are only saving Crean’s friend of closer examination a corrupt system …IU’s name has true staying power and those candy stripes represent something a UK can never claim….This is about Crean distancing himself from the scrutiny should regularly come down in every commentary every game IU is climbing the mountain against the old rivalry that used to be state pride rather than an NBA team against the world….Our coach is saving Calipari from the scrutiny a NCAA only concerned with the attraction of dollars to phenoms. He is saving his buddy that debate that should not be silenced …Watching our coach and team getting a thorough butt shellacking sparks those debates and lets a nation see how such allowances the Calipari way is eroding a storied game and storied rivalries. And what’s wrong with being an underdog if it also helps bringing those disparities to light…….Three-fourths of every team in the field that enters the NCAA tournament are facing far slimmer odds at victory than a solid IU team playing UK’s NBA team in Indianapolis….I would love nothing more than a yearly shot at them..

    When you hide from something you perpetuate it more than confronting it…Ducking this series does nothing but to excuse many wrongs and many fears of men that like keeping things in the comfort levels their unscrupulous methods and weaknesses. .

  9. H4H,,,,,,,,,,,You’re just not getting it. Butler was mutally agreed upon. Crimiallypari said take it or forget it. F him then, now and forever.

  10. Clarion-

    it’s being spun like everything is for Glass and Bahama. I simply have no problem with a great rivalry game in Indy…Hell, what’s wrong with helping the Indy economy? The Big 10 commissioner has already agreed to start taking the BIG tournament to Madison Square…UK is not a conference opponent…Once these stubborn mules get their sunset, the next coaches will have no worry of assaults upon egos because of protected friendship….This is nothing other than two friends concocting a war that isn’t…It’s protection of such delicate men via avoidance any competition or confrontation the issues facing college basketball.

    Come on, Clarion….Calipari was quoted as believing Crean deserved ‘Coach of the Year.’.. How bad of a guy can he be? The only thing to “get” is two men that don’t want to be exposed…The “cheat” that shellacs Indiana with his NBA team ….and the “underdog” of the coaching challenged club that has such little X’s and O’s acumen as to never have lightning a Watford shot strike twice…UK is too much a machine and Crean ain’t got the tools to disassemble it….I can assure you, Butler or ND will gladly not hide from any challenge UK would like to put upon their schedules…..

  11. And good thing that Watford ship you always wanted to sail gave us our one glorious moment in the UK vs IU history of Crook & Clown cinema. The shot heard around the world and you wanted his guns forever off the IU fleet….Ironic. Watford was never good enough for you…and now Crean is too good for UK.

  12. I just flat out disagree that it doesn’t mean anything that UK and IU don’t play anymore. You can have that opinion if you like, but that bums me out.

    I rather enjoyed going up to Indy every other year to watch half red and half blue fill a football stadium with not an empty seat to be found. Great times piling in a single car, spending the day in Indy drinking some, um Pepsis and watching a 60 year rivalry play out.

    I didn’t see a W until my last year when Knights very last team won in Indy. Without looking, in my sophomore year, I think we lost by 40.

  13. I’m obviously biased, but it seems like UK’s more content to just say take it or leave it because they can. From what I’ve read, IU has at least tried to reach a compromise and meet somewhere near the middle– some on neutral sites, some on campus. UK hasn’t budged. They don’t have to and I don’t blame them. They have little to gain and much more to lose (from a business/recruiting standpoint) by playing on either campus.

    This might be our best shot for the foreseeable future. We’ll likely be within at least 10 spots of UK in the preseason rankings next year– we’re a pretty popular dark horse to make a big splash, and UK is a shaky top 5 and nowhere near the prohibitive favorite they had been– so we’ll have more leverage. (Hard to convince a perennial Final Four favorite to come visit when you’re not even ranked…) If we’re going to do anything but completely cave to Cal’s demands, now is the time.

    That said, I’d love to see on-campus games, but I’d rather see neutral sites than nothing at all. Even if deep down, off the court, I know it means we conceded another win…

  14. ^ Bingo. It doesn’t mean anything to egos bigger than fan’s wishes. ND had a marvelous opportunity to topple UK….Wisconsin ultimately proved that crooked systems have no guarantee in a 40 minute contest.
    We accomplish nothing by hiding. North Carolina has proven to be just about as corrupt any college on the map…Might as well begin a campaign to boycott those criminals as well….And why schedule Louisville..? Is cheating on your spouse more admirable than cheating on the phone to convince a recruit to play for your team? We all no what this is about…This is about men being exposed and fear. It’s a crime that the fans have been left with such weak bozos to destroy a great state rivalry game.

  15. Wow…We don’t want to play the game because the only reason Calipari wants a big venue in Indiana is “RECRUITING?” Because he’s done such a terrible job the last four years…? Yeah, he needed a venue in Washington to convince Terrence Jones to decommit from the Huskies… The way you beat the recruiting machine is by kicking it in the teeth just like ND and Wisconsin proved. There are pictures of Crean sitting next to Calipari at recruiting events…..These men are such good friends that they simply refuse to get on opposite sides a true battle….

    i can assure you, this game will not happen in the Crook & Clown era ..

  16. Point is, I don’t really care where we play. I just want to play. I miss looking at the schedule and seeing Kentcky right there in early December. And a part of me would burn knowing UK bullied their way into getting exactly what they want. Again. But let’s be honest– right now our fan base as a whole probably wants it a lot more than their’s.

  17. Harv, you’re keying in on single words or phrases again, while missing (or should I say ignoring) the bigger picture. Cal’s a smart man. He knows there’s more to gain by playing in Indy. He doesn’t have, what, six straight #1 recruiting classes by accident. He takes every advantage he can get, while taking minimal risk. For a team like UK that’s already at the top, neutral courts offer less risk and greater advantage when you’d fill Rupp anyway.

  18. Punjab- Calipari is getting all he needs to gain in attention through the excessive media attention his machine already well in place. Their undefeated season all the way up to the Final Four and abundance of talent that has played at Kentucky that is getting tons of notoriety at the next level(Terrence Jones…Anthony Davis to just name a couple)… These guys are making a far bigger mark ….than anything we want to believe Indy has to give Calipari a recruiting stage.

    Nonetheless, I think it’s the fans that are not appreciated…;Listening to a few sports radio shows tonight and the talk of the eeriness a Baltimore vs. White Sox game with no fans in the stands was something that all prima donnas in world of sports should experience.. And sports, compared to the passion(the peaceful protestors) of a higher cause so many young people standing together for justice in Baltimore, puts these over-glorified jocks and coaches in place, I’d hope, would offer some humility and appreciation just how warped the balance has become.. The games so idolized , and the hitting of balls around an empty field(could just as well be an empty Lucas Oil for a basketball rivalry) should be a wake up call to men that want to hold something as silly as millions for playing a game to be held hostage…

    Crean and Calipari can take this game away from the fans…And no matter the semantics of where and how, they have lost site of everything. Can we even begin to imagine a dozen games mirroring what took place in Baltimore today..? And now this madness over the boxing match this Saturday? God would i love to see many more stadiums empty. The humble fan of modest and quiet life….Those that filled the stands for decades mean nothing to these people. And Crean and Calipari are nothing more than examples of how we’ve all lost perspective…So much adulation and demands by the people that get paid to coach and play games for a living…They stand for so little and demand so much. Give them an empty stadium and see how far their passion can live in the mirror. . Sorry i couldn’t be more eloquent… But a young man gets his back broken in two in a police van and is now in the ground for nothing of a heinous crime…and these men can’t get a silly rivalry game done. Screw them both…

  19. …lost [sight]

    My apologizes …I’m tired…There are some really poorly constructed sentences up there…Sorry for those as well.

    It isn’t just March that is “madness” anymore….With so much income inequality in this world…and so many frustrated Americans that have seen their road to sustenance get steeper and steeper in forever losing battles to try and make ends meet….I just can’t understand how these blind men that make spectacularly large salaries have gotten so lost to not know how sports can be a place preserved where the simple man can at least feel part of something…. All the greed is merely thrown in the face anymore. Do you think if the stands were empty they’d get their tiny feud settled?

  20. IU Basketball website has top 25 from 7-8 different polls. IU lowest ranking somewhere around 18. Michigan State all over the place, from 8-9 to 25. Ky from first to fifth. Interesting variance. North Carolina in the top three in all. Maybe precarious position with NCAA action (if any) to come.

    I’d prefer ranking around 25th. Provide some space for upward mobility from 25th as opposed to dropping like a rock from 9th or so.

  21. I would prefer number 1 ranking 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Top 25 ranking is mediocre year and should be expected every year with many top ten rankings and several top 5 rankings and once and a while # 1 ranking.

  22. Guess my expectation is somewhat tempered by the coaching history. The ‘I’ll pull Zeller out for the last play’ Butler game. The ‘we’ll cover all 4 guys for the last play’ Illinois game’ couple of years ago. The ‘OMG, he stole the ball and made a 3 pointer. Quick, somebody, take his place’..

    Even with that, I like Crean, he just needs to ‘up his game’ this year. Or hire some sharp assistants.

    And I just don’t see defense improving that much. Better coverage under the basket, but still.

  23. Don’t want to sound like a whiner, but is it really fare to ask IU, or any other school that honors the concept of student-athlete, to play an NBA D-league team? Seriously, outside of a few elite programs, any school that emphasizes academic achievement is at a serious disadvantage against Kentucky. The vast majority of Kentucky’s players are not legitimate students! And even if they go to class, the curricula is a joke! Kentucky may not be committing academic fraud according to the strict interpretation of NCAA rules, but we all know it’s a farce. If the NBA does away with the one-and-done rule, or if the NCAA gets serious about players pursuing higher education, I’m all for IU and KY resuming the rivalry. But currently, and I assume that as long as McRobbie and Glass are in charge, IU will be at a serious disadvantage against Kentucky. I understand the nostalgia for the good old days when Knight’s teams faced off against Rupp’s teams each year, but those days are long gone.

  24. Inventing a class in African American studies that doesn’t even exist so a student/athlete can have an invented ‘A’ on a transcript is now part of the North Carolina system….That’s seems even a bigger joke than low standards and cakewalk classes that many schools likely pave the way for athletes with such overwhelming time demands in the sport that allows for very little room for real absorption into books and hours upon hours of study.

    I’m pretty sure there are just as many corrupted methods to get athletes through the system than those employed by Calipari at UK….Anthony Davis sure seems like a straight up decent young man. I see basketball as a very refined art combined with discipline and determination….There are far more lazy kids of privilege not athletes that abuse college and the classroom…And how many have the physical and mental demands of a college athlete traveling and practicing hours upon hours in a day? We should be careful with wide brushes…While Dean Smith was suffering from a horrible degenerative disease effecting his mind, NC was doing some very ugly academic cheating that the Establishment would just prefer to sweep under the rug…Meanwhile, that Kelvin guy is such a demon…..for not inventing a classroom and falsifying transcripts/documents …

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