Glass: Moving to neutral sites would be “cheating” students, season ticket-holders

Fred Glass earnestly considered the idea of moving the IU-Kentucky series to neutral sites, the Indiana athletic director said. The department constructed pro formas to figure out the logistics and learned that playing at sites like Lucas Oil Stadium or Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis or Freedom Hall in Louisville could lead to a significant financial windfall.

“I think it’s clearly the case that it would have been more lucrative to play these games on neutral sites,” Glass said. “How much more would have been a bit of a moving target, but it’s fair to say it would have been substantially more. … Multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

But Glass said at the end of the day, more money or not, he couldn’t justify moving the Hoosiers’ home games in the series away from Bloomington.

“We very earnestly really wanted to keep this series going,” Glass said. “I just thought we would be cheating the students and the student athletes and the season-ticket holders if we moved what was really a big game down here. Everyone saw how exciting it was last December, and I think if I agreed to move the game to a neutral site, I would be appropriately brought to task and criticized for selling out Assembly Hall and all of those kids,” Glass said. “I can’t tell you how many seniors came to me and said they came to IU in part be a part of Indiana basketball, and they saw some really tough times in their four years, but they told me this one game made up for all of it. It might sound corny, but Tom (Crean) and I talked a lot about this. I don’t think either one of us wanted to be the one to take that away from the students.”

Glass also expressed a concern about season ticket holders who might be put in a position to have to buy separate tickets outside of the package to attend a game at Indianapolis. He admitted it would have been possible to include them as part of the package, but the issue would still have been taking away a major rivalry game from the students.

“This is college basketball,” he said. “We ought to be playing at colleges.”

Glass said Indiana will look to find another premier opponent to fill Kentucky’s spot on the schedule. Though IU has reportedly been in discussions with Kansas, he wouldn’t discuss who that might be.

Glass said he isn’t upset at Kentucky for holding its position, and he simply saw it as time to move on from the discussion.

“To me, it’s not about standing your ground or caving or any of that macho stuff,” Glass said. “It’s about figuring out the right thing to do. … It became clear that they wanted it to be at neutral sites. That’s their decision. I don’t begrudge them that. That’s what they think is the right thing for them to do. We looked at a neutral site, we considered it. We didn’t dismiss it out of hands. We wanted to continue the series home and home from the beginning. We kept an open mind on the neutral site. We saw that it was quite lucrative, but when it was said and done, we couldn’t be comfortable taking it off campus away from our students. I didn’t think that was the right thing to do.”

24 comments

  1. But Mr. Glass didn’t you cheat the students and season ticket holders by moving the Penn State football to DC a few years ago ??

  2. Good work Fred. If they have a problem coming to B-town, we find someone else to beat on that day.

  3. Gary – LOL, you have seen our football team play? Students ain’t complaining about having more opportunities to see that train wreck in person.

  4. Thank you.

    Proud of our coach and AD for standing up for what is right and telling UK to take a hike.
    Perfect rematch next year in the tournament.

    Not sure there is such a thing as a neutral site w UK anyway.

  5. The NCAA won’t drop us into the same region with Kentucky next year. They burned IU to the ground for nothing with the 3-way call investigation. They declared Guy-Marc ineligible for nothing.

    The NCAA didn’t want IU facing Kentucky in the Final Four. Our season was already too storybook for their liking and they knew the Hoosiers were one season from wiping Kentucky’s asses off the court on any site. We all realized our great fans helped propel our team in the December game at Assembly. A Final Four match-up would have left “the anything can happen” door cracked just a little too open for the NCAA. It’s all media-driven and the media wanted to see UK take the title..

    I would have made the deal to play anywhere rather than lose the chance to kick their asses in Louisville. We could have still embarrassed them in their borders and the Hoosier fans have a safer drive being closer to home. Many of the IU students live in the Indy area..If the game is held during holiday break in Indy, it’s closer to their homes than if it were held in Bloomington.

    Bottom Line: I don’t think you cancel the series. A deal could have been struck. Too many enormous egos. The students and all Indiana/Kentucky fans suffer as a result. Disagree with Glass’s decision. As my father once told me, “Don’t cut of your nose to spite your face.”

  6. Not sure how I would have made the call. But, I do think that Glass makes a compelling argument. And, it is not just the money lost on tickets but to the businesses of Bloomington for whom the game was a big night. I do agree that the ‘college ball nature’ of this game argue for keeping it on campus.

    Another argument in favor of Glass’ decision is not giving in to the “Kentucky Basketball Business Aura” of the demand.

    Against Glass’ decision (while allowing it is his call), hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund our athletic programs including some sports that have been terminated over the past few years.

  7. I will support Glass’ decision but would rather have had it continue on a neutral site than not at all. The fans are missing out on a great annual game. I hope they do replace it with a big name like Kansas and that game turns into what IU/UK became.

  8. A ton of lost TV revenues…The hometown businesses can still make a ton of money from other contests. Purdue is still a great rivalry to always be played on the campus sites…OSU is becoming almost a rivalry game. Kentucky is a non-conference opponent and the rivalry revolves as much around state pride(the ‘state’ of Indiana vs. the ‘state’ of Kentucky) as it does the battle between the college programs.

    Bury your pride and play the damn game.

  9. Here’s my take. If college basketball rivalry games are not going to be played on campus stadiums, than it stops being “college” basketball. If schools like Kentucky continue to pursue nothing but the mighty dollar, college basketball will lose it soul and it’s appeal will diminish in the minds of its fan base.

    I mean Kentucky’s naked pursuit of generating more profit from its basketball team suggests Kentucky has already lost it soul. Of course, we all know Kentucky has long since turned its back on the concept of student athletes, at least in its basketball program, so this is just part of that progression.

    I salute Fred Glass and Tom Crean for standing up for the interests of the people they are paid to serve; Indiana University’s students! It’s about the students. And it’s about doing everything possible to give those people the best possible college experience.

    Kentucky has lost it soul. And I can’t wait until they lose the privilege to play college basketball. When that happens, it will be fun to watch the response of their fan base.

  10. When the team gets to take trips for tournaments held in Hawaii I hear nothing of the stealing the great college experience or losing our souls.

    The school could save a ton of money by eliminating those needless horrendously expensive trips/vacations that have zero benefit the student already paying way too much for college tuition.

  11. Silly…This is a rivalry game that is big time for the fans. We’ve played this game in Indy or Louisville for 10-15 years leading up to the last couple games and it was great. I like Glass and think most decisions have been great but this is sort of silly and avoidable. Play it in Yum or Lucas and kick there butts!

  12. It is apparent pUKe needs the money from neutral site games so as to have enough $ to do business as they have always done it. It is also apparent IU does not. Let somebody else feed their decades long culture.

  13. I was at IU from 1972 to 1976. I remember IU beating Kentucky in 1973(?) at Freedom Hall in Louisville. Thus, this wouldn’t be unprecedented. Though this issue is Kentucky driven due to fear of losing, IU should have continued it at neutral sites. We can beat them anywhere.

  14. …the rivalry revolves as much around state pride(the ‘state’ of Indiana vs. the ‘state’ of Kentucky) as it does .”

    Disagreement with the phrase [the game represents] ‘the battle between the college programs’.

    We (IU) have one, they don’t.

  15. Calipari initiaaly wanted to remove either IU,Louisville, or UNC from his schedule. When he took to much heat from that scenario, he came up with the neutral site idea to diffuse the issue, knowing IU would object. Now, it also appears UNC will not be rescheduled by UK. The losers as usual are the fans. Playing at INDY would help give UK a foothold in Indiana, but at least it would continue the series.

  16. Good.

    If anyone knew me, they’d know I was as big into the tradition and history of college basketball, and especially IU basketball, as a person can possibly be. How-ev-uh…

    Kentucky has become, with the hiring of Calipari, an outright challenge to the tradition of college basketball. Kentucky is professionalizing the game. They represent everything that’s wrong with the game right now.

    Indiana does not need to reward that. It would have done so by playing this game. It was time to end it.

  17. I have to respectfully disagree that it is best IU stood their ground and now there will not be an IU-Kentucky game. I am approaching 40 years of age and there has been a game every year of my life. Some have been in Assembly Hall, some in Rupp, some in the Hoosier Dome, some in Freedom Hall. As a fan, I prefer the home courts BUT it is not worth losing the series over no matter where they play. Nationally speaking most pundits would agree that this is probably the second best rivalry in college basketball (only slightly behind Duke-UNC). All these “newcomers” to the series (Crean, Calipari, Glass, and Barnhart) need to holster their egos and listen to their paying customers. THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT. If you surveyed IU fans and Kentucky fans with the question of “Do you want to have the series continued no matter what or do you only want to see it in the manner that your school prefers (for IU on campus and for UK off campus)?” I would be willing to bet that more than 90% of respondents on both sides would prefer that the series continue no matter what. What does everyone else think of these two options?

  18. I hate to say it, but both sides are liars in this instance. If you “really” want to play against the other team, then a workable compromise is OBVIOUS! You sign a 4 year deal with 2 alternating “neutral” sites for 2012 and 2013 and 2 alternating “home” games for 2014 and 2015. That gives you 4 years of great rivalry basketball and everyone “wins”. However, if you are lying about “really” wanting to play each other, then none of the expensive suits making hundreds of thousands of dollars can “imagine” this simple compromise!

  19. If no one will stand up to Calipari’s bullying he’ll eventually reshape college basketball so that it only benefits Kaintuck.

    Good for CTC and Fred Glass.

  20. I think Glass was sincere when he said that his conversations with many students convinced him that he needed to try to maintain the home and home series for the good of the college experience. And in my opinion, that is more important than the extra money Iu would have gotten for playing the game at a neutral site.

    I selected Indiana and enrolled in the fall of 1976 for reveal reasons, but one of them was because of the excitement of IU basketball (just having won the National Championship). I never missed a home game in my four years in Bloomington. In fact, if I had applied myself to my studies as much as I did trying to secure tickets to IU’s home games, I would have gotten perfect grades.

    O.K., time to bring on Kansas, Duke, Syracuse, or some other traditional power team.

  21. It’s college basketball, it’s meant to be played at College. Good work Glass! Indiana is showing others there are other things more important. This just shows UK is scared of playing IU. Would have been at Rupp this year. What a bunch of clowns.

Comments are closed.