Syracuse AD Dr. Daryl Gross says he meant to “reply all” in his email about Syracuse being “over committed” and unable to play in the SEC/Big East Challenge.
Asked if he meant to reply all or just to Big East associate commissioner Tom Odjakjian, Gross told SNY.tv: “Everyone.. It was a transparent email to the entire conference meant for the conference…”
Gross sent the below email to all Big East ADs, coaches, league administrators and sports information directors. (SNY.tv obtained the email from league sources.)
I originally wrote that he mistakenly replied all. Turns out, I was mistaken.
Odjakjian had initially sent an email Thursday outlining the SEC/Big East finalized pairings for 2012.
Here’s Gross’s response on Thursday:
OJ this is premature as we are over committed and can’t play at this point..I wish we could have agreement as you have put us all in what could be an embarrassing situationWe are not confirmed. I find it amazing that there is no discussion to make a better plan. We have been collegial with the Big East yet it appears that there is no willingness to cooperate.
Syracuse ultimately will visit Arkansas in the SEC/Big East Challenge after hosting Florida last year.
But this situation doesn’t look good for Syracuse — one league source called Gross “classless” — which is on its way out of the Big East in either 2013 or 2014, along with Pittsburgh.
Former Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said at the Big East Tournament that he could envision both Pitt and Syracuse leaving the league in 2013.
With Memphis, Temple, UCF, Houston and SMU slated to enter the Big East at that point, the Big East will then have 18 basketball teams.
For now, Pitt, UConn and Louisville are out of this year’s SEC/Big East Challenge because they were rotated out this year. New members Missouri and Texas A&M are out for the SEC.
Pitt is also reportedly upset about being left out of this year’s event.
“We were led to believe we had a home game all along,” Pitt AD Steve Pederson told ESPN.com. “At no point were we told that we wouldn’t get a home game. They’ve put us in a difficult spot. All [head coach] Jamie [Dixon] and I were waiting on was who we were playing. We’re very disappointed, obviously.
Big East associate commissioner Dan Gavitt told ESPN.com it was difficult calling Dixon and telling him he was not in the event.
“We went on the road last year, and there was a clear assumption that if we went on the road that we would get a return,” Pederson told ESPN.com. “I feel bad for our players. We have a hole in our schedule that we have to fill now.”
Still, a Big East source told SNY.tv that the league was “not planning to swap” Syracuse and Pittsburgh in the event.
The 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge includes the following matchups:
Thursday, November 29
Kentucky at Notre Dame
Marquette at Florida
South Carolina at St. John’s
Seton Hall at LSU
Friday, November 30
Syracuse at Arkansas
Tennessee at Georgetown
DePaul at Auburn
Georgia at USF
Saturday, December 1
Alabama at Cincinnati
Villanova at Vanderbilt
Mississippi State at Providence
Rutgers at Mississippi