Not that anyone was expecting things to be great between Pittsburgh, Syracuse and the Big East with those two schools leaving for the ACC at some point in the near future.
But with the announcement of the match-ups for the SEC/Big East Challenge things may have reached a new low.
According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross sent an email to the conference saying that the Orange would not be taking part in the event.
The official line from Gross was that the school was “over committed” and therefore could not accommodate their scheduled game at Arkansas as a result.
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 situation
We 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. Daryl
Syracuse still has the road game portion of the Challenge agreement to honor, but it’s pretty obvious that they aren’t too thrilled with that prospect.
But while Syracuse is mad that they are playing in the event, Pittsburgh is upset with the fact that they aren’t.
According to athletic director Steve Pederson and head coach Jamie Dixon, they were told by the Big East that Pitt would receive a home game in the event after playing at Tennessee last season.
Instead the Panthers find themselves needing a home game to add to their schedule.
“We were led to believe we had a home game all along,” Pederson said. “At no point were we told that we wouldn’t get a home game. They’ve put us in a difficult spot. All Jamie and I were waiting on was who we were playing. We’re very disappointed, obviously.”
“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 said. “I feel bad for our players. We have a hole on our schedule that we have to fill now.”
So what happens now? While Syracuse doesn’t want to play, Pittsburgh does but they’re owed a home date per the Challenge’s agreement.
Does Syracuse end up having to make room for the game, or is a change made to the schedule? Just one more bit of drama for the Big East to address during the summer.