If you thought the saga of the “Lost Rivalry” ended last month when Kentucky officially declined Indiana’s invitation to play games on campus, you were wrong.
According to Dustin Dopirak of the Bloomington Herald Times, who obtained letters sent between Indiana athletic director Fred Glass and Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, Indiana reopened negotiations with Kentucky on May 10th.
Two games in Lucas Oil Stadium, followed by a game at Rupp and THEN a game at Assembly Hall. In 2015-2016:
In the letter, Glass detailed all of the negotiations in the attempt to revive the series since it was publicly declared dead on May 3. Glass said that Indiana had indicated that it would be willing to play at Lucas Oil Stadium in December of 2012 and 2013, “persistent with Coach (John) Calipari’s previous offer to do so.” The series would then be moved to Rupp Arena for the 2014 game and Assembly Hall for the 2015 game. Glass said that was acceptable to Indiana because it would allow the freshman class that arrives next year to see at least one game on campus in their four-year careers.
My first reaction to the news: why are they trying to work this out by sending letters? Is it 1954 again?
My second reaction: this surprises you? UK wasn’t playing this series unless it was going to be held at Lucas Oil Stadium annually. And since Coach Cal knew that Indiana wasn’t going to agree to that, it’s not difficult to deduce that he simply had no interest in continuing the rivalry. He’s the head coach at Kentucky. It is his job to run that program as he sees fit, and as I’ve written about 10,000 times by now, there is actual, legitimate justification to his thought process.
It sucks, don’t get me wrong.
If I had my druthers, this game would get played on campus every single season because we all saw just how awesome the game was last season. With Kentucky and Indiana looking like the nation’s two best teams, it can only get more awesome. I’m a college basketball fan first and foremost, and as a fan, it sucks that we won’t be able to see this game.