INDIANAPOLIS — Negotiations to keep the popular Indiana-Kentucky basketball series alive have stalled for the second time in a month and there seems to be little chance of reviving it.
Indiana athletic director Fred Glass announced May 3 that the series, an annual tradition since 1969, would end because the two schools could not agree on whether to play the games at neutral sites or on the two campuses.
According to a letter obtained Wednesday by The Associated Press, the two athletic directors reopened negotiations May 10. Two weeks later, the letter said, Kentucky rejected Indiana’s offer for a four-year extension that would have put the first two games at Lucas Oil Stadium, which Wildcats coach John Calipari wanted. The third game would have been played at Kentucky and the fourth at Indiana.
“I’m disappointed Kentucky rejected what I thought was a compromise that would address everyone’s concerns,” Glass told The Associated Press. “(Coach) Tom (Crean) and I felt like we tried to be accommodating to Kentucky.”
The letter indicates Kentucky had a variety of concerns.
“I informed Fred that we were disappointed that our previous verbal agreement for a two-year neutral site contract was off the table, but we would consider the new proposal,” Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement.
“I also noted there were some challenges in our current schedule that were not present prior to Indiana’s announcement on May 3 that they were moving on with their schedule for 2012-13.”
Indiana doesn’t want to add another non-home game to the schedule.
“Mitch and I had pretty specific conversations about a neutral site at Indianapolis and a neutral site at Louisville, most likely Lucas Oil Stadium and Freedom Hall,” Glass said.
“Tom and I didn’t feel comfortable about freezing out our students or our season-ticket holders.
“Since John Calipari said he would be willing to do the Lucas-Lucas deal, that’s where our compromise started, and we felt it was only fair to let Kentucky to have the third game with the fourth game coming back to Indiana because that would give next year’s (incoming) students an opportunity to see the game on campus.”