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FIU Hoops Opener: Ohio State or Some Other Team ??

Usa Somewhere on this map, your Panthers will open their 2009-2010 basketball season.

But don't book that plane ticket to Columbus, Ohio; Chapel Hill, NC or some other place in the U.S. just yet, because the location of your Panthers basketball season opener under new coach Isiah Thomas is up in the air due to a last minute scheduling switch.

Since April 15 at IT's press conference to introduce him as FIU hoops coach, we have known that FIU would open at Ohio State in the 2K Sports Classic this November, but Tuesday afternoon, tournament organizers made a switch of opponents on the Panthers by replacing the Buckeyes with defending nationalHelm champion North Carolina.

FIU doesn't want to switch, but it already signed a contract back in November that its first opponent in the tourney would be either OSU or UNC. It had always been OSU since last November until today.

Tournament organizers sent an e-mail today to FIU telling the Panthers of the switch.

In an e-mail sent to FIU assistant coach Anthony Anderson from David Boudwin of the Gazelle Group on Tuesday, Boudwin writes: “I left a few message this afternoon and wanted to let you guys that we needed to switch your first round opponent to North Carolina.  Due to some scheduling conflicts we needed to Osu switch your game against OSU.  You will be playing North Carolina on the same day Mon Unc November 9th at 7 pm, which will be an ESPNU game.”

In response to Boudwin’s e-mail, FIU’s position according to AD Pete Garcia is: “Having determined that FIU would play Ohio State in the first round of the tournament and confirmed by the e-mail sent Tuesday, there is nothing in the agreement, nor was it ever the intent of the parties to permit a unilateral switch of games after they have been agreed to.”

PG thinks this all has to do with television ratings, even though the FIU/OSU game was going to be on ESPNU anyway.

"If that's it, just be honest with us," Garcia said. "We're not going to be bullied. Would they be doing this to North Carolina or Duke? How could there be a scheduling conflict if it’s the first game of the season.”

PG confirmed that if the Ohio State opener does not happen, other teams have already contacted FIU to play in the Panthers season opener home or away. Stay tuned.



UltimateFIUFan: Pete, I had heard Tim Hardaway could not get the asst. coach job at FIU due to him not completing his bachelors degree. Is this true? What is the roster of players and coaches of the mens hoops team? How is Kambriel Willis doing?

PP: You need a degree to work at FIU. TH is taking classes for that degree. Hoops roster will be released in the coming months. KW is having a good camp and should be a force on the D-Line this season.

Gooch7: Pete and FIU Fans, what do predict the attendance for the Toledo game will be (wild guess)?

PP: In bandwagon capital U.S.A - Miami, that will depend on how well the Panthers do in the first two games.


What are your thoughts on FIU hoops season opener?


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Obviously playing against the Tarheels is much more prestigious, especially for recruiting purposes. But while we may have a slim chance to compete with Ohio State, there' is absolutely no chance we can be competitive with the champs this year. I know within three years FIU will be in the tourney, but right now I don't know how FIU could benefit from being blown out by NC on ESPN.

So Tim Hardaway is taking classes, seems to me that he is doing what he needs to in order to become a coach.

Pete, are you basically saying its a matter of time before we get another Basketball legend as a coach?

Imagine coming to play for Isiah and Tim Hardaway.

I think these Gazelle people handled this very poorly; sending an e-mail to an Asst. Coach informing them that the first game of the IT era is being changed unilaterally. No negotiation, no sweetner, nothing. That's bush.

I don't blame PG for being upset in the least. There are logistics involved, especially in such a high-profile game as IT's first game.

Still if it said OSU or NC, then we should have been prepared for either but the way it has been handled appears to me as if this Gazelle Group is trying to pull a fast one.

I'm behind PG 100% on this one.

I'm personally conflicted in this situation. I only live 2 hours from Raleigh and could see this game in person (live near Charlotte). But, both my parents went to Ohio State (my dad has a PHD and my mom held a MA) and I've been an OSU fan since birth (even lived in Cleveland for a long time). I was hoping to go to the game in Columbus with my father and my soon-to-be-born son. I really hope they find a way to keep playing OSU, so I can cheer both teams. That game would be difficult to watch but fun as hell as I'm an avid supporter of both.

you know i think playing either we wernt really goin to be in it much.. being honest but w/ the 2 that didnt qualify leaves us thin down low and both those teams have low post presence (i kno T. Han. is gone but UNC doesnt rebuild they reload) so i dont see what all the fuss is about. at least not enough to make it so public

Everyone knows that even though both games would be televised on ESPNU, more people would be interested in seeing IT's new team against the defending national champs.

I voted for "some other team." I would not be comfortable with playing either UNC or OSU as a season opener. Although its perhaps somewhat unlikely, I will be crossing my fingers for a showdown against a known instate team that we could defeat.

I think it's lose/lose for FIU to play NC in the first game. The national media will blow the result out of proportion what ever happens. If we lose by a large margin then the IT bashing accelerates. If it is tight, then the 'IT to another program' watch begins.

Either way there is no real good scenario for FIU with an over-hyped match-up with NC. And being short-handed as we are now only exacerbates the possibility of the blow-out scenario.

I too am for another opponent, take the media hit and move on.

THIS is a lose lose situation. Lose on TV or Lose in opinion.

FIUFan we really cannot live in fear of our coaches being courted by other schools. We have to have some faith in their faith in FIU.

I don't like how the 2KSports guys handled it, but I do not have a problem playing the Tarheels. Yeah we will probably lose, but we need to test ourselves and this is the only way to do it.

I hope we stick to playing Ohio State. I think we can make that a game (at least for the first half). Loosing by 30 does not help the winning team or the loosing team.

As for the FIU Fan Base topic I still think its going to be hard to sellout any games except Toledo and FAU.. I hope Im wrong and we get 5 sellout crowds (WOW!).

Note: The Club Seat section is awesome by the way. Individual seats with cup holder and you have access to the Club Suit downstairs. In other words you can drink and eat!! Great Price!

Go FIU!!

Hey Jules, I hear you, but I've been around this program a long, long time and though things are good at the moment we need some time for it to take root.

We need to build a fan base and a tradition of winning. That's going to take time.

Hey Pete,

How is Frank Brown recovering?

Grow a big pair of panther balls and play any team, anywhere, anytime.

FIU won't ever live this down.

Another hater or Crazy Cane in disguise?



Q: Have you heard anything about making UM vs. FIU an annual thing?

Pete Garcia: This contract was done by the Associate Athletic Director at UM, which happened to be myself at the time, and it was a two-year contract. It actually ends this year. Anything beyond that will have to be discussed in the future. And they'll have to want to do that. WE'RE WILLING TO PLAY ANYBODY ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. IT'S NEVER GOING TO BE AN ISSUE FOR US.

Come on, PG. What, did that big talk only apply to football? You have a valid point that you are being jerked around in a way that a bigger schools may not, but the bad publicity from this case is not worth the fight. Just play the damn game.

Also, Ohio State returns pretty much everybody, and UNC is returning like 1 starter, or something. We may have a better chance to surprise a green UNC team if we go in prepared and hyped up.

All this situation is doing is putting an even bigger target on FIU and IT's back. People are out there just waiting for IT to mess up, don't give them fuel.

No, let's NOT play the game. If we do this damages our credibility and will show others that we can and will be bossed around at another team or organizer's whim. and what? Get killed in the national spotlight on the first game of Isaiah's tenure? Yeah, the pressure from everybody will NEVER live that down and will plague the team the rest of the season. EVERYBODY out there want IT to fail, and we shouldn't give them the satisfaction for one TV appearance. We have leverage with the basketball community since they are curious to see IT. Let's not waste it after one game.

Sorry for the grammatical errors there.

It appears my previous comment was not posted, but basically, I think everything MC has done thus far has been great for FIU - he has taken his UM mental approach of anywhere anytime anyplace by playing touch OCC games on the road and letting his players learn from it and allowing recuits to embrace it.

What IT is doing makes he, the program and the school look second class, and PG is not only allowing it, he is contributing to it. Play UNC, it was part of the contract. Stop crying, I hope you do get to play OSU and they beat you by 50 - then what?

This only makes IT look worse.

"We don't want to play UNC"?

Well, you signed the contract. So play the game. We had an opportunity to go in as a lovable, cuddly, underdog. Now when we inevitably play UNC (If we pay to get out of this contract just so we don't have to play UNC I'll be unbelievably pissed since we just cut our athletics budget $1 million), everyone will be rooting for IT to get stomped.

Someone really needs to work on our public relations...

I agree it sucks to be jerked around, and I have no problem with Pete Garcia coming out and saying "We don't want to be jerked around". But threatening to boycott is just absolutely the wrong move.

What he should have done is come out and said "We were led to believe we were playing OSU from the beginning, and now we have had the rug pulled out from under us without warning. They wouldn't do this to UNC or OSU, but they will do it to us, and that is a problem endemic to the college athletics world and something we are wholly against. That being said, we have always said we are willing to play anyone, anytime, anywhere, and look forward to the opportunity and challenge of playing the defending national champions."

UM mental approach? Dude, most of these games were scheduled by the previous AD & Head Coach. The only game MC and PG signed was the Rutgers game because they bought out the USF game. As usual, CrazyCane spewing UM BS without knowing the real facts...

I was doing my daily browse through ESPN and found a video most might like. Last year Graham Watson (the blog writer for the SunBelt) didn't really give FIU the credit that they deserve, but I think that she has come full turn. Here is the link to the video: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4426197 , coverage of the SunBelt begins at about 3:00. Enjoy.

pikedanny - you are definelty an FIU student or recent grad - you are so dumb you do not even realize when someone is giving your program a compliment. You know what - I will look at it then from your stand point - your previous head coach and AD were real men for scheduling tough games while your current AD and head coach are B*t*h*s.

pikedanny - you really are not a smaret individual or fan - why dont you try reading before posting a reply to someone.

I like the part where CC said he isn't "smaret". Yes.

FIUSMChris - I like the part that you feel the need to spell check my posts but no one elses.

If you truly have a top flight coach, and if he has truly brought in top flight talent, then why not play top flight competition? Is there the possibility of big time beat down? Hell yeah. But what if what you suspect is about to happen here, actually happens? What if the combination of coaching, talent, desire and fan support produces a win? It seem that none of the related posts entertain that possibility. Why not? As far fetched as most think it is nevertheless it is possible. A win by FIU (whether by a single point, or two, or four) would leave the nation waiting to see what else they can accomplish. And if this presumptive mismatch lives up to that moniker then the prevailing sentiment will most likely be that the result was to be expected.

As one of the previous post suggested, grow a set of Panther balls; big, brass and hairy. Understand the process and stop seeking a shortcut to the profit. Remember also, the Panthers will be using the entire pre-season getting prepared for UNC, while the Tar Heels will be preparing for Kentucky just nine days later.


Just saying, if you're going to criticize someone's intelligence, spell check.

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