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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.

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Q&A

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.

Apaw

What are your thoughts on FIU hoops season opener?

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