Tuesday, August 25, 2009

FIU wants out of UNC hoops matchup

North Carolina "will be happy to play whichever team shows up" for its basketball season opener at the Smith Center on Nov. 9, associate athletics director Steve Kirschner said.

The question is: what team will that be?

When the ACC schedule was released Tuesday, Florida International -- with new head coach Isiah Thomas -- was listed as UNC's opening-game opponent in the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament.

But FIU had been expecting to play Ohio State, and is now getting its legal department involved to try to get out of the match-up with the defending national champion Tar Heels, said Rich Kelch, the Golden Panthers' assistant athletics director for media relations.

FIU athletics director Pete Garcia could not immediately be reached for comment, but he told the Associated Press he felt like the Golden Panthers were being bullied by the organizers of the tournament.

"Would they do what they're doing to us to Duke, or to North Carolina? No," Garcia told AP, adding that his team is committed to playing in the tournament. "But they'll do it to FIU and any other school out there like FIU."

Regardless of what happens during the event's early two rounds, the tournament format calls for four hosts -- UNC, Ohio State, California and Syracuse -- to automatically advance to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden. (UNC's second opponent in the tournamentis NC Central on Nov. 11; it will then play the Buckeyes in the semifinals Nov. 19, with the championship game the following day.)

Rick Giles, president of the Gazelle Group, which organizes the tournament, told the AP said the contract language allows for his organization "to have the sole authority" over sites, dates, times, teams and opponents in the tournament.

The tournament organizers didn't announce the pairings until after 6 p.m. on Tuesday; there was enough gray area about the field that Kirschner said he contacted the Gazelle Group earlier Tuesday to ask if the game on the ACC schedule should read, "TBD." But he was told to list FIU.

Kelch said his school didn't learn it was supposedly playing the Tar Heels until it heard about UNC's schedule from the media.

Kirschner said the Tar Heels will gladly play whoever they are told to play.

-- Robbi Pickeral

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isaiah Thomas was a scumbag with the Pistons. He was a scumbag with the Pacers. He was a scumbag with the Knicks. Now he's a scumbag at FIU.

Anonymous said...

What kind of s@#$ it that? Are they serious? How do you hope to build a program and not want to play a top contender? Isaiah Thomas ran the Knicks organization into the ground and he'll do the same at FIU.

Anonymous said...

Think about this. Here is a guy that tried to take out MJ. Then all the other things that he did while a Piston and with the Knicks. I say let him go. Wash yours hands of him and move on. He ain't worth it.A fool sometimes showe's his head. I sure the Heels can find somebody to make room for them. Collect big pay check....

Anonymous said...

Too bad he also FAILED at his suicide attempt, oh wait... that was his "daughter".

Anonymous said...

I looked up FIU's staff directory... Isiah is listed. Give him a call and let him know what you think.

Phone: 305-348-0504

I just left him a "Go Heels" message. Ha!

Randolph said...

Anonymous:
What does this debate have to do with Isaiah Thomas? The article only refers to him as being the coach of FIU. Never assume more than what is stated, if you want your arguement to be considered creditable. Clear your minds and learn to read and comprehend. The article never informs us what coach Thomas thinks about playing UNC. I hope your reading skills aren't indicative of a UNC education.

Anonymous said...

Come on Zeke, we wanna watch you walk off the court early again.

Anonymous said...

Actually this *is* a change, as UNC was originally slated to play Alcorn State.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:32 - "Arguement"? And you're calling out people's reading skills?

Anonymous said...

FIU gets what they deserve with that piece.

Anonymous said...

Hey Randolph, the word is "credible", not "creditable."
Otherwise I agree.

Anonymous said...

Hey Randolph,

Enable your user profile! :)

Anonymous said...

Randolph (Shavlik?),

There are other articles out there with quotes from Isiah, maybe the others in here actually read other sites besides The Disturber, genius!

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4422145

Anonymous said...

"people's reading skills?"

Actually, it would be "peoples' reading skills"

Anonymous said...

Actually that could go either way with the people's versus peoples' thing but I would like to point out that an article like this concerning any big time named coach would have at least a comment from them. The fact that Isiah says nothing speaks volumes IMO.