News breaks fast in the social media age, and Friday the Syracuse Orange basketball program was in the middle of a confusing, yet, interesting set of circumstances, revolving around its 2012-13 schedule, which now seems to be quickly resolving.
Surrounding Friday's release of the 2012 Big East-SEC Challenge, which pitted the Orange against the Arkansas Razorbacks on Nov. 29, ESPN.com's Andy Katz released a leaked Thursday night e-mail from Syracuse University Athletic Director Daryl Gross to Big East colleagues which stated SU didn't want to participate in the second-year made-for-ESPN event.
The night before Friday's release of the pairings for the 12-game challenge, which listed Syracuse playing at Arkansas, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross wrote in an email to Big East colleagues that the Orange are "overcommitted and can't play at this point."
However, a new statement from Gross was released Friday afternoon by local Syracuse sport talk radio show host Brent Axe, who "spoke" to the Gross via text messaging:
"Communication has been poor until today where Joe Bailey (interim Big East Commish) and I have had some constructive discussion and trying to work out a solution," Gross texted Axe. "Hopefully, we will have things worked out by this afternoon."
It now seems the issue is close to being resolved and Syracuse will play Arkansas, per the original agreement which committed the Orange to play a road game in challenge.
After ESPN's story, a Big East representative said, "We have agreements in place. We have no reason to believe otherwise.''
The Big East official said conversations took place on Friday morning between Gross and Big East interim commissioner Joe Bailey. Gross confirmed those discussions.
Before that, Gross was on the offensive Thursday night and he was clearly upset with the Big East, a conference the Orange are expected to leave after the 2012-13 season for the ACC.
"I wish we could have agreement as you have put us all in what could be an embarrassing situation," said Gross in the e-mail on Thursday night. "We are not confirmed. I find it amazing that there is no discussion to make a better plan. We have been collegial with the Big East yet it appears that there is no willingness to cooperate."
Gross cited that the Orange, who are already scheduled to play San Diego St., Nov. 9, on top of an aircraft carrier in San Diego and Temple, Dec. 12, in Madison Square Garden, but not play in any preseason tournaments, have a "very difficult scheduling predicament."
Initially, the match-up between the Orange and Razorbacks was a bit of a disappointment for some Syracuse hoops fans, who were hoping the Orange would be pitted against the defending National Champions, the Kentucky Wildcats -- a pairing that couldn't happen because both programs a schedule for road games in the now yearly event.
However, this new distraction between Gross and the Big East clearly ended any discussion of what could have been between the Orange and Wildcats.