Despite no official word coming from the Syracuse University athletic department or the Big East Conference, it seems the Orange's men's basketball contest, Nov. 30th, against the Arkansas Razorback in the Big East-SEC Challenge is official and will not be canceled, confirmed Big East officials Tuesday.
According to ESPN.com's Andy Katz, talks between SU athletic director Daryl Gross and the conference have "nothing to do" with the Syracuse vs. Arkansas match-up.
Big East associate commissioner Tom Odjakjian wouldn’t divulge what would be available to negotiate, but was adamant that the matchups are set.
On Friday, the Big East and SEC released its schedule for 2012 Big East-SEC Challenge, however, they came under fire from Gross, who e-mailed league athletic directors, coaches and other colleagues Thursday. In the leaked e-mail, Gross expressed his disapproval about the match-up and the Orange couldn't participate because of a "very difficult scheduling predicament."
Later in the afternoon Friday, Gross said in a statement that he talked with Big East interim commissioner Joe Bailey and the issue would hopefully be resolved shortly.
With the addition of Arkansas to the regular-seasons schedule, college basketball experts and fans who harp on Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim for not playing non-conference games out of the state of New York will have little ammo in 2012-13.
Currently, the Orange's schedule features an unofficial season-opener in San Diego, Calif. on top of an aircraft carrier against the San Diego St. Aztecs (Nov. 9), a tough road game at Arkansas (Nov. 30) and a match-up with the Temple Owls (Dec. 12) at Madison Square Garden.