Pitt left out of Big East/SEC Challenge
The Pitt men's basketball team is scrambling for a high-profile home game after being left out of the 2012 SEC/Big East Challenge.
“We discovered the day before the announcement,” athletic director Steve Pederson said. “On June 1, to try to find a good home game, that's very difficult. (The Big East) put us in a very difficult situation.”
Pitt, which is suing the Big East for the right to leave for the ACC after the 2012-13 season, was one of three Big East teams omitted when the field was announced Friday. The others are Louisville, which is expected to have one of the top teams in the conference, and 2010-11 national champion Connecticut.
Pederson said Pitt, which played at Tennessee last season as part of the first full year of the event, had expected to receive a home game in the 12-game showdown, which runs Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.
“I'm disappointed for our players because we were clearly under the impression from numerous conversations that we were in it and we were going to play a home game,” he said. “(Coach Jamie Dixon) has been holding a spot on the schedule, and somebody could have told us three months ago.”
Dixon was out of town and could not be reached for comment.
Syracuse, which also is leaving the Big East for the ACC, was invited to play in the event, at Arkansas on Nov. 30, but Orange athletic director Daryl Gross said the team is “overcommitted” and can't participate.
The Big East will have 15 men's basketball teams this season after losing West Virginia to the Big 12, meaning three teams had to be left out of the event. Connecticut is playing in the Jimmy V Classic instead, and Louisville reportedly was already told by the Big East that it wouldn't be part of the field.
“The basic premise is because there are 12 games and more than 12 teams, not everyone is able to participate,” Big East director of communications Chuck Sullivan said. “Three teams had to be out. Beyond that, I can't say anything about it.”
First-year members Missouri and Texas A&M were left out of the event from the 14-school SEC.
When asked whether there was anything political about Pitt, which has the best record in the Big East in the past decade, being snubbed, Sullivan said, “Not that I'm aware of. It was a collaborative effort was between the SEC, the Big East and ESPN.”
Pederson said Pitt had a difficult time getting advanced notice, which would have allowed for contingency plans.
“We're not included in any of the meetings having to do with the operations of the league,” he said. “It made it very hard for us to get any good information.”
John Grupp is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7930.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Steelers kicker Boswell puts best foot forward
- Robert Morris drops to 0-5 after overtime loss to New Mexico St.
- Southmoreland wrestling team takes old-school approach
- McIntyre students hope Buddy Bench is beneficial to all
- Sounds of Christmas coming to Fay-West region
- Pittsburgh man charged with 56 counts after high-speed chase over weekend
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: Sewickley Academy’s Jackson O’Neill, USC’s Emma Hasco
- Steelers notebook: Tomlin not grooming successor to RB Williams
- Burrell school officials update education goals
- Occupying playoff spot on Thanksgiving good harbinger for Penguins
- Congressman visits Kistaco Farm in Kiski Township