Mitch Barnhart's Statement On IU Series Ending

Contributor: Alex Risen
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Updated: 5/03/2012 7:08 pm

Statement from UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart on Indiana men’s basketball series…

“We are extremely disappointed in Indiana’s decision to end our annual men’s basketball series. We were under the impression that we were in continued negotiations with Indiana University on signing a two-year contract to play the annual game at neutral sites. After the NCAA Championships, both schools verbally agreed in principle to play for two years at neutral sites (December 8, 2012 and December 7 or 14, 2013) and agreed to revisit campus sites upon completion of the two-year deal. The public comments by Indiana prior to today over the last week led us to believe that our previous verbal agreement could be in jeopardy, but at no point did we ever have any mutual discussions with Indiana to end the series.  We were contacted by Indiana today shortly before 2 p.m. ET and informed that due to our desire to move to neutral sites they were moving on for the 2012-13 season and would revisit continuing the series at a later date. Our desire to play the series at a neutral site was due mainly to the success of the series from 1992-2006. It allowed the fans of both schools to enjoy the experience of one of the greatest rivalries every year.  Everyone that watched or attended those games said it was a great atmosphere for college basketball. We looked at this as an opportunity to recapture that atmosphere and unfortunately it ended today.”

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