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Syracuse AD refuses to play Rutgers twice in 2012

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

With the Big East now reduced to seven football schools for the 2012 season, the conference has been desperately trying to figure out a way to fill gaps in the schedule.

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(Nate Shron/Getty)

One suggestion was to have rivals, such as Rutgers and Syracuse, play twice, once at Rutgers and once at a yet-to-be-determined location. It seemed like an easy solution, but Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross wants no part of it.

Gross told ESPN CNY radio Tuesday that a second game against Rutgers was "not an option."

No. Not an option and I guess the simplest way to answer it is just no. It's just all wrong. It's not even an option. We're playing at the New Meadowlands next year and we have great respect for those folks, what they've set up for us. It'll be like a bowl game for us and we'll have all the trains and buses and everything going down, so that's our New York game. But besides that, we won't be playing...home and home with members of the same conference.

Perhaps Gross knows something the rest of us don't about how the Big East is going to fill the scheduling gap left by West Virginia, which paid $20 million to leave for the Big 12 two years early. Big East commissioner John Marinatto told the Washington Post that one of the Big East's new teams — Boise State, San Diego State, SMU, Houston, Central Florida and Memphis — who were all slated to join the conference in 2013, could join next season, but declined to say which team. However, this seems unlikely because of the quick turnaround.

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Daryl Gross (Kevin Rivoli/AP)

I wonder, when it comes down to it, whether Syracuse will actually have a say in the matter? Both Syracuse and Rutgers need to play someone to fill out their schedule and this is the easiest option. And Gross told the radio station that there's no chance the Orange were going to buy their way out of the conference like West Virginia.

Well, it's quite expensive. And if really kinda defies logic if you're just an institution that wants to go to another conference to pay that kind of money. But, obviously, there must be some trigger in the Big 12 contract that allows them when they have enough teams to get another level of dollars for the entire conference, so it was probably that you end up paying $20 million and let's say the conference pays $10 million of it, if you don't do it the conference would have lost, maybe $15-20 million dollars...they're still up $5 million dollars, you know?

For us or Pittsburgh, that kind of money isn't even feasible. You wouldn't even make the money up as an institution...it would take you at least three years to recoup that kind of money. More than that, really.

West Virginia needed out and they got out and they paid a high price for it. Good for them.

Marinatto did say that with the Big East's new expansion that Syracuse and Pittsburgh would probably be allowed to move to the ACC for the 2013 season instead of waiting until 2014. Still, that doesn't solve the scheduling problem for 2012.

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Daps to Tony Nunes is an Absolute Magician.
Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham

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