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FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

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FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=4422145

FIU wants to open vs. Ohio State
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By Dana O'Neil
ESPN.com
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Florida International will pull out of the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament unless tournament organizers allow FIU to open with Ohio State instead of North Carolina, as the Golden Panthers had expected.

FIU officials were equal parts incensed and stunned when they received an e-mailed press release of the Tar Heels' schedule, listing Florida International as the season opener. Athletic director Pete Garcia said the school had been approached by the Gazelle Group, the tourney organizers, about switching its opener from the Buckeyes to the defending national champions but refused.

"We knew nothing about this until the press release from North Carolina today," Garcia said. "We told them last week we would not change the game and had never agreed to this."

Gazelle Group president Rick Giles said that he has a contract, signed by Garcia, which stipulates that FIU would play either Ohio State or North Carolina, leaving the choice at the discretion of the Gazelle Group. He said that is the way his company has written contracts for 15 years and fully expects the school to honor its agreement.

"I would be stunned if Isiah Thomas' first act as a head coach was to break a contract," Giles said, although Thomas pointed out that the contract, signed in November 2008, was agreed upon before he arrived at FIU.

Florida International contends that though the original contract offered an either/or option, the school had agreed to open its season with Ohio State and had gone so far as to publicize that information. In an August AP report, new head coach Thomas is quoted about the opener with the Buckeyes.

"Big Ten country," he said. "If at some point and time you're going to be able to compete with the big boys, you might as well jump right into the fire and get started."

Thomas said he was completely caught off-guard by the switch.

"I had no idea," he said. "No one contacted me, our athletic director, no one. Maybe in 2010, 2011 we can play North Carolina, but not this year."

Steve Kirschner, North Carolina's associate athletic director for athletic communications, said: "We will play whoever they tell us to play.''

Kirschner said UNC contacted the Gazelle Group because there had been some discussion about the Tar Heels' opening opponent and questioned whether the schedule should read, "TBD.'' But the Gazelle Group told them to go ahead and release the opener as Florida International.

Garcia said if necessary the Golden Panthers would look for other teams to fill the hole in their schedule.

"We will not be bullied into a unilateral decision to play North Carolina after we already agreed to play Ohio State," Garcia said.

Dana O'Neil covers college basketball for ESPN.com.

Does it really matter? They are going to get killed no matter who they play!

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

If you read some of the comments they are hysterical!

"jliosi (8/25/2009 at 6:32 PM)
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Isiah is the only person in the world that could make FIU basketball program even worse."

"matteo24 (8/25/2009 at 7:00 PM)
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What is Thomas so upset about? So instead of losing by 20 in your first game you are going to lose by 30. Big deal. You suck and should be glad any of those schools agreed to play against you in the first place."

"jonsimmonds (8/25/2009 at 7:05 PM)
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I don't blame Isaiah. An embarrassing loss could blemmish ruin his otherwise flawless reputation."

"Litsprky (8/25/2009 at 7:34 PM)
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Oh no, FIU will pull out of a tourney!? Why and How is this even passed off as newsworthy."

"campkev (8/25/2009 at 7:34 PM)
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This is like the FIU football team saying they don't want to start against Florida, they'd rather start against USC. Does it really matter who you get your #### kicked by?"





My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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FIU's BBall opener

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Re: FIU's BBall opener

They don't like it??

"The Princeton, N.J.-based Gazelle Group, which operates the tournament, said Garcia signed a contract in November 2008 stipulating the Golden Panthers would play Ohio State or North Carolina sometime between Nov. 9-13. Garcia acknowledged signing that deal."

Too bad?

If you are worth your salt, then play.
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Re: FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

FIU will get hammered either way. It is a joke that they are making a big stink about playing UNC rather than OSU.

GO OWLS!!!

You can run kitties, but you can't hide!!!
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Re: FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

FIU is one pathetic place, starting at the top. This is about the most embarsasing thing I have ever read, even more so that killing the band and cheer teams. I am soooo glad to be an FAU alum and NOT FIU! PATHETIC!!
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Re: FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

I'm sure the FIU faithful will come here and talk about how it's not fair and they had a contract in place blah blah blah. Who does it matter who you play? We played UNC, we played Kansas, we opened up last season at Arizona. Did we complain? No! So they won the national championship who cares! They have to open up against someone. Troy plays UF in football this year I don't hear them saying "We won't play them because they won the national championship last year, we would rather play Oklahoma" They're going to lose regardless!

This is Coaches vs. Cancer it's for a good cause. I hope they do pull out.. Sorry FIU fans but this is a bush league move and pulling out will get you a lot of attention but it was all be negative

My two favorite teams are FAU, and who ever is beating FIU!
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Re: FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Jab979 said

Sorry FIU fans but this is a bush league move and pulling out will get you a lot of attention but it was all be negative

Precisely.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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Re: FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

I can understand them being upset if they were told they were playing Ohio State and then it was switched.  However, if the contract says "either/or" and the game is changed then you just have to deal with it.  I'm not exactly sure what the difference is, since it is likely they would lose to either team by double digits.  So if the tourney changed games on them, it sucks, but apparently it was their right to do so.  Go play UNC, take your lumps and learn from it.  Pulling out of the tourney would be a huge mistake IMO.
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Re: FIU Threatens to Pull Out of Coaches vs. Cancer Classic

Here is another article on the game.

ERROR: A link was posted here (url) but it appears to be a broken link.

Foul? FIU unhappy Thomas’ opener could be at UNC
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