FIU Takes A Risk With Tournament Threat 2009: Fiu Takes

FIU takes a risk with tournament threat

FIU takes a risk with tournament threat Quick hitters for Wednesday: Let’s take a little deeper look at this.
FIU is getting three home games out of this event — North Carolina Central (Nov. 20), James Madison (Nov. 22) and Murray State (Nov. 23). The Panthers have to play one road game — as far as Gazelle is concerned, at North Carolina, not Ohio State. A year ago, FIU was in the CBE Classic and played three home games (Cleveland State, Toledo and non-Division I West Georgia) and then played at Washington. So in two seasons, FIU — I repeat, F-I-U — received six home games and just two road games from the organizers. That’s rather generous considering the Panthers haven’t really done anything on the court to justify being a relevant figure on the college basketball map. If FIU athletic director Pete Garcia follows through on his threat to break the contract and play someone else, he’ll have a hard time finding three home games. The NCAA allows tournaments like the Coaches vs. Cancer to count four games as two. So FIU would have to find only two games to fill its schedule. But it’s hard to believe teams are lining up to play at FIU’s 5,000-seat arena, especially in September. Rick Giles, founder of the Gazelle Group, isn’t backing down with the plan that calls for FIU to play at North Carolina to open the college basketball regular season on Nov. 9. (Alcorn State is slated to go to Ohio State on the same day.)
Thomas said late Tuesday night that the Panthers were planning on playing a road game at Monmouth after the trip to Columbus and that it would be made more difficult going from Chapel Hill. He said there is a chance FIU might squeeze in a game at Tulsa, too.

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