Kentucky's basketball scheduling impasse with Indiana resulted Wednesday in the schools' athletics directors publicly airing their differences and their willingness to compromise.
But their exchange did not produce a resumption to the 43-year-old series that was discontinued earlier this month.
The Herald-Times of Bloomington, Ind., obtained through a public-records request a letter from Indiana Athletics Director Fred Glass to Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart that detailed a scheduling compromise recently offered by the Hoosiers.
In the letter from Glass to Barnhart, dated May 25, Glass said Indiana was willing to play Kentucky at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in December of 2012 and 2013 then move the series to Rupp Arena in 2014 and Indiana's Assembly Hall in 2015.
Glass's thinking, according to the letter, was that this proposal would meet with Kentucky Coach John Calipari's interest in playing the Hoosiers at neutral sites, even though it still contained the campus-sites component Calipari did not want.
"We wouldn't get everything we wanted," Glass said in a telephone conversation later Wednesday. "We wanted home-and-home. We thought, 'Jeez, if they get three/fourths of a loaf, would that be enough?' "
Kentucky's response was an unwillingness to compromise from what Glass termed in his letter a "take it or leave it demand" for neutral sites. Nor would UK agree to a contract of longer than two years.
Hours after the Herald-Times released Glass's letter, Barnhart issued a statement explaining that Kentucky was open to playing Indiana at Lucas Oil Stadium the next two seasons, then resuming talks after that about a future home-and-home series.
"We currently do not have any agreements with more than two years remaining and would like to maintain the current flexibility of our future scheduling," Barnhart's statement said. "If we entered into a four-year deal with Indiana, including the last two years at campus sites, not only would that alter our flexibility, but it would also mean that we would have to end our home-and-home series with Louisville in order to keep our non-conference road schedule balanced. We are not interested in doing that."
Barnhart also said scheduling moves Kentucky has made since Indiana's initial announcement that the series would need to be discontinued have reduced UK's flexibility. On May 3, UK announced that Indiana had decided to end the series with Kentucky. By the time Glass called a week later to offer what IU saw as a four-year compromise deal, UK had already added a two-game series with Baylor, which will include a doubleheader in Cowboys Stadium involving the schools' women's teams, and had renewed its series with North Carolina beginning in 2013-14.
Barnhart's statement suggested that a game with Indiana could not be fit into UK's schedule.
As part of its compromise, Indiana offered to pay half the $100,000 buyout UK would incur should it drop Samford or Portland to make room for the Hoosiers.
Initially, Glass held hope that Kentucky might accept the four-year deal, with the final two games being played in Lexington and then Bloomington.
"Mitch was very open and accommodating ... ," the IU AD said. "He reflected a real willingness to look at it. I was encouraged."
Although Indiana sees home-and-home as a way to maintain a "collegiate experience," Glass said he would not fault Kentucky's insistence on neutral sites only.
"I don't begrudge Kentucky to pursue a non-traditional schedule," he said. "... They can and should schedule as they see fit."
In his statement, Barnhart did not rule out the teams finding a way to continue the rivalry.
"We have held the last two games on our current schedule while continuing discussions with Indiana about playing this fall," his statement said. "December 15 and 22 are still options for the upcoming season and Lucas Oil Stadium is available for both dates. In the best interest of our fans, I would hope we can come to a conclusion to continue this storied series this December."
But Glass termed a home-and-home component to any continuation of the series as "bottom-line" for Indiana. Meanwhile, UK insists on neutral sites only and a deal no longer than two years.
"Now it looks like we're really moving on," the IU AD said. "I think what we proposed was awfully reasonable. I'm not sure where we go from here. I'm not sure how we bridge that divide."