Crossroads Classic stalls IU’s involvement in national events

  • 12/15/2016 7:44 am in

For the sixth consecutive year, the Crossroads Classic will tip off this weekend at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

The annual event featuring Indiana, Butler, Notre Dame and Purdue will feature, for the first time, four ranked teams. On a normal Saturday in college basketball in December, that would be enough to headline the schedule nationally.

But as the proliferation of made for TV national showcases continues, the Crossroads Classic won’t be the most viewed college basketball showcase this weekend. That title will go to the CBS Sports Classic, which will feature three teams ranked in the top seven in UCLA, Kentucky and North Carolina.

The CBS Sports Classic, which was recently extended through 2019, originally targeted Indiana according to multiple sources. But with the Hoosiers locked into a deal with the Crossroads Classic through 2019, it had to settle on Ohio State.

So while the Buckeyes and Bruins tip off at 3 p.m. ET from Las Vegas on CBS, Indiana will play Butler a few hours later on the Big Ten Network. About 45 minutes into Indiana’s contest with Butler, North Carolina and Kentucky will tip off on CBS.

Indiana AD Fred Glass told Inside the Hall in a recent one-on-one interview that the program’s commitment to the Crossroads Classic has hampered its ability to participate in national events.

“I believe we’re an elite status program and should be in those kind of events and have been invited to be in those kind of events,” Glass told Inside the Hall. “I think our recent success against the likes of North Carolina, Kansas and Kentucky shows that it’s not just a historical perspective. It’s a current perspective. And that is a drawback, I think, of our commitment to the Crossroads Classic.”

That, however, doesn’t mean that Glass isn’t a fan of the Crossroads Classic. Glass, an Indianapolis native, spoke highly of the event, calling it great for both IU and basketball in the state in general.

The downside, of course, is missing out on these national events that enhance the program’s brand on a bigger stage. With the dates for the Crossroads Classic already set through 2019, relief in terms of flexibility of dates isn’t on the immediate horizon.

The ability for more choice, however, is something that Glass would like to be on the table in the future.

“I, for one, would be willing to look at alternative times to facilitate flexibility for all of the partners to participate in other events,” he said. “Of course we’re just one of the schools and we appreciate our relationship with the (Indiana) Pacers as well. I’d be open to looking at whether there are other dates that work well for the Crossroads Classic and keep it viable, but at the same time, allow all of us some scheduling flexibility to perhaps participate in some of these other important opportunities for us.”

Ultimately, gaining more scheduling options for the event is something that will have to be agreed upon by all four schools who participate as well as the Pacers. The current Crossroads Classic deal, which was announced in August of 2014, set dates through 2019, which will be the ninth season of the event.

Whether or not scheduling flexibility is a part of the event’s future, Glass would like Indiana to remain in the Crossroads Classic and also be able to play in events like the CBS Sports Classic. It remains to be seen if that can be achieved.

“I do acknowledge that we’ve had some opportunities to be in events that we’d like to be in, that we think would enhance the event, that we think we belong in as basketball royalty,” he explained. “We’d like to be there and haven’t been able to because of those conflicts.

“I want to make clear that I continue to be very committed to the Crossroads Classic. If we made changes going forward, which I think we should explore that, it would be in concert with our partners.”

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  • HAVOC

    Sheesh, how tough should IU make their non-conference. It’ll end up being one of the toughest in the country once it’s all said and done. We mess around and play every game with March Madness caliber teams and we might regret it with possible injuries and losses. No thank you. This our toughest non-conference in a long time and I’m thrilled with our record thus far.

  • HAVOC

    And I don’t care what anyone says, until some of these top teams schedule a team like IPFW for an away game, I don’t wanna hear the trash talk about that loss. I bet IPFW will win their conference easily and they could grow into a real threat come March. All these people that talk that loss, are the same people that WOULDN’T have the brass to play that game on the road!

  • b_side

    The problem with invoking Butler and the last 15+ years is they haven’t done squat since their epic FF runs that ended in 2011. Remains to be seen what the team can do in March in this new era.

    Prior to the recent back-to-back Elite Eight runs, Notre Dame hadn’t been to the Sweet 16 since 2003. Oddly enough, their highest seeded team (#2 in 2011) was upset by a #10 seed in the round of 32.

  • HAVOC

    Valpo is not horrible either. I’ve always been so proud of Indiana college athletics.

  • IdahoHoosier

    And Butler went to Sweet 16 in ’03 and ’07. Your response strengthens my point. Butler and ND have better recent tournament success than IU. I wish it weren’t true but it is.

  • HAVOC

    I wish we could all agree that Indiana is the mecca of college basketball. No matter what, Indiana always seems to have a team or two every year that has true potential to win a championship.

  • b_side

    With different coaches in both instances. It’s a new era for Butler as much as it is here in Indiana. In a “what have you done for me lately” kind of world, I’ll take Indiana’s success over the last 5 years as a better indicator of where the programs are now and what it can do in the future.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Haha, fair enough. It is all a matter of what sample we use. In history, I’d take IU no question. In the 80’s, IU. From roughly 2000 to 2011 Butler was the class of Indiana. The last few years, Indiana takes the cake, though not by THAT much.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Love your attitude Havoc. Try living in Idaho. Not exactly a lot of great basketball being played out here frankly.

  • HAVOC

    LOL! I hear ya man! I was living in Colorado for 5 years. Nothing there to cheer about either except for the Broncos. I’m proud of our competitive teams here in Indiana! Imagine if the NCAA held a tournament consisting of 50 teams representing each state; and each team representing all D-1 college basketball teams like all-star teams!… Indiana All-Stars would SLAUGHTER THE FIELD!!!

  • HAVOC

    Homer. What is good for all teams in Indiana, is good for IU. Anything that represents Indiana basketball as a whole is good for business!

  • HAVOC

    TRUTH!

  • IUBBallFan

    Absolutely. Changing the date of CC and trading one of these games for the national showcase makes the most sense. Wouldn’t hurt the power rankings one bit either.

  • IUBBallFan

    But this situation where all four teams have a decent ranking is not the norm or guaranteed. The other spotlight this weekend is guaranteed top 10 competition. So while the schedule doesn’t hurt us necessarily this year, next year could be a bigger wasted opportunity.

  • Will

    Why do top recruits leave the state, if this event is so good for Indiana’s basketball? Half the players in this event are from out of state.

    This was a good deal for IU back when they were on the come up. Now they can get on national TV without a problem.

  • Hee hee… Beat me to it.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Or from another perspective, IU could fall into a pit (it has happened before) and ND, Butler, PU could wish they weren’t “wasting an opportunity” playing IU. The CC is a showcase of Indiana basketball. And traditionally all four of these schools are decent to really good. Sad to see so many “fans” hating on Indiana basketball.

  • IdahoHoosier

    Because the nature of basketball has changed. Being a blueblood program that hasn’t won a title in 30 years doesn’t cut it for recruits. And many recruits are more interested about playing NBA style and getting to the NBA than they are playing for a legendary program. The CC is about showcasing Indiana basketball teams and ideally stirring up some rivalries which are fun!

  • HAVOC

    In the great state of Indiana, every year there’s more than a few “top recruits”. IU has landed it’s fair share of “top recruits” from Indiana. And what they don’t land, the other majority lands SOMEWHERE in Indiana. That’s a fact.

  • Ms hoosier

    I’m watching New Albany, and La Lumiere play on ESPN and the game is loaded with top recruits and none of them are going to IU!! It really makes me sick to see them leave the State

  • jwickliff

    Maybe IPFW could sub for Indiana.

  • Dennis

    For exposure, we need to get on events that are NOT COVERED by BTN. If a young recruit is looking for a good basketball to watch, he/she is going to look at multiple channels to find one if they don’t have a specific one in mind. Why will they pick BTN when it is a premium channel and not everyone gets it. If we want to national exposure, we need to get BTN to work with all cable companies and satellite companies to get on their basic programs. There are many fans out here that cannot get BTN because their cable company does not carry it.

    COME ON BTN – let’s get serious and lower prices or whatever it takes to get total national coverage so all recruits and fans can watch their BIG TEN TEAM.

  • Old_Time_Hoosier

    After Hanner, I’m not sure any recruit from La Lumiere is any where near as good as they;re cracked up to be! LOL

  • IULore

    Romeo may well come to IU

  • SCHoosier

    Sounds like what Coach Cal and UK fans are saying about a home and home series with IU? I do think the C-Roads classic could be an every other year event….and still be noteworthy.

  • twarrior87

    the crossroads classic isn’t really good for IU… you lose to Butler (like they did with the Zeller team) and it’s national news. You beat Butler and it’s just business as usual. Same thing with ND. IU doesn’t really get much out of it IMO.

  • Two things:

    First, there is not such thing as objectivity. It just doesn’t actually exist. There is, however, fairness, accuracy, transparency, etc.

    Secondly, I totally did not get the same impression you got from reading this piece. Seemed pretty even-keeled to me.

    I also don’t really have much of an opinion on this “debate” about this event. It seems to me that the main issue is merely the scheduling. Do it a week before or later…who cares. I don’t see why this event and playing in other events cannot both be done. Why is it one or the other? That’s the real problem, in my opinion. Seems like a problem that could be easily solved, if someone wanted it done.

  • They are all certainly upper tier, at minimum. There can only be so many top five/top ten teams at one time.

  • Nothing wrong with that. Everyone has an opinion. And I’d rather know what they are than have them hidden away for some reason. I also disagree with that idea, but it does no harm.

  • I think you just nailed it. Not liking it applies to the thinking of a “no brainer.” (I personally just want to see some good games, and pleased to see that all four programs are ranked this year)

  • I take the same approach, but mostly during tournament time.

  • but purdont does suck

  • Some opinions are more equal than others…

    But seriously, I’ve always seen it as a competition between Indiana and North Carolina as the two best states for basketball. You occasionally can toss in Iowa, California, Michigan, and Ohio, too. Indiana tends to have the most teams in the tournament, it seems.

  • to be fair, purdont’s conference titles were mostly from early in the last century.

  • great idea. This should absolutely be done. Two birds one stone.

  • lots of good ideas there

  • “We mess around and play every game with March Madness caliber teams and we might regret it with possible injuries and losses.”

    Tom Izzo might have some words to say about such a scenario.

  • In terms of recruiting:

    It seems to me that many here have carried on a mini-jihad about recruiting in-state. Seems like there’s a contradiction here somehow.

  • Evansville.

  • IdahoHoosier

    100% correct Clyde. So many here complain about not getting in-state kids, and complain about not getting nationally top-ranked kids. The Crossroads Classic is a great opportunity to display and celebrate college basketball in Indiana, and does attract attention of fans and at the very least Indiana high school players. And IU has played, and does play, several nationally televised games and events this year and every year. Can scheduling be improved? Sure. But come on we are doing pretty well on all fronts for recruiting and getting attention.

  • “And many recruits are more interested about playing NBA style and
    getting to the NBA than they are playing for a legendary program.”

    Which should still help IU more than most programs…

  • Hanner had a tip in that won a game a few nights ago.

  • IdahoHoosier

    That logic only works this year, when IU happens to be ranked above the other schools involved. That has not always been the case, and may not always be the case in the future. If you want IU to only play teams that are almost always better than them, the field is pretty small, and IU would have a terrible record most years. We can’t have it all. The CC is good for the state of Indiana and college basketball. Enjoy it.

  • Ke Sang

    Short and simple:
    I would like IU to compete at a higher level nationally if there is only one time slot.
    Reasons:1) making more money; 2)broadcasting IU Brand; 3) definitely help recruiting; 4) giving fans without BTN a chance to watch IU; etc…..
    I would like to keep CC if possible.
    Reasons: 1) it would typically be a good game; 2)It is state of Indiana.
    So, please figure this out, Mr.Glass. I think you will achieve. Just move CC to some other time, it should work.

  • IU_theoracle

    Clyde you are correct in that but the truth is that recruiting today is national and geographical location of a recruit no longer matters. The days of IU having Indiana, Ohio and Illinois on lock down are long gone.

  • Russ Mary Southard

    I’m life long IU fan and while I find this topic interesting I also find it confusing in that we have so many members of the IU fan base who believe that winning is only possible by scheduling made for TV events such as this to attract recruits. I truly believe our largest challenge is getting those kids in state to stay home and play in Bloomington. In my opinion only (so do roast me) I would suggest that if we got back to our roots and challenged for in-state recruits. PU, ND and Butler all have more recent success in March that we do and for us to say otherwise is just not true. As far as the so called Champions event. In the last 12 months we have played 3 of these teams and have … wait for it…. WON. I’m not a fan of UK and I don’t want their mentality of win at all cost and think about it what has CAL done other than put a lot of kids in the NBA and be ranked at the top of the polls only to lose in the big dance. I’m just not impressed. once again my opinion only Go Hoosiers beat Butler (who is a very good team btw).

  • JT

    The Crossroads Classic and the teams in it is an excellent venue and at the right time of year for Hoosier’s & the state of IN BB fans. ND is a bigger draw in the East than perhaps the Midwest but with the BIG 10 channel available to most of the east coast now the Crossroads Classic could broadcast to a large audience if promoted right (BIG 10 network would need to promote it on ESPN, etc). Or, perhaps both games would be on ESPN rather than just the first game as this year. CBS & other venues know the date. Let them alter their made for TV games according. If we become a perennial top 10 team then they will have more of reason to schedule accordingly – they will want us to participate.

  • Piker

    Yep. Indiana is the basketball state. All 4 top 20. Let them come to us. Recruits don’t get it? Go elsewhere. A little harsh maybe but I’m tired of hearing about recruiting TV and it’s impact on our schedule. CTC does well putting real good teams together and the players who come here understand that.

  • JT

    What do you think when we lose to to Fort Wayne or beat the last few teams that were against cup cakes? No team plays Blue Bloods every week before conference begins. Right now Butler is playing us like their a Blue Blood. I want more tough games against top teams too but we have plenty of options w/o effecting the CC.