Florida International, led by new head coach Isiah Thomas, is slated to participate in the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic as one of the mid-/low-majors who is supposed to take a beating at the hands of a BCS school in their home arena before heading off to play other non-BCS schools. The problem is, Zeke doesn't particularly like the choice of BCS opponent the Gazelle Group has scheduled for the Golden Panthers.
According to this ESPN.com item, FIU went to the trouble of announcing that they were going to open the season at Ohio State, one of the four regional hosts for the event. The contract the school signed with the Gazelle Group provided an either/or option, however. When Gazelle released the field, they went with the "or," in this case, defending national champion North Carolina.
Thomas and his athletic director, Peter Garcia (As an aside, I love wire copy that websites blindly put up without identifying the key figures. Garcia's first name and title aren't included in the ESPN story.) are now threatening to pull FIU out of the event if they can't open in Columbus.
Some of the quotes in this story are absolutely laughable.
Gazelle Group President Rick Giles: "I would be stunned if Isiah Thomas' first act as a head coach was to break a contract."
Chortle. Do I really need to say anything about this?
Isiah Thomas on playing Ohio State: "Big Ten country...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."
Good job, you just made the players and fans of the DEFENDING NATIONAL CHAMPIONS feel like chopped liver. It's good to see even though the level has changed, Isiah Thomas hasn't really at all.
Here are the opponents for the four host schools.
Visiting Cal: Detroit and Murray State
Visiting UNC: FIU (maybe) and North Carolina Central
Visiting Ohio State: Alcorn State and James Madison
Visiting Syracuse: Albany and Robert Morris