After resisting, Syracuse agrees to play Arkansas in the SEC/Big East Challenge

By Matt Norlander | College Basketball Writer
Upon the public release of the SEC/Big East Challenge schedule last week, Syracuse simultaneously objected to its allotted road game against Arkansas, effectively calling the joint effort between the Big East and ESPN a coup. The Orange AD sent out an email to the Big East that was eventually obtained by ESPN.com, essentially saying, "Whoa, there. We ain't cool with this at all. We're not necessarily going to play this game; we've got our own schedule to sort out first. So let's talk."

It was a bad look for Syracuse, and it was a fight destined to be lost.

That loss came less than a week later, as Syracuse has accepted its contractual obligation to participate in the Challenge, what with still being a member of the Big East and needing to reciprocate a road game in the made-for-TV event before it leaves its league for ACC pastures.

"We discussed our concerns regarding Syracuse's participation in the SEC/Big East Challenge with the conference and have come to an agreement on the logistics of the game," Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said in a statement. "The Big East Conference will work with us to assist in our on-conference scheduling for the 2012-13 season."

So the Orange folded, and the SEC/Big East Challenge will go on as planned.

Syracuse, as I said, is moving to the ACC ... eventually. With stalls and public dust-ups over scheduling -- which is a stressful, arduous process for any program -- it's feeling more and more like Pittsburgh and SU are needlessly hanging around in the Big East, when a move-out to the ACC would benefit everyone. You feel that way, right?

But we know the Big East won't let that happen. There's too much money to make in the final months of conference occupancy from these two powerhouses. Let's hope we've got most of the outright infighting behind us, and that the remainder of the relationship between schools and conference can be amicable .
 
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