It all makes sense now. ASU Administration said NO, when the request came. Saturday came, and TU folks was at the FCC and someone approached an ASU coach or someone they felt important at the SIAC and they probably was in their cups and pre-gaming and they had a gentlemen's agreement, yeah we will work this out, we got you, blah, blah, etc. Problem is no one thought to run it by the AD and President.
In reading between the lines, ASU AD Gordon indicates that someone from ASU agreed to this game but did not have the authority to do so, but does not name who. Then those who make the final Athletic decisions at ASU met and went with the original NO.
I think had TU AD not rushed with the announcement this situation would not have occurred. I say this because of the timeline of the situation. On Friday if ASU said no, why then Saturday morning before the game could be played TU AD releases a press release announcing the game and then by Sunday Morning, TU AD released a statement that ASU decided not to honor it's agreement. Then Monday, TU AD released another statement that TU would be playing Virigina State Univ. Trojans all this within 24-48 hours. Good PR moves to cover your a** , but bad PR MOVE On communications. The man showed he was all over the place. Before anyone could respond he was on the next press release. The one thing TU AD has not done is owned up to his error, but instead has made excuses and placed the blame on others.
ASU erred on not coming out and clarifying it's position sooner, albeit I knew that the AD was not trying to get into a war of words with TU AD, so she kept it professionally. I will give her a slight pass since she is new to the position and got more things to worry about at the present moment, i.e. merging her athletic department. I do not know a lot of things, but I am in touch and tune with my athletic department to a degree, and I know some on here are as well. They go beyond the mere fan approach they want to know the skinny, so they can know how to maneuver and operate in the best interest of their school, student athletes and Athletic Department as a whole. I prefaced that for the following: If you read what is not being said, you can clearly get the picture of ASU Athletics and their feelings toward the SIAC and TU. That is why I said I hope this bitterness does not cause a problem with the Whitewater Classic. The Whitewater Classic does not count for ASU or TU in the conference so why are they playing. People have to think big picture. AD Gordon, alludes to that in her comments on scheduling.
"One, this isn't a game that provided any benefit to Albany State," Gordon says. "But two, specifically the risk of injury. We discussed a great deal that risk and playing in the game. It just didn't leave us feeling positive about the opportunity to compete."
Gordon says after reconsidering their decision to play, ASU immediately notified Tuskegee and the SIAC of their decision to not play. She says Albany State is aware of the impact of their choice to not play, but added this was not made to slight Tuskegee. (that part of the conversation had not been mentioned before, the Conference, remember when I said the conference needs to be careful how they handle this and not end up showing favoritism)
"We made it clear that this was not a decision not to support their institution or the SIAC, but a decision we felt was in the best interests of our student-athletes," Gordon says.
Tuskegee, though, is not happy with the Golden Rams. TU athletic director Curtis Campbell questioned Albany State's decision in a statement released Monday by the TU athletic department.
"I am very disappointed in Albany State's decision not to honor their agreement," Tuskegee athletic director Curtis Campbell says in the same statement. "As members of the SIAC, we must be able to trust the word of a member institution." (It goes back to the SIAC again, interesting.)
Gordon declined to comment on Campbell's statement, instead saying she and Albany State wish Tuskegee well.
Gordon did say she hopes the SIAC will work to make sure teams are scheduling correctly.
"We hopes this sparks the conversation, from a conference perspective, of implementing policies to ensure these types of scheduling errors don't happen in the future," Gordon says.
This has made for good dialogue and conversation.