They say ‘do unto others as you would have others do unto you’. Well, apparently the folks over at Notre Dame missed that portion of Bible study.
At least that’s the way Arizona athletic director Steve Patterson sees things.
The Sun Devils and Fighting Irish have a game scheduled at Cowboys Stadium in 2013, and that meeting is still going to be played as planned. However, the Golden Domers have an agreement that says it must play five games a year against ACC opponents beginning in 2014.
Thus, it is looking like the scheduled 2014 game between the two programs is going to have be a casualty of Notre Dame’s new conference ties.
Patterson understands that with all the moving and shaking of conference realignment over the last few years, some games are going to have be removed or switched around to accommodate the ever-changing needs of various programs.
However, the way he sees things, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about making those changes. He unloaded on a radio show regarding the way Notre Dame went about letting his program know that the 2014 meeting was going to be cancelled. This, according to Fox Sports Arizona:
“The school didn’t have the courtesy to have the athletic director (Jack Swarbrick) call the athletic director at ASU to discuss it,” Patterson said. “They had their PR guy call (ASU’s media relations office) to give us a message Friday afternoon while everybody was out of town at the Final Four.”
What’s more, he cut to the core of what Notre Dame claims to be all about: Good, pious Catholic people just trying to carry on an an ethical manner in an increasingly unethical college sports world.
“At least in the little Catholic town I grew up in — Beaver Dam, Wis. — the good nuns wouldn’t have thought that was a very appropriate way to honor your word.”
While Patterson’s pride is wounded, the biggest issue here is the fact that he and his program must scramble to fill a hole in the schedule only 18 months out.
“What people don’t understand is you do this 18 months before a game,” Patterson said. “Virtually every other university in the country’s got their teams scheduled until 2014. So who do you get as a replacement even if you wanted to do it?”
“If you act in a professional way and you want to talk about three years down the line or four years down the line where somebody’s got a chance to make an adjustment in their schedule, that’s a different thing, but when it’s 18 months out, everybody’s got their season booked.”
The Pac-12 plays a nine-game conference schedule. Thus, with Weber State and New Mexico as the Sun Devils’ other two out of conference games, the Notre Dame game was supposed to be the marquee event on the Sun Devils’ schedule. Finding a program with the name recognition and high TV ratings on such relatively short notice looks like an impossible task.
At the very least, Patterson can go to sleep knowing that Alabama and Nick Saban did to Notre Dame what the ASU athletic director would absolutely love to do to the Irish right about now.