Monday, August 16, 2010
Crossroads Classic ADs Doing It Their Way
Indiana’s Fred Glass is a forward-thinking guy. As it turns out, so are fellow athletic directors Morgan Burke of Purdue, Jack Swarbrick of Notre Dame and Barry Collier of Butler.
So when they all decided to put together the Crossroads Classic, a basketball doubleheader featuring their schools at Conseco Fieldhouse, they decided to run the show themselves. There would be no outside management. They would do the hosting, planning and promoting. They’d come up with the TV deal.
The result will be showcased on Dec. 17, 2011, and Dec. 15, 2012.
“We think it will go well,” Glass said. “We’re cutting new ground here. We’re not hiring outside management. We’re not working through a promoter. IU and Purdue will take turns hosting and managing the event.”
Purdue will host next year’s inaugural event, with times and tickets prices yet to be announced. The four teams will divide all the profits and expenses. In 2011, IU will play Notre Dame and Purdue will play Butler. In 2012, it will be IU-Butler and Purdue-Notre Dame.
“We’ll give everybody a chance to play each other once and then reevaluate,” Glass said. “We’ll see if there’s anything to tweak. The hope is this will go on and on.”
The Crossroads Classic is designed to be a money maker. These guys aren’t stupid. But it’s also designed to promote their programs and the sport. It will boost their strength of schedule and, in theory at least, make them more attractive for an NCAA tourney at-large bid.
As far as cutting out the middle men in terms of managing and promoting, it was a no brainer, Glass said.
“We put on events all the time. We figured we could do it ourselves. The folks at Conseco are great partners. It didn’t seem like it was worth that cut (to the middle men) to do what we could do for ourselves.”
The four programs got together for a “classic” in the 1940s and ‘50s at Butler, but Hinkle Fieldhouse was not an option for this new event. Not when mega-million-dollar Conseco Fieldhouse was available.
“Conseco is where we wanted to have it,” Glass said. “It’s the pre-eminent venue in the country. It’s wonderful to play here.
“It makes tremendous sense to resurrect what had been a pretty historic doubleheader with what I think are the four premier programs in the state. It will be a great showcase for the state of Indiana.”