College basketball fans from around the region were disappointed to hear earlier this week the Kentucky and Indiana will not be renewing their longstanding college basketball rivalry because neither school could agree on where to play the series.
Indiana wanted the series to continue in a home-and-home setup. Kentucky wanted to move back to neutral-site games and offered to play the series at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The two schools have been playing each other since the early 1950’s. The games rotated between Freedom Hall in Louisville and the Hoosier/RCA Dome in Indianapolis from 1991 through 2005. That's when the games returned to campus sites, where the regular-season games were played exclusively from 1976 through 1986.
Statement from UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart on Indiana men’s basketball series…
“We are extremely disappointed in Indiana’s decision to end our annual men’s basketball series. We were under the impression that we were in continued negotiations with Indiana University on signing a two-year contract to play the annual game at neutral sites. After the NCAA Championships, both schools verbally agreed in principle to play for two years at neutral sites (December 8, 2012 and December 7 or 14, 2013) and agreed to revisit campus sites upon completion of the two-year deal. The public comments by Indiana prior to today over the last week led us to believe that our previous verbal agreement could be in jeopardy, but at no point did we ever have any mutual discussions with Indiana to end the series. We were contacted by Indiana today shortly before 2 p.m. ET and informed that due to our desire to move to neutral sites they were moving on for the 2012-13 season and would revisit continuing the series at a later date. Our desire to play the series at a neutral site was due mainly to the success of the series from 1992-2006. It allowed the fans of both schools to enjoy the experience of one of the greatest rivalries every year. Everyone that watched or attended those games said it was a great atmosphere for college basketball. We looked at this as an opportunity to recapture that atmosphere and unfortunately it ended today.”