After spending more than two decades in the sports business world, including successful stints in the NBA and NFL, Arizona State Vice President for University Athletics Steve Patterson isn’t afraid to draw a line in the sand.
That’s the approach he’s taking to the University of Notre Dame, who’s trying to back out of their 2014 football game in Tempe. The two teams will play in Arlington, Texas on October 5 and the Sun Devils will make a trip to South Bend, Indiana in 2017.
From the sound of it, it doesn’t appear Patterson and ASU is interested in letting the luck of the Irish influence their decision.
“I’ve yet to have [Notre Dame Athletic Director] Jack Swarbrick return my telephone calls,” Patterson told Brad Cesmat Tuesday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “We have a contract. We’d expect people to live up to their contractual obligations.”
The scheduling issue has been complicated by the fact the Irish moved to the ACC in every sport except football but are scheduled to play five ACC schools on the gridiron starting in the fall of 2014. The only scheduled games right now are Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Reports Tuesday morning indicated Notre Dame will travel to Florida State in ’14.
“That’s a different date than the game that we had scheduled,” Patterson explained to Cesmat. “You know, we’ll just see how it plays out our expectation is we’ve got a contract we expect people to live up to their obligations as all good Nuns and Fathers are supposed to do.”
Losing a home game of this caliber would be a big hit to ASU who’s attempted to strengthen their non-conference schedule and attract more fans to Sun Devil Stadium. Playing powers like Notre Dame is also appealing to prospective recruits. The Arizona class of ’14 is considered by many its most talented, deepest in state history.