At his press conference after Indiana’s 41-35 loss to Navy on Saturday night, Indiana coach Kevin Wilson said he’d been trying for two years to get the Midshipmen off the schedule.
On his radio show Monday night, however, Wilson clarified that statement, and Indiana athletic director Fred Glass did the same in an interview on Tuesday. Wilson said he’d asked Glass shortly after he got the job in 2010 if it was possible to get Navy and its triple option offense off the schedule, but then moved on after being told it was not possible. Glass said that was in fact the accurate course of events.
“His facetious comment about trying to get Navy off the schedule for two years was supposed to be just a compliment to Navy for them being that good,” Glass said. “He tried to get them off the schedule when he got here, but it wasn’t ongoing for two years. There’s no issue between me and Kevin about it. We talked it through two or three years ago. We talked it through and decided it was not something we could change or should change. From then on, we’ve been on the same page.”
Glass said the biggest reason he didn’t want to take Navy off the schedule is that the Midshipmen had already been accommodating enough with the Hoosiers. They had initially decided on a four-game series and were set to play in 2016 and 2017, but those games had become incompatible with the rest of Indiana’s schedule. Navy had agreed to let Indiana out of those games without financial penalty.
“They were awesome about that,” Glass said. “And that’s really in contrast in some other folks that were not awesome in coming to deal with that. They couldn’t have been more honorable about it. I thought it would be dishonorable to go back to them and cancel the rest of the series. Kevin totally got that. From that point, we were on board to play Navy, and then we went forward.”
They did go forward to lose two games, however, falling 31-30 in Annapolis last season and 41-35 this year. Asked if he still believed the series was good for Indiana, Glass admitted that a case could be made either way.
“I think it was a great experience for our student athletes going to Annapolis and playing at the Naval Academy,” Glass said. “And it was a great experience for our fans to play them here. It was a really good crowd. There’s a strong naval connection here at Indiana. (A reference to Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center). So I think it makes sense that way. But in retrospect, I respect the concerns about this issue where you spend so much time working on something that you’ll never use again. I see the other side of that pancake too. … Candidly, it’s a bit of a mixed bag, but I think there were some real positives as well.”
DUSTIN’s NOTE: Obviously, the Indianapolis Star did a similar piece in this morning’s paper, which was linked in Hoosier Morning, so an admission to being beaten to the punch here. But there is some further clarification above.