Report: FIU backing out of '09 USF game
Florida International is backing out of its scheduled game at USF this fall, forcing the Bulls to scramble to find a Division I-A opponent on short notice, the Miami Herald reported Friday. Adding to the drama is the fact that FIU is backing out so they can start a home-and-home series with Rutgers, which recruits heavily in the Miami area.
Under its contact with USF, FIU will have to pay $200,000 to buy out the final game of a three-game series. It's a surprising move, given that USF had agreed to give FIU a BCS conference opponent for its first game in its new stadium last fall. It's also surprising that Rutgers would make such a move, knowing it gives a fellow Big East team a scheduling problem at a time when most teams have filled their 2009 slate.
Rutgers' move to add FIU to its schedule comes as the Scarlet Knights are operating under an interim athletic director, Carl Kirschner, a longtime Rutgers professor and former dean.
Ultimately, USF won't take a hit unless the Bulls aren't able to find another Division I-A opponent. If they had to schedule a second I-AA team, that second win could not be counted toward the six wins required to become bowl-eligible. Having lost a home game, USF also must try to find an opponent willing to come to Tampa to open the series.
-- The same Herald blog post reports that USF freshman linebacker Quavon Taylor, who was suspended from the team most of last season by coach Jim Leavitt, is considering a transfer to Florida International. Taylor is enrolled as a full-time student at USF this spring, but has been in Leavitt's doghouse since before the season started. As we told you earlier this week, USF will need some offseason attrition of scholarship players if the Bulls want to sign a full class of 25 incoming recruits.