Oct. 16, 2013
By JACK BOGACZYK
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Louisville’s request to move a football date at Edwards Stadium is going to boost the Marshall athletics program in multiple ways.
Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick lauded the Cardinals for their willingness to work with the Herd on a solution, as the Cardinals make the move from the American Athletic Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“Louisville is a class act,” Hamrick said. “We appreciate the great relationship we have with (Cardinals AD) Tom Jurich and his people.”
The Thundering Herd announced Tuesday that a scheduled 2014 home football game with the Cardinals would be moved to Sept. 24, 2016. Louisville requested the move because its 2014-15 entrance into the ACC altered the Cardinals’ schedule.
Besides eight ACC games, the Cardinals were designated as one of the five ACC teams scheduled to meet Notre Dame. As part of an agreement to join that conference – while remaining a football independent – the Fighting Irish agreed to face five ACC football teams annually.
Louisville will visit ND in 2014.
When Louisville asked to push back the date at Edwards Stadium, the Cards and Herd put their heads together and came up with a carrot for Marshall.
In addition to keeping the football contract intact, Louisville will play host to Marshall next season in men’s basketball at the KFC Yum! Center.
That date is part of the Global Sports Shootout, an NCAA exempt event that also will provide the Herd three home dates. The Shootout is under contract to be played between Nov. 7 and 21.
The guarantee to Marshall for the basketball date in Derby City also was sweetened. It’s $130,000 – or $50,000 more than Marshall received for playing at Louisville in November 2010.
That hoops date at Louisville also boosts a basketball schedule that has Cam Henderson Center dates under contract against South Carolina and Penn State. With a Charleston Civic Center game against West Virginia added, the Herd will be facing teams from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC in 2014-15.
Hamrick also pointed out that the moved Louisville football date still means power conference teams will be visiting Edwards Stadium in back-to-back seasons. Purdue is scheduled to be the first Big Ten visitor to Marshall in Herd history for the 2015 opener (Sept. 5), while Louisville comes to Huntington the following year.
Both those series will complete home-and-home contracts for the Herd.
The only other team in ACC history (dating to 1953) to play at Marshall was Virginia Tech, in 2011, as the sandwich game in a 2-for-1 contract that ended with a triple-overtime game at Lane Stadium this season.
“Louisville has one of the premier athletic programs in the country,” Hamrick said, “and we’re just excited that even though we couldn’t play the game in ’14 – and I understand why – they wanted to come here.
“They were entering the ACC and had scheduling requirements there. Notre Dame came into the picture and Louisville called us and said, ‘Hey, we just can’t come in ’14 because of things that are out of our control. We still want to play you; we’ve got a good relationship with you, let’s move the game.’
“So, we came up with 2016. We couldn’t play them in 2015, because we’re playing Purdue here. And then in basketball, it’s a very attractive game and contract for us.
“Louisville’s always been good to us. I want to continue to have a great relationship with them. It’s a short trip over I-64 for both of us, a fan-friendly game. Another part of it is it’s not often we can have an ACC team coming in here to play.”
The Herd has two home dates scheduled for 2016, with Akron (Sept. 17) and Louisville (Sept. 24). If Marshall schedules an FCS opponent, the Herd would have seven home dates that season.
Hamrick said the 2014 replacement game for Louisville will be announced in the future, and said it will be a home game to replace the Cardinals’ visit (creating a six-home, six-road schedule).
The Herd’s other three non-conference games are against Mid-American Conference foes – Ohio (Sept. 13) at Edwards Stadium, and at Miami of Ohio (Aug. 30) and Akron (Sept. 20).
An eight-game Conference USA schedule for next season will not be available until early in 2014.