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Friday, October 5, 2012
SDSU-Syracuse carrier game in jeopardy?

By Eamonn Brennan

That's the word out of San Diego today, as the San Diego Union Tribune's Mark Zeigler cites a "half-dozen" sources that told him "the Aztecs’ season-opening game against Syracuse on the deck of a retired aircraft carrier is in jeopardy of being called off, although a final decision isn’t expected for another day or two."

Trouble first arose when San Diego Sports Commission president†Al†Kidd, one of the main supporters of the event, left the commission this summer. Suddenly, a host of events planned as part of a Veterans Day extravaganza -- including a gala dinner, a charity concert and a fan festival -- were unceremoniously cancelled. That leaves just the game. Fortunately, Fox Sports San Diego owns the national rights to the game and is eager to broadcast it. Unfortunately, the promoters have yet to unveil even a single national sponsor, an all-important indicator of an event's viability.

This morning, Jim Boeheim told ESPN.com's Dana O'Neil he hadn't heard anything about the possibility of a cancellation.

"As far as I know we are playing the game," Boeheim said. "No one has said anything to me. I haven't been told otherwise.''

When asked if there was a chance the game would be at a difference venue, Boeheim said: "Yeah, maybe. I don't see how we wouldn't play the game and as far as i know we're going to play. It would be really hard right now to cancel it, I'd think.''

That different venue would likely be the Valley View Casino Center (neť San Diego Sports Arena), a 14,000-seat arena primarily used for concerts these days. It would unquestionably take some of the luster off the event, which promised a matchup of top-25 teams near the site of last year's marquee, season-opening (and visually breathtaking) Carrier Classic. But at least the game would†happen.

In the meantime, no such cancellation worries appear to threaten this season's other two carrier games. The Florida-Georgetown game in Jacksonville is backed by the U.S. Navy, while Morale Entertainment -- the same group behind the Carrier Classic -- is behind Marquette-Ohio State game in Charleston, S.C.