Orange, Hoyas seeking 10-year deal

Updated: September 12, 2013, 8:36 PM ET
By Eamonn Brennan | ESPN.com

One of college basketball's most famous rivalries -- Syracuse and Georgetown -- may not be finished just yet.

Syracuse, which moved to the ACC this summer, and Georgetown, which remained in the new, basketball-only Big East, are working on a 10-year proposal to continue their long-standing series outside of conference play, the Syracuse Post-Standard reported Wednesday.

"I think it's serious," Boeheim told ESPN.com's Andy Katz on Thursday. "I don't know if it's 10 years, but we'd like to get a couple of years in to get it started.

"We wanted to do it this year, but they wouldn't act until the summer. We had already filled the schedule with [series] with St. John's and Villanova and couldn't play them too. There is a limit to what you can do.

[+] EnlargeBoeheim
Mark Goldman/Icon SMIThe Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry, built by coaches John Thompson and Jim Boeheim, may yet continue as the schools are working on a new deal. Syracuse is moving to the ACC, whereas Georgetown is in a new-look Big East.

"But we will definitely play them, no question about that."

Boeheim said the discussions with Georgetown are for a home-and-home series rotating annually between the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, N.Y., and the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., but the Hoyas also mentioned playing a game in New York City.

"I would do that," Boeheim said. "We could do either one."

Georgetown coach John Thompson III said in a statement that the rivalry would continue.

"The Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry is one of the great rivalries in college basketball and it will continue," Thompson III said in a statement. "In many ways, we are in uncharted waters. We have a re-launched conference, a new commissioner, and a new television partner with Fox Sports. As soon as we get a grasp on what our future mandated out-of-conference obligations will be and those time frames, the details with Syracuse will be finalized. This is a series that will happen."

Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said Thursday that negotiations were "more of a proposal," but he confirmed the interest from Georgetown AD Lee Reed.

"I know Lee really wants to do it," Gross told the Post-Standard. "It's obviously a great rivalry. Those are games that should be played. They just need to figure out their scheduling and their conference."

The Syracuse-Georgetown rivalry began in earnest on Feb. 12, 1980, when iconic Hoyas coach John Thompson II told the media after a Georgetown road win that "Manley Field House" -- Syracuse's then-retiring basketball arena, where the Orange held a 57-game winning streak -- "was officially closed." Since then, as both programs became reliable national title contenders, the heated feud helped build the old Big East into the nation's marquee basketball league.

In 2011, Syracuse announced its plans to leave the Big East for the ACC, and the "old" Big East split into two conferences -- a basketball-only Big East and the American Athletic Conference.

"It's a shame that they're heading down to Tobacco Road for a few dollars more," Thompson III said in March, after the Hoyas' 55-53 Big East tournament loss to Syracuse. "This is a rivalry that means a lot to our program and to their program and to this conference. I could give you my spiel about intercollegiate athletics going through an evolution and this is just part of it, and you heard me say that. But it's a shame that we are no longer going to have the same type of relationship."

Boeheim I think it's serious. ... There is a limit to what you can do, but we will definitely play [Georgetown], no question about that.

-- Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim

Talks to continue the rivalry are not new. Last December, Boeheim expressed his desire to keep old rivalries alive, citing ongoing discussions with St. John's, Villanova and Georgetown.

Boeheim said the Orange would still have return games against the Red Storm and Wildcats, two other former Big East rivals and members in the new Big East.

"I think we could still work it out where we could do it too," Boeheim said Thursday about adding the Hoyas to the schedule. "I don't see why we couldn't make it work."

Boeheim said the Orange have more flexibility in scheduling in 2014-15, with a tournament in New York City instead of a three-game neutral site event like this November's Maui Invitational. Boeheim said the Orange are going to the Battle 4 Atlantis in Nassau, Bahamas, in November 2015.

Georgetown director of intercollegiate athletics Lee Reed said in a statement that he was confident the two schools could reach an agreement. 

"Georgetown has enjoyed being part of one of the most storied rivalries in the history of college basketball in our series with Syracuse," Reed said in the statement. "In recent years, our schedule has been among the toughest in the country and we're always interested in adding a quality game to our schedule. Georgetown has been, and is very, interested in seeing a series with Syracuse become a reality. We have had some conversations with their administration about continuing the series over the course of the last year, but nothing has been finalized. I am confident, however, that we will continue to play them in the near future."

Gross, too, expressed confidence.

"We've been talking about this since before even last season," Gross told the Post-Standard on Thursday. "How do we continue the series? With conference realignment and trying to figure out who's playing who where, we've been talking.

"Jim and I and the rest of our administration have been on board," Gross said. "Their new conference came together later so, with all due respect, they probably needed some extra time."

Andy Katz of ESPN.com contributed to this report.

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