When Maryland left the ACC for the Big Ten last week, Pitt coach Jamie Dixon shot off a text to Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson.
“I said, ‘There goes our rivalry.’”
Anderson, who hired Maggie Dixon when he was the athletic director at Amry, texted back that Maryland was afraid to play Pitt.
The joke was that Maryland was one of Pitt’s primary playing partners in the ACC scheduling format. Pitt was to play Maryland and Syracuse twice a year and then every other team in the league once.
“The rivalry was over before it started,” Dixon said.
Dixon has spoken with athletic director Steve Pederson about Pitt’s new primary playing partner and that is expected to be Louisville, which joined the ACC on Wednesday.
It’s not an ideal situation for Pitt, which will automatically be playing one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult schedule, in the league.
“Numbers-wise it made sense,” Dixon said. “It fits for everyone else probably better than it does for us, but we’re not exactly in there calling the shots now as the newcomers. We understand that.”
Dixon said he has not talked with Louisville Rick Pitino (he said he’s leaving that to Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. Yes, Dixon was in a good mood today). But Dixon did say he understands why teams are making the moves they are making in conference realignment.
“Situations change and you have to adapt to them,” Dixon said. “We’re happy with where we’re at. When you move there are repercussions. There is disappointment and hurt feelings. We were in that position so I don’t question it when it happens. We understand how it worked and feels. It’s always been this way. There’s just more talk about it now.”
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