Earlier today, we posted an article pointing out the future non-conference schedules for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons, as were printed in the season ticket booklets mailed out last week and received by most this week. The schedules listed four non-conference games in each of 2013 and 2014, and more notably, listed three non-conference games for 2015, including a contest against Auburn in Atlanta, GA. No previous announcement had been made for this game from UVA, Auburn, or the Chick-fil-A Bowl organizers.
This afternoon, Virginia released a statement regarding the future schedules, stating that the designs were prepared prior to the ACC's announcement that Pitt and Syraucse would be joining the conference in 2013. It notes that with the addition of these two teams, each ACC school will be playing nine conference games each year.
Consequently, the release states, the non-conference schedules must be revised, as NCAA rules provide that a team may only play 12 regular season games. This means that one non-conference opponent must be dropped from each of the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Following the release, UT-San Antonio was dropped from Virginia's website for both 2013 and 2014. So far, everything makes sense.
Executive associate athletics director Jon Oliver stated in the release that, "With regard to a game against Auburn in future years, there is nothing in place that would have us playing this game in 2015."
This is a peculiar statement to include in this release, since: (a) 2015 was already after the presumed ACC expansion with Pitt and Syracuse, (b) even with the expansion, there were only three non-conference opponents scheduled in 2015, so there should be no problems there and (c) regardless of when the ticket brochure was designed, why would it include Auburn if indeed nothing is in place?
Peculiar things happening in Charlottesville, and there could be any number of reasons for the release, the easiest of which to assume would be that this was supposed to be kept under wraps until a formal announcement came from the Chick-fil-A Bowl organizers.
The full release from Virginia media relations follows the jump:
Charlottesville, Va. - Included in the 2012 Virginia football season ticket booklet is a list of tentative non-conference schedules for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 seasons. The ticket designs were prepared prior to the Atlantic Coast Conference announcing Pittsburgh and Syracuse would begin competing in the ACC starting with the 2013-14 academic year. With the expansion of these two teams, the ACC will move to a nine-game conference football schedule beginning in 2013.
As a result of the implementation of an additional ACC game each season, non-conference schedules must be altered. The list of future schedules in the season ticket booklet should be disregarded as the ACC and its member institutions prepare to play nine conference games during the 2013 season and beyond.
"We apologize for any confusion generated as a result of our season ticket brochure listing incorrect opponents in future years," said Jon Oliver, executive associate athletics director. "With conference expansion in the ACC and conference realignment for some of our tentative opponents, we are still reviewing our schedule in future years but our future schedules are not final. With regard to a game against Auburn in future years, there is nothing in place that would have us playing this game in 2015. As we finalize our future non-conference schedules we will update our website."