UF-UM Rivalry

Florida Times Union, June 19, 1949, page 45
A formal proposal that the University of Miami (Florida) be admitted to the Southeastern Conference will be made at the next meeting of that body by President J. Hillis Miller of the University of Florida.

Florida Times Union, December 7, 1949, page 11
Among the topics the SEC will be discussing at their December 9 meeting in Biloxi, Ms is:
2. Expansion of the conference to include Miami U.

Florida Times Union, December 10, 1949, page 12
Miami's application for membership as expected never reached the floor for action. Before it could be considered, the constitution of the SEC had to be changed to allow for 13 instead of 12 members.
The Southeastern Conferense declined to increase its membership thereby killing Miami's application before it was presented.

Florida Times Union, April 30, 1952, page 28
Southeastern Conference Commissioner Bernie Moore cast a damper today on any hopes Miami University had for admission to the 12 school league.
Moore said the Florida university "has never been voted against in its application for membership." But he added that the "feeling is the membership should not be increased over our present 12."

Florida Times Union, May 12, 1967, page F-5
When the University of Miami released its 1967-68 basketball schedule Thursday, the University of Florida was missing after 38 years.


"Ask Tommy Bartlett why," said Miami Coach Bruce Hale. "This is Bartlett's first year as a head coach. He's got a lot to learn. It was a high-schoolish thing to do."

Florida Coach Bartlett blamed his expanded schedule commitments.

"Personalities had nothing to do with the decision," Bartlett said.

"It means the end of a 38-year rivalry," Hale said. "It was always a hotly contested series. I thrive on a challenge like that. I don't think this man does."

Bartlett said the series may have been important on a state level, but it had no meaning on a national level.

"It's all right to have a rivalry - but you have to draw a line to it," he said. "We won both games with Miami this year, so it doesn't bother me. If we had lost both games, I probably would have felt differently about it."

Florida's team, nationally ranked for the first time this past season, is committed to an 18-game Southeastern Conference schedule, one game each year with Jacksonville University, and a two-game engagement in the Gator Bowl tournament.

In order to make his schedule more attractrive to recruits, and to improve his national image, Bartlett wanted more intersectional games. He had to drop either Miami or Florida State to stay within the NCAA 26-game limit.

"We have more things in common with Florida State than with Miami," Bartlett said.

Hale said Bartlett complained about officials before he ever played Miami.

"I would never complain about the trivial things this man has," Hale said. "There is no question that he has a problem with his schedule, but that's the penalty you pay for being in a conference."

Editors Note: One interesting thing about playing Jacksonville - after JU beat the Gators during the 1968-69 season (Artis Gilmore's sophomore season), they also mysteriously disappeared from the Gators schedule until the 1973-74 season when Gilmore had graduated.

The Florida Times-Union, May 13, 1987, Section C, Page 1
With neither side willing to make concessions for the other, the universities of Florida and Miami reached an agreement yesterday that will postpone their football rivalry for four seasons after this years Sept. 5 meeting in the Orange Bowl.

An agreement between Florida Athletic Director Bill Arnsparger and Miami AD Sam Janovich calls for the teams to play at Florida field in 1992 and 1996 and at Miami in 1993 and 1997.

The schools had been negotiating for months, but failed to resolve the impasse they reached in trying to avoid a four-year layoff in the rivalry. Since the series began in 1938, the only year which Florida and Miami failed to play was 1943, when the Gators didn't field a team.

"We are pleased that the Miami-Florida series plans for the next decade have been resolved," Jankovich said. "I feel it is unfortunate that the young people who participated in this series will not be able to continue doing so on a regular basis, because I feel this had been an outstanding rivalry for both institutions and the entire state of Florida."

Arnsparger wanted the next two meetings after this fall to take place in Gainesville in 1990 and 1992, but Jankovich would only agree to that if Florida played at Miami in 1989. Arnsparger was unwilling to play on the road in 1989 because it would disrupt Florida's current schedule pattern of having at least six home games.

Florida announced last fall it would cut back on its games with Miami because it had to increase its Southeastern Conference schedule from six games to seven games, starting in 1988. This year's game is under a single-game contract, and Arnsparger was looking to pair that contest up with a home game in 1990.

"I wanted something to complement the 1987 game before we get into the other format (four games in eight years)." Arnsparger said.

Jankovich was disappointed that the schools couldn't reach a better compromise.

"I think they're making a big mistake in, one, doing away with the series (on an annual basis) and, secondly, it's very, very unfortunate that we'll go four years without playing as it stands," he said.

Another reason behind the curtailment of the Miami-Florida series is the Gators' desire to get away from playing an entire regional schedule. With seven SEC games and Florida State already on the schedule, the Gators hope to lure a quality intersectional opponent for a home-and-home series during the 1988-91 seasons. Arnsparger has been talking with several schools outside the South about a home-and-home series, and Florida is expected to announce such an agreement before the 1987 season.

Florida's next meeting with the Hurricanes will be the 49th in their rivalry. The Gators lead the series 25-23.

The Florida Times-Union, December 20, 1990, Section C, Page 1
The resumption of the college football series between Florida and Miami, a rivalry discontinued after the 1987 season, will not happen.

Florida officials said yesterday that the Gators will not play the Hurricanes in 1992 and 93, even though contracts have been signed for these years. Also, informal plans to resume the series annually in 1996 have been aborted as well. They said the decision was based on the Southeastern Conference's recent decision to have each school in the expanded 12-team league play eight SEC games instead of the current seven.

In a decision made Tuesday evening by the school's athletic board, Florida officials decided to exercise their escape option in the contracts for the games in 1992 and 93. The clause allows Florida to withdraw from the games by paying Maimi a cancellation fee of $75,000 for each game.

"Given all the circumstances, there was not another decision the board could come to," Florida senior associate athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "We had to do what's right for us. There is no question this is right. Miami did what they thought was right for them by joining the Big East. Now we're doing what is right for us."

Miami athletic director Sam Jankovich said yesterday he received hints of how Florida would play its hand in south Florida newspapers, but that he had not heard from Florida officials.

"I was shocked to learn through the paper about the Florida series," Jankovich said in a statement. "We had received no previous notice. As far as we're concerned, we have contracts and letter agreements to play Florida and we will do all we can to keep the series in place."

Foley said he tried to contact Miami officials yesterday morning, but was unable to do so. He said Athletic Director Bill Arnsparger was out of town but he was attempting to contact Jankovich.

Florida officials said that in order to meet financial obligations, the Gators must play six games every year at Florida Field, particularly since the stadium currently is being enlarged to 84,000 seats.

Also, officials want to continue to play Florida State annually on a home-and-home basis and play Georgia every year in Jacksonville.

Under that format, Florida will play four home SEC games every other year. In the odd-numbered years, when the Gators will play only three SEC home games, FSU will come to Gainesville. Each year, Florida will play two home games against teams that do not require return games.

This is the second time in four years Florida has made a decision to drop Miami. The first time, in 1986, Florida officials made the decision because the SEC schedule expanded from six to seven games and they wanted the opportunity to play some games in other parts of the country for recruiting purposes.

The teams played every year from 1944 to 1987.

Florida coach Steve Spurrier was responsible for the short-lived plans to resume the series. When he took the job last December, he said he believed the Gators and Hurricanes should play and that school officials were willing to go along. The 92 and 93 games already were planned, but school officials were willing to plan an annual series with Miami beginning in 1996.

That was until the SEC expanded its slate once again.

"Although I'm sorry it had to come to this, we need to do what is best for our total athletic program," Spurrier said. "And we must play eight SEC games, six games each year at home and the Georgia game in Jacksonville. We still want to play Miami and I hope we can work it out in a bowl game or a 12th game."

Miami coach Dennis Erickson said he was unhappy with the end of the series.

"I want to play Florida," Erickson said. "I'm very disappointed. I think something could be worked out if it wanted to be worked out."

One option was to move the Georgia-Florida game out of Jacksonville and play it on a home-and-home basis. If that had been done, Florida could have played Georgia at home on the years it went to Miami and vice versa. However, Florida officials, believing the annual game in the Gator Bowl was a tradition that should not be dropped, vetoed that option early.

That left only two options: cancel the series with Miami; or play only five home games every other year.

"We're expanding our stadium and we have a budget to do that based on six home games," Foley said.