Vanderbilt has canceled their 2013-14 home-and-home series vs. Northwestern, the Chicago Tribune has reported.
The two schools were set to meet on Sept. 14, 2013 at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville and on Sept. 13, 2014 at Ryan Field in Evanston.
According to the Tribune, Vanderbilt sent a letter to Northwestern canceling the games and did not make telephone contact at all.
Although neither school has made an official announcement, Northwestern has removed Vanderbilt from their official listing of future schedules and replaced them temporarily with “Open Date.” Google’s cache of that page from Oct. 10 lists the Commodores in both 2013 and 2014.
Vanderbilt had five non-conference games on the books for 2013, which was one too many. But nobody expected the Commodores to cancel Northwestern. Austin Peay or UMass seemed like the better target.
The move correlates with the release of the 2013 SEC football schedule today. Lots of changes are expected, including a change in cross-division rivals and some schools having to make return trips to the same opponents they faced in 2012.
Update: Vanderbilt has also canceled their Aug. 31, 2013 game at Ohio State, also via letter.
“Very disappointed that it happened this way,” Ohio State athletics director Gene Smith told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “We have 11 months, and we didn’t get a phone call, we just got a letter. So I’m very disappointed in that.”
“I would have preferred a phone call as opposed to a form letter, but that’s just the way it is.”