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Miami-Florida Football Series Uncertain After This Year

May 10, 1987|United Press International

MIAMI — The college football series between the University of Miami and the University of Florida is in jeopardy beyond their Sept. 5 meeting in the Orange Bowl.

When they will meet after that is uncertain as the two football powers struggle to reach an agreement that will keep their 49-year-old rivalry alive. Florida Athletic Director Bill Arnsparger says he wants the next two meetings to be in Gainesville in 1990 and 1992, while Miami Athletic Director Sam Jankovich will agree to that only if Florida plays in the Orange Bowl in 1989.

The Gators, who lead the series 25-23, announced last year they wanted to scale back their series with Miami. The teams have met annually since 1944, but the Gators want to eliminate the yearly game because of a Southeastern Conference mandate that forces Florida to increase their conference games from six to seven per year. Since 1938, the teams have played each year except for 1943.

After this fall's game, Arnsparger proposes a two-year break, followed by a game in Gainesville in 1990. The series would then resume in 1992, with the schools meeting four times in the following eight years. Jankovich has tentatively agreed to the four games in eight years starting in 1992, but the dispute over the 1989 meeting could jeopardize that understanding.

"We will not play in Gainesville in 1990 and 1992 unless they come here in '89," Jankovich said. "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 (seasons) without playing as it stands."

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