John Heisler may be a charisma-challenged bureaucratic jerk, but he wouldn't say this without having the explicit or implicit consent of the PWB. You don't last for 35 years in a job like his without knowing how to keep your ass well covered.
This is an obvious trial balloon. It needs to be shot down, and shot down hard. The only thing that will do that is the fear of significant revenue loss. So that's the real question, would scheduling a I-AA opening opponent cause a loss in revenue?