ACC moves creating a bitter bunch
Posted May 31, 2013
"...and if they hate, then let them hate and watch the money pile up." -- 50 Cent.
The Atlantic Coast Conference has settled into a nice, secure position in the last few months. Notre Dame joined in all sports, with the exception of an independent football scheduling arrangement. John Swofford swapped out Maryland for Louisville and is currently fighting for every penny of the exit fee before the Terrapins bounce for the Big Ten. The commissioner then hammered out a grant of right deal that killed off endless speculation that the ACC was on the verge of disbanding.
Fans of the conference should be happy. School officials who were weary of constant realignment talk should be as well. But it's impossible to please everyone. Just ask bitter Maryland fans upset at recent (lack of) scheduling and one college president who stuck a foot in his mouth trying to take shots at Notre Dame.
The ACC won't be sending North Carolina, Duke or NC State to College Park in football, men's basketball and women's basketball. Savvy observers know exactly what's going on here, which didn't sit well with Dave Tucker of Testudo Times.
"This latest scheduling announcement is just another example of how vindictive the ACC has become when it comes to Maryland's last season in the conference. If it was just football or just basketball, it would be one thing, but doing this across the three major sports is clearly a calculated effort by the All Carolina Conference to do whatever they can, within their power, to make the school's last season in the conference miserable."
To which I would respond, "and?"
Let's remember who initiated all this drama, Maryland supporters. The ACC is under no obligation to make their final year in the conference a warm and fuzzy send-off. The Terrapins are gone and the conference will make darn sure they get to keep the pets and favorite t-shirt in the breakup.
It's funny. On one hand, Maryland loves to complain about the Carolina-centric nature of the ACC. On the other, schools from the Triangle are vital to their attendance numbers. If they think the conference they're leaving felt like working an outpost, nothing changes in the Big Ten. Just change Duke and Carolina to Ohio State and Michigan.
Meanwhile, Ohio State president Gordon Gee probably needs to watch is sodium intake. He was rather salty about Notre Dame.
The Associated Press obtained a recording of Gee taking jabs at the SEC, the ACC and raised a few eyebrows by slamming Catholics.
“And I want to make it very clear, we have never invited Notre Dame to join the Big Ten. And the reason is the fact that they — first of all they’re not very good partners. I’ll just say that. I negotiated with them during my first term and the fathers are holy on Sunday and they’re holy hell on the rest of the week. You just can’t trust those damn Catholics on a Thursday or Friday. Literally, I can say that.”
Folks have lost their job over less, but Gee is cushioned by his prolific fund-raising abilities. The issue for me is the total lack of self-awareness from Gee, who participates in a conference that happily added a school that can't balance a budget and another school that doesn't how to use Google in a job search.
These are your institutional leaders, ladies and gentlemen. No wonder it took them this long to figure out something as easy as a college football playoff.