Talking points: Just another wild day of ACC news
Posted November 28, 2012
1. The Atlantic Coast Conference presidents and chancellors held a teleconference Wednesday to discuss another round of league expansion in the wake of Maryland leaving for the Big Ten. Louisville got the nod over other schools trying to scramble out of the Big East, and is expected to arrive in 2014.
There was a time when Connecticut would have been acceptable for the ACC. The Huskies fit the desired profile that includes better academics and an expansion of the northeast footprint. The only issue? Connecticut wasn’t going to improve the football product, which is all that matters at this point.
What Louisville lacks in academic talking points, a favorite of John Swofford, it makes up for in commitment to athletics. Stability is a fleeting concept in conference realignment, but the Cardinals are the better option for achieving it.
2. Regardless of what school the ACC decided to add, Swofford’s most important play to keep the conference from dissolving will happen in a court of law. The conference filed a 10-page lawsuit Tuesday looking for a judge’s stamp of approval of Maryland’s $52,266,342 exit fee, which is three times the league's annual operating budget for the 2012-13 season.
Legally, Maryland can fight the fee and use provisions that wouldn’t allow straight up penalties to be enforceable. The school could argue the approximate damages to the conference from their departure are significantly less than what was drawn up in the bylaws, which was based on an agreed formula back in September.
Swofford’s goal is to make sure Maryland pays as much of that fee as possible. The attitude should be to take Maryland to court, drive up their legal costs and show that leaving just isn't worth the hassle.
3. North Carolina hung with Indiana for a decent chunk of their ACC/Big Ten Challenge contest in Bloomington, but the usual list of issues plaguing the Tar Heels caught up to them as the game progressed.
First off, North Carolina had no answer for Cody Zeller. It was fascinating to watch the Heels have a Zeller running the floor on them rather than the other way around. Indiana made matters worse by simply overpowering North Carolina underneath the basket with a series of monster dunks.
Right now, the Tar Heels are a flawed team without reliable scoring. The potential is there, but it’s incumbent on players like James Michael McAdoo to get comfortable in their new roles and take over. In the meantime, fans just have to deal with the growing pains.
4. A moral victory for NC State? Sure, if you’re into that sort of thing. The Wolfpack responded nicely to Michigan’s offensive barrage and made it a game in the closing moments, but they missed an opportunity to improve their seeding in March.
There was a reason why local discussion of NC State was vastly different than the national narrative throughout the preseason. Buzz phrases like “cautiously optimistic” and “wait and see” were kicked around for a reason. The Wolfpack struggle when Calvin Leslie isn’t engaged and Richard Howell gets into foul trouble. It would also help if Scott Wood knocked down a few more shots and developed a defensive identity.
The good news for NC State? The season just started and all their issues are fixable.
5. While NC State was playing basketball, the football coaching search chugged along and the first real candidate has emerged. The Monroe News-Star reported Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes, one of the hotter names on the carousel, was set to interview for the job Wednesday morning.
Combined with the news of an emergency Board of Trustees meeting set for later in the day, it appears Debbie Yow wasn’t kidding when she stated time was of the essence.