ACC faces uncertain future, and it’s not alone
by Dan Wolken, USA TODAY Sports
Much of the conversation surrounding Maryland’s exit from the Atlantic Coast Conference on Monday focused on how the league would replace one of its charter members. Should the ACC move fast or slow to fill the opening? Would UConn, Louisville or someone else be a good fit?
In reality, the issue of who takes Maryland’s place is a fairly insignificant piece of a much larger problem facing the ACC after unexpectedly losing a member for the first time in 41 years. Just two months after the league added Notre Dame as a partial member and increased the exit fee to $50 million, fears about the ACC’s future are once again bubbling from within. And adding Louisville, UConn or anybody else won’t do much to stop the crisis of confidence.
“If I were still a commissioner, I’d be concerned,” said Gene Corrigan, a former athletics director at Virginia and Notre Dame before serving as ACC commissioner from 1987-97. “I’m bewildered. I think there’s all kinds of stuff that is coming as a result of today. It’s just crazy. Are there other people out there? I just don’t know where these conferences are going numbers-wise.”
Corrigan isn’t alone among those with deep ACC ties.
Pete Thamel of Sports Illustrated reported strong comments from Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski that were taped Monday for his weekly Sirius XM radio show, which will air ednesday.
“I think the ACC is vulnerable right now, I’m concerned about our conference,” Krzyzewski said.
He continued: “I do think more people are going to go after people in our conference now. Especially if Maryland shows that in some way they can reduce or get out of that $50 million commitment.”
And then this from Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey, via the South Bend Tribune: “Is the ACC stable? Are we OK or what are we doing here? Interesting times.”
Not exactly reassuring comments from two of the most well-respected people with ACC ties, especially on one of the most somber days in league history.
But their worries are genuine, and with good reason. Though one ACC official, who asked … [For more on ACC faces uncertain future, and it's not alone, click here.]