ACC commissioner John Swofford looked like he had everything figured out this fall, when he sniped Notre Dame from the Big East. He grabbed the Irish full-time in everything but football and hockey and locked his conference down by instituting a $50 million exit fee.
Fifty million dollars is no pocket change—or so he thought.
With news breaking Friday of Maryland’s possible exit from the ACC, where does the conference go from here. If a fence $50 million high can’t keep programs at home, what will?
CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd speculates:
“Unless there is that larger strategy at work here. Unless the age of superconferences really is upon us and the Big Ten is going to lead the way. Why stop at 14, when it can go 16 when it gets a foothold on the East Coast? Does this move eventually pry North Carolina loose?
And if [Big Ten commissioner] Jim Delany gets his alma mater, we’re talking realignment Armageddon. Then what is an ACC worth to Notre Dame without North Carolina and Maryland?”
Would North Carolina really leave the ACC altogether? There is always the possibility that they take a route similar to Notre Dame, moving to the Big Ten for football and preserving the hoops rivalry with the Blue Devils in the ACC.
Is this the first step toward a move widespread merger between the ACC and Big Ten, where we ultimately have a mega-conference reaching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Midwestern plains?
We already have a Big East that reaches from Providence, R.I., to San Diego, Calif. Nothing seems out of the question now.
Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.
Expected to be one of the favorites in the Mountain West this season, Boise State’s perimeter ranks have shrunk by one player due to injury. Thursday it was reported by the Idaho Statesman that freshman guard Malek Harwell will redshirt after suffering a torn ACL in practice. Along with fellow freshman Paris Austin, Harwell is expected to be a key part of the Broncos’ future beyond the upcoming season.
Now, instead of competing with an experienced backcourt that includes four redshirt seniors, Harwell will work to get his knee back to full strength for the 2016-17 season.
Among the guards who will play significant minutes this season are Anthony Drmic, who took a medical redshirt last season, Montigo Alford, Mikey Thompson and grad transfer Lonnie Jackson (Boston College). Chandler Hutchison, who started in Boise State’s final 18 games of the 2014-15 season as a freshman, will also compete for playing time.