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_
Clemson landed a quality commitment on Tuesday as Class of 2017 guard A.J. Oliver committed to the Tigers. The son of Clemson women’s head coach Audra Smith, Oliver is regarded as a three-star prospect, according to Rivals, although some others view him as a top-100 caliber player.
The 6-foot-4 Oliver attends nearby Daniel High School and should have some time to get acclimated with the players and coaches before he sets foot on campus. A versatile guard who plays hard, Oliver showed that he can make plays with the ball in his hands this summer with the Upward Stars.
Oliver is Clemson’s first commitment in the Class of 2017 and it’s a strong start for head coach Brad Brownell.
Arizona will be without senior center Kaleb Tarczewski for 4-to-6 weeks, the school announced on Tuesday. The 7-foot Tarczewski suffered a stress reaction and strained muscle to his left foot and he’ll have some time to heal before the main portion of the Pac-12 conference schedule.
The experienced Tarczewski was averaging 8.6 points and 7.2 rebounds per game before going down with injury. Without the senior in the lineup, Arizona fell to Providence in the Wooden Legacy last week. Without Tarczewski in the lineup, the Wildcats could turn to center Dusan Ristic while forward Ryan Anderson has had some solid outings this season.
Missing Tarczewski for the rest of non-conference play will hurt but he’ll get to rest and recover for the stretch run while the Wildcats can mix in some new frontcourt pieces.