Might we actually see Duke play a non-conference road game outside of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge this season?
If one ACC coach has his way, we will.
According to a report from Stadium’s Jeff Goodman, an unnamed ACC head coach will making a proposal to his conference counterparts that all 15 ACC programs play games against HBCU opponents on January 18th, 2021.
That’s Martin Luther King Jr. day.
It’s a lovely sentiment, and the symbolism of a school like Duke playing against a school like NC-Central on MLK Day would really be powerful. It’s a cause I can fully get behind and something that, quite frankly, I hope the likes of Roy Williams and Coach K buy in to. Because it is going to take influencers like them to convince ESPN that they don’t need a Big Monday game on that night.
But I also think that these programs could, and should, go farther. Don’t just play the HBCUs, play them on the road. Allow the schools that have to play upwards of a dozen buy games just to keep their athletic departments solvent to make some money at the door. Help them sell out the gym. Make a push through the ACC schools and via social media to try and raise $10 million in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and donate the money to charities on the frontlines fighting racial inequity.
ACC schools playing HBCUs on MLK Day is symbolic. But helping get funds to those schools, and to the people that are actively fighting to make the changes so many want to see will be a meaningful action.