Amidst the flurry and excitement of the ending of the conference season and impending tournaments for everyone in College Basketball, the announcement that Syracuse, Pitt, and Notre Dame will be able to accelerate their joining the ACC came with little fanfare.
The ACC Expansion is coming sooner than was thought but is that a good thing?
Syracuse and Pitt, it was understood, had taken advantage of the break-up of the original Big East and extricated themselves a year ahead of their contractual obligations. Then came the announcement that Notre Dame would do so as well …
I have to admit my extreme disappointment. You see, when the “Catholic 7” left the original Big East “en masse,’ they soon also relieved the conference of their name – “The Big East” – as more of the original members were leaving as opposed to staying.
Originally, Notre Dame announced that since it was originally scheduled not to join the ACC until 2015, they might “try” the fit of the “Catholic 7,” especially since they were kindred spirits from their religious point of view.
I have long had a distain for Notre Dame, and have even nicknamed them “The American Sports Vatican” because of the unilateral way they seem to do what they want, how they want, and whenever it suits them. They openly rebuff the necessity for them to join a football conference and seemed to throw crumbs of a few select football games to the ACC.
I was hoping that Notre Dame might find a cozy home in the “New Big East” and decide against coming to the ACC.
Yes, Notre Dame has meant big money anywhere they went and for whomever they played. They have a strong and wide fan base. The problem I have is that they are seemingly full of themselves. They have once again changed expressed intentions in mid-stream, and everyone is supposed to be so imbued that the great Notre Dame is coming.
Well, I, for one, think that the ACC can do without the crumbs Notre Dame will leave behind, and leave behind they will … just like they have done before. Just ask those left with nothing but the brooms they sweep up with.
On a more happy note, when the “Catholic 7” secured the rights to retain the name “Big East,” it also inherited their contract for the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Many in the ACC presumed that the ACC might want to consider rotating the ACC Tournament thru MSG since the new northern tier of the conference included four (4) former Big East teams.
I, on the other hand, have always been a proponent of keeping the ACC Tournament in it’s traditional home in Greensboro. The area is accommodating to visiting teams, and bringing that type of commerce is a good thing to an area in need of it.
It will also allow the ACC to maintain it’s sense of the long history of the event being in North Carolina. I’m glad that for now, we can look to Greensboro for the next three (3) years and hope for many more.
Expansion seemed inevitable, but the “how’s” and “why’s” do not require that a conference sell it’s traditions just to “keep up with the Jone’s.” Other conferences have spread themselves further and further from their geographic cores.
It has yet to be decided if that expansion has been for the betterment of the conference. After all: “For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul ?”
Bermuda Bob is a contributing writer for Duke Sports Blog and an avid Duke Basketball fan. You can follow him on Twitter @TheBermudaBob.
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