The round-robin of conference membership is continuing with the ACC trying to answer the BIG 10‘s poaching of Maryland. First, the ACC filed a lawsuit against Maryland to ensure the Terps would pay the league’s $52.2 million exit fee after Maryland officials indicated the school might not pay the full amount to leave for the Big 10. And now, they are moving forward with trying to find a suitable replacement. That replacement is looking like Louisville.
North Carolina athletic director Bubba Cunningham said Tuesday that the league’s presidents would consider Louisville, UConn and Cincinnati for membership. Cincinnati has made a campaign push to be considered by using a combination of athletic and academic qualifications, including how well its football and men’s basketball teams have done as well as the size of its endowment and place in national rankings of top universities. However, there is a sense among league presidents that the ACC will vote to add only one member because the remaining two Big East schools have no other options and the ACC could get them later on if the ACC lost any other schools. All three schools have made it no secret that they want to leave the Big East for the ACC.
To answer their own problems, the Big East announced it was adding Tulane as an all-sports member and East Carolina as a football-only member to offset the loss of Rutgers and another team to the ACC.
Where will this cycle end? As schools continue to chase the big money television deals fans are left hoping that they can still travel to their teams games (Maryland residents are not driving out to Iowa) and keep some of their rivalries active. But fans are obviously the last thing on the minds of the fat cats running our universities.