When Maryland decided it was going to leave the ACC for the Big 10, it caught a lot of people off guard and it left the conference scrambling to find a replacement for when the Terrapins leave in 2014. Well, the ACC has decided to make yet another bang in conference realignment and once again it comes at the expense of the Big East. The ACC has unanimously decided to add Louisville in 2014. UConn was one of the other leading candidates for the conference but in the end John Swofford and the conference’s university presidents decided on the Cardinals.
This is a big announcement and in my opinion it actually makes the conference better. It is never good when a conference loses one of its charter members, but when you can replace it with a team that is better in the two big revenue sports (football & men’s basketball) then it lessens the blow. Add the Louisville addition with the lawsuit that is being filed against Maryland and this entire week is a big win for the ACC.
For those of you that haven’t heard, the ACC voted in unanimous favor to sue Maryland for the full exit fee which is just under $53 million dollars. The Maryland higher-ups made it known they believed they could negotiate that amount down to a more manageable one. The conference is setting a precedent with this lawsuit and Maryland is the whipping boy. Commissioner Swofford is flexing his muscle and showing why the ACC is now one of the most stable conferences in the country. If you want to leave then you have to pay.
I have absolutely no sympathy for the University of Maryland. They made the decision to leave so they also made the choice to pay up. It’s just that simple. The university decided the Big 10 would be a more lucrative destination and as the old adage goes, “it takes money to make money.”
Losing the Terrapins hurts, but adding the Cardinals certainly helps heal the wounds. Maryland has a proud basketball tradition and the football program has had its ups and downs, but Louisville has a similar tradition in basketball and a football program that appears to be on the rise under head coach Charlie Strong. Maryland is now in the past as the ACC looks to a bright future with Louisville.