OPINION: ACC Weaknesses – Funding Shortfalls, Poor Leadership and Missed Opportunities

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This is largely because ESPN has a major bias toward its investment properties, the SEC and Big 10. And why not, if you were a travel agent, would you put a guest in your hotel or a competitors’?

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To compete with some of the bigger conferences, the ACC has realized that major facility upgrades must be made – the question is where to get the funds for it all.

Make no mistake about it, for college athletics, funding is a major source of success for teams. Facility costs, coach salaries, and athletic department maintenance all require significant financial investments from NCAA member universities. This is an arms race that would make the 1950-1990 US and Soviet Union leaders blush. Team rooms have become movie theaters, barber shops, and arcades. Assistant Coaches now have multi-million-dollar, multi-year contracts. And don’t even think about stealing a good head coach for less than a $20-million-dollar commitment – after you spend another $10M to buy out the guy you just fired.

All of this is happening in the backdrop of declining attendance driven by high game and travel costs and much more by TV technology that invites people to stay home and enjoy a better experience from their homes. This is leading schools to spend more to upgrade stadium facilities into Taj-Mahals, which further destroys the great fan experience that was once college football, as the socially oriented fans in the high-end sections stand by the bar and chat while their seats remain empty in the glaring view of a national television audience.