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

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To make up for their football strategy failures, the ACC has announced an increase from 18 to 20 in men’s basketball games. This small effort is an attempt to garner more fan attention to raise ESPN ratings and create more cash flow to the ACC. However, with football still primarily responsible for much of the viewership on conference networks, the ACC has a huge distribution obstacle to overcome to find success with its own network – whether subscribed or simply available on-line.

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If the strategy of the ACC were to deemphasize athletics, especially football, Swofford should be commended. He seems to be on the path to doing just that. Perhaps it is the secret goal of the ACC to return football to its original role as an extra-curricular activity. Paying coaches $5M and professors $100K a year seems inequitable for organizations whose mission is educating our next generation of leaders anyway. Maybe the goal of the ACC is to rival the IVY league? Jocks still get admission preference at Ivy League schools, so there is still hope for the non-scholarship athletes who would play ball for Clemson and Florida State. We can only wonder how such a team would do against Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide?