The ACC loves its academics. When the conference added Notre Dame in September, ACC commissioner Jon Swofford claimed his conference was “founded on the cornerstones of balancing academics, athletics and integrity.” Notre Dame praised ACC schools for being “committed to research and undergraduate education.” Florida State president Dr. Eric Barron cited the faculty being “adamantly opposed” to joining the academically weaker Big 12.
Adding Louisville, given this context, seems rather curious. The ACC touts its 11 schools among the Top 58 colleges and universities. It has the highest average ranking among the major conferences. In this case, though, the ACC opted to add Louisville (ranked 160th) over the University of Connecticut (ranked 63rd). The departing school, Maryland, was ranked 58th. Instead of touting Louisville’s academics, the ACC praised the school’s “aggressive approach” to competing in collegiate athletics.
The truth is talk of “academics” is pure blather. It is a cheap potpourri to make what has become a wanton cash grab more palatable to college presidents (let’s give it a token inclusion in the postseason revenue distribution, you guys!). College football and men’s basketball are professional sports with professional interests. The only time education matters is when it comes to paying taxes or to compensating the labor force.
Bringing in Louisville makes the ACC no worse than other conferences, but bullshit should be called out as such.
[Photo via Presswire]