Coach K has had it up to here with this football crap. It’s time for the ACC to get back to its roots – from being a mediocre football conference that cares about the sport to being a mediocre football conference that cares about basketball.
For all these schools that have joined, it makes us the most powerful basketball conference, I think, ever. And I hope our league is able to understand the assets that we’ve accumulated and what it does to the assets we already have. I think if positioned properly, it sets us apart from anybody. And we shouldn’t look at where football is or whatever. We have the best assets as a result of Louisville, Syracuse, Pitt, Notre Dame, and the assets we have — we’re joining together. I mean, we better know how to make use of it. [Emphasis added.]
Now the interesting thing about this round of conference expansion is that in Duke and Louisville the ACC has two of the few programs that make more money on their basketball programs than they do on their football programs. So when Krzyzewski goes on to say this…
I think (it’s a matter of) how you use your assets, how we position them TV‑wise. Does our conference develop its own TV network? Where we play the tournament — when do we play the tournament? How do we position our regular season? How do we have the teams play schedules that are worthy of being considered for NCAA consideration? In other words, (we need) to take a real close look at our league with the new members and say: Why are we different, why are we better, and how can we be the top league?
And if we don’t do that, then we’re negligent, to be quite frank with you. We’d be negligent. We’d miss out on a great opportunity. These schools shouldn’t be coming in just because we want to do football. Our league was founded on basketball, and that doesn’t mean football isn’t important. It is important. I like it. I want it to be great. But I want ACC basketball to be the best. And we have a chance to do that again.
… it’s not crazy. It’s revealing. This is what a man who resents the direction the conference took when it expanded to twelve schools and split into divisions says. And even though I’ve never been a fan of the man, there’s a certain amount of fuzzy nostalgia in that I find appealing. But, then again, I’m not the AD at FSU, Miami or Virginia Tech. If I’m any of those folks, I’m not going to welcome the possibility of that mindset being embraced in the league office. (And if I’m Jack Swarbrick, I’m going to keep a careful eye on developments, that’s for sure.)
It’s hard to say how much effect Krzyzewski’s position will have, but it will be interesting to see what happens if Maryland is able to significantly reduce its exit penalty of $50 million. If it does, Coach K may be giving another roots speech sooner than he expects.