Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Louisville to ACC, UConn Left Out ... For Now

Well, Husky fans' worst fears have been realized, as Louisville -- not UConn -- has been invited to join the ACC.

UConn and Cincinnati have both put forth strong cases as to why their respective programs make more sense for the ACC. UConn believes it brings the Boston-to-New York TV market, a better academic institution, more reasonable geography and more stability.

According to a UConn source, the program “worked really hard (to state its case to the ACC),” and that president Susan Herbst talked “to a ton of presidents” and athletic director Warde Manuel “talked to just about every AD.

“It wasn’t like we didn’t work at it, I just the timing (was tough).”

People at UConn believe Louisville truly wants to be in the Big 12 and would bolt there still if given the chance. Perhaps that's one reason why the ACC is going with Louisville now -- it knows that, unlike Louisville, UConn and Cincy have no other place to go, so if the conference were to lose another school, each program would still be there, groveling to get into the ACC.

According to a Yahoo ! Sports report, the ACC preferred Louisville because of its stronger football program with more tradition and the overall health of its athletic program, which turns a huge profit each year. 

And although UConn offers a much better academic institution, the conference presidents were concerned about the men’s basketball team’s academic woes left from Jim Calhoun’s final few seasons at the helm.

Still, UConn doesn’t believe this is over. Not even close.

“Hopefully, the thing people realize about conference realignment is that it’s far from done,” said a source. “This is not an obituary for UConn athletics. I don’t think this is the end of the line or that we’re stuck in the Big East forever.”

I'll be up at UConn in a short while to get some more reaction. Herbst and Manuel are expected to release statements this afternoon.


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