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May 18, 2003

From a broadcaster’s notebook…

I remember when I was a first year…or freshman as we still called it back then, my college roommate and I were being “rushed” for a fraternity. The “brothers” would come to our dorm and say hello…they would have us out to the fraternity house for dinner. They invited us to a few parties where all the girls would saddle up next to us and tell us everything we wanted to hear…like…

“If you pledge this fraternity, maybe we can go out some time.”

It was our first experience in recruiting. Quite the sales process. Because after they got us to say yes and sign on for the 8-week “pledgeship”, the frat guys were going to kick our you-know-whats.

With all of the ACC-Miami-Syracuse-Boston College-expansion talk I can’t help but think the recruiting process has been very similar to those days at good ole Northwest Missouri State University. However there is one major difference-these schools may enter the league, kick booty…and take names. The current members of the ACC could be doing the push-ups and eating the pledge food.

As of Sunday, and this story is going to change every day for awhile, the Big East is trying to counter the ACC offer. The athletic directors from the East are using phrases like “institutional integrity”, “stability”, and “creating the future” in hopes of convincing the ‘Canes, the Orangemen, and the Eagles to stay put.

Won’t happen.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford is a smart man. This has not been a wake up in the morning, off the cuff proposal. It has been researched, thought through, and in the process for years. With the ACC’s football television ratings sagging, the league had to do something. The final year of the BCS football package ends in 2005 and we may be heading for the national play off system most fans have been wanting for years. The expansion is for the future, not just for the next couple years. Paul Dee, Miami athletic director, was quoted as agreeing to the 12 team conference alignment saying quote “…it is the wave of the future”. With a power conference, you have a better chance of placing teams in position for the title…and even more basketball teams in the NCAA tournament.

The Big East needs to realize they have been beaten…out hustled, and out “rushed”. The ACC is planning for the future while the Big East thinks a league can survive with eight or nine members.

Prepare to pass out the pins…the ACC’s brotherhood is growing.

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