A Dark Day for Notre Dame Men's Basketball
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The breaking news of the Notre Dame Athletic program moving to the ACC from the Big East is not even 24 hours old, yet many are calling this a brilliant move for the progression of Irish athletics.
Yes, perhaps it is a wise move for Notre Dame football to join the ranks of other ACC football schools that will be able to wet their beak with their estimated $18 million share of an ESPN television contract.
And, in turn, I am sure that the ACC is licking their lips at the possible new revenue they can generate from the yearly $15 million TV contract Notre Dame has long cemented with NBC.
All of this is well and good for Notre Dame's administration. It also benefits the fans who happen to live near one of the new stops that Notre Dame will make when their football program begins to fulfill its 5 ACC games per season requirement that is set to commence in 2014.
However, sports fans, the joy of this monumental move stops there.
Credit must be given to Mike Brey for looking at this move as a positive one for his program. Yes, they will follow Big East powers Syracuse and Pittsburgh to join up with Duke and North Carolina to battle for the top of the ACC each year and a shot to play at the Greensboro Coliseum for an ACC tournament crown.
However, it cannot be said with a straight face that Notre Dame's ultimate goal of winning an NCAA championship will be better served by playing in a league who just last year had half as many participants in the NCAA tournament.
The move for Notre Dame will bring them into the running for the more talented recruits who reside up and down the Atlantic Coast. However, can someone please enlighten me as to how Notre Dame is going to win the recruiting battle for four and five star recruits in an area where their school is more than 600 miles from the actual coast of the Atlantic Ocean?
It has also been said (and emphasized by Coach Brey) that Notre Dame will be sharing similar "academic values" as the other schools in the ACC. Last time I checked (which was about 2 minutes ago), the Big East's mission of "healthy competition and academic integrity" was quite similar to the ACC"s mission to "maximize educational and athletic opportunities of its student athletes".
This move, pure and simple, was a power play executed by the ACC to develop a relationship with the beloved Irish football program. The men's basketball team, which will now have to sacrifice its February trips to Madison Square Garden in exchange for MSG trips in March, is but one of the many causalities of this most recent money grab which has now traveled all the way to one of the most highly revered student athlete institutions in the United States.
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