Thursday, May 17, 2007

WHAT? FEWER SISTERS OF THE POOR?

The ACC men's basketball schedule appears likely to stay at 16 conference games for four more seasons. Commissioner John Swofford said last week ACC officials would discuss an 18-game conference schedule beginning in 2008-09 .

"There seems to be some confusion, " said Swofford, "but I want it to be perfectly clear. The 18 conference game format isn't about the game, the league's prestige, recruiting, the fans, the coaches or the student athletes. This is about one thing, and one thing only -- MONEY."

But coaches at the conference's spring meetings have unanimously endorsed keeping the 16-game format through the 2010-11 season, when the television contracts will expire. Coaches feared dropping games such as North Carolina-Arizona and Duke-Georgetown in favor of a couple of more conference games would diminish the ACC's national appeal.

The 16-game schedule "allows all of our teams to go out and schedule intersectional games that will help with our marketing," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said. "It helps with our brand name, and it helps with recruiting." What Purnell meant: “Damn, how are we gonna get to 20 wins if we can’t play Furman, Wofford and Arkansas State?”

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