Hello Tiger fans!
Good luck to Coach Leggett and the Tiger baseball team as they compete in the Columbia Regional this week. Baseball is one of several spring sports that have had tremendous success this season. Congratulations to Nancy Harris and the women’s tennis team on advancing to the Sweet 16, and to Chuck McCuen and the Tiger men who were within a hair of joining them. Several of our student-athletes performed well at the NCAA Singles Championships last week, led by Yana Koroleva. We also want to wish the qualifiers from our track & field teams luck at next week’s NCAA Outdoor Championships.
On the home front, after talking with various campus constituencies in the coming weeks, we hope to have some recommendations on the table at the Board of Trustees meeting in July regarding the future of Littlejohn Coliseum. In baseball, we have begun meeting with the architect to renovate the player development area. In football, the north suites are being completely refurbished inside Memorial Stadium. Good things are beginning to happen with our facilities.
Last week, I attended the ACC spring meetings. One of the primary topics was the growing idea of an ACC Network. The grant of rights signed by the presidents opened the door for substantive discussion. Our partner, ESPN, is excited about the opportunity to create a network that will serve both entities well. The ACC will be able to provide good programming, with a number of sports excelling on the national level. We also discussed increasing the footprint of ESPN3, by providing more games within that growing platform.
The new ACC bowl lineup will be slightly different than what fans have been accustomed to. It will not be a circumstance of a pecking order, but rather bowls will select from within a pool of qualified teams from within a conference. Much of it will be based on geography, avoidance of repeat bowl games and rematches, and things of that nature.
The Chick-fil-A Bowl will no longer exclusively feature an ACC-SEC matchup because of its position as a host for the new College Football Playoff. They will take the teams sent to them by the committee. But it is important to point out that the ACC will not abandon playing in that game. Over a 12-year period, the ACC will, in many years, have a representative in that game.
This year marked my seventh trip to the ACC spring meetings, and these were the best I’ve ever attended. There was a genuine air of cooperation and excitement with the direction of our conference. There is good momentum with ACC football; our basketball will be without peer once Louisville enters the fold in 2014-15. The future is incredibly bright, and we are proud to be a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
January 15, 2021