ACC Grows Away

As the ACC expands to 14 teams, an old Raleigh person can’t help but feel like a piece of our heritage is being removed, especially that of the ACC Tournament as we once knew it. The ACC is slowly, but surely acquiring the 2-sport schools from The Big East and a few other programs, ultimately heading toward being a 16-team league. The national landscape is heading toward four jumbo conferences of 16 teams each instead of eight conferences of 8 teams. Many feel that these four conferences will eventually secede from the NCAA and take all of the TV contract money with them, leaving teams like East Carolina, Georgetown, Seton Hall, Central Florida, and others to wither in a world with poor funding.

Expansion toward 16 teams, however, reminds me of the old fable of the fisherman and the businessman:

One day a fisherman was lying on a beautiful beach with his fishing pole propped up in the sand and his solitary line cast out into the sparkling blue surf.

He was enjoying the warmth of the afternoon sun and the prospect of catching a fish.

About that time, a businessman came walking down the beach trying to relieve some of the stress of his workday. He noticed the fisherman sitting on the beach and decided to find out why this fisherman was fishing instead of working harder to make a living for himself and his family.

"You aren’t going to catch many fish that way," said the businessman to the fisherman, "you should be working rather than lying on the beach!"

The fisherman looked up at the businessman, smiled and replied, "And what will my reward be?"

"Well, you can get bigger nets and catch more fish!" was the businessman’s answer.

"And then what will my reward be?" asked the fisherman, still smiling.

The businessman replied, "You will make money and you’ll be able to buy a boat which will then result in larger catches of fish!"

"And then what will my reward be?" asked the fisherman again.

The businessman was beginning to get a little irritated with the fisherman’s questions.

"You can buy a bigger boat and hire some people to work for you!" he said.

"And then what will my reward be?" repeated the fisherman.

The businessman was getting angry. "Don’t you understand? You can build up a fleet of fishing boats, sail all over the world, and let all your employees catch fish for you!"

Once again the fisherman asked, "And then what will my reward be?"

The businessman was red with rage and shouted at the fisherman, "Don’t you understand that you can become so rich that you will never have to work for your living again! You can spend all the rest of your days sitting on this beach looking at the sunset. You won’t have a care in the world!"

The fisherman, still smiling, simply looked up, nodded and said: "And what do you think I am doing now?" He then looked at the sunset, with his pole in the water, without a care in the world.

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  • Emily Packard Said:

    The world of “amateur” college sports is getting smaller and smaller and conferences continue to expand. I imagine that the potential for four super conferences will also bring about renewed talk of a football playoff system. I can only imagine what the PR folks at the NCAA are having to handle right now in terms of conference expansion and sports scandals.

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