LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Many people woke up Wednesday morning to the news about Louisville's move to the ACC. But word starting leaking out late Tuesday night a move may be imminent. And the ACC blogger from North Carolina first broke the story revealed the gears had been turn ever since the University of Maryland's surprise announcement that they were leaving the ACC for the Big Ten.
David Glenn, publisher of the website ACCSports.com, said leaders of the remaining ACC schools started talking about a replacement for more than a week, leading up to a secret teleconference at 7 a.m. Wednesday to vote UofL in.
Glenn said the fact that the ACC is known as a basketball conference made the UofL a perfect fit.
"It's really the only school that generated a massive amount of support," Glenn said. "Even as Cincinnati and UConn and South Florida and others were trying to get into the ACC."
Glenn said UofL's resume was helped by an up and coming football program, a star athletic director in Tom Jurich, and a gigantic athletics budget even by ACC standards. The University of Louisville's athletics budget is $71.5 million in 2012-2013 according to the schools operating budget.
But UofL's ACC invite was not a slam dunk.
Glenn said 24 hours before the announcement leaders of some ACC schools were on the fence, concerned about the quality of UofL's academics which rank far below other ACC schools. And its relatively small TV market size which Glenn said reaches one-fifth of the households of ACC schools in the state of Florida and half a many as in North Carolina.
"Louisville would be on the smaller end," Glenn said. "In terms of TV exposure which impacts the amount of money you get for your TV partners."
Glenn said in the end, the positives out weighed the negatives leading ACC presidents and chancellors to hold a secret vote early Wednesday morning to make UofL its newest member.
For how long is unknown. The SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12 are the only conferences strong enough financially to guarantee survival if college sports evolves into four super conferences. A move some think is inevitable. But not Glenn.
"It is not inevitable," Glenn said. "I think we could move forward with 5 major conferences making a whole lot of money thanks to TV for their member schools. But if anybody gets nervous if more major dominos continue to fall, something will happen with either the Big 12 or the ACC."
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