By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President and General Manager
The real Powerball winner this week may just be the University of Louisville.
They won't collect the near record $587 million winning ticket but will pocket many more millions as an athletic program and will likely attract more students to the school in the coming years.
U of L already ranks among the top 20 athletic programs in the nation in nearly all sports and won more Big East championships than any other school in the conference the past five years.
It would not be surprising in the next 10 years for U of L to rank in the top 100 schools academically with the added visibility from the Atlantic Coast Conference and the great strides that have also been made in recruiting higher quality students and offering more academic resources in the past few years.
The move to the ACC will prove to be a very good one for athletics as well, just as the move to the Big East was seven years ago. That conference was a terrific fit until this year when instability interfered with excellence.
The Cardinals will hold their own in all sports in their new league. It is possible that their two strongest football division rivals in their new league – Florida State and Clemson – could depart and be replaced by current Big East colleagues Cincinnati and Connecticut.
The ACC has been a basketball power for 60 years and the idea of seeing North Carolina, Duke and N.C. State coming here to play is exciting. And we will still get visits from teams we are used to seeing: Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh – all former Big East brethren set to join the ACC.
Hats off to UofL President James Ramsey and Athletic Director Tom Jurich for putting the Cardinals in the position to make this move.
Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.