The Right Thing

Maybe there is a simple reason that the Presidents of Duke and North Carolina are having second thoughts. . .

. . . about voting for ACC expansion/Big East evisceration.

It might have nothing to do with political pressure, strategic decisions, or concerns over political image, as some Big East fans think.

It also might not have to do with a lack of spinal column, as some fans of the departing three schools and ACC fans think.

Maybe they are wrestling with this vote because, quite simply, its wrong.

Most suggestions considering the moral and ethical implications of this act are met with hoots of derision on most fan websites.

"It's all about money," is the unanimous response, as though that is both explanation and justification.

Well maybe it doesn't have to be just about money.

These people represent institutions of higher learning. Within the walls of these institutions and the hundreds like them across the U.S., we can find a vestige of that dream and desire to improve, to make ourselves better than what we are.

Perhaps these are people of conscience. Perhaps they do feel the weight of being not only leaders of their respective universities, but guardians of the ideals and principles that higher education is supposed to represent.

Is this a good vote for the ACC? I truly don't know. However, I do know that the precedents set by the outcome of this conflict will shape college athletics for years to come. I hope the presidents - all the ACC presidents, and the presidents of Miami, Boston College, and Syracuse - come to realize that there can be more to the equation than just money. Once the raid on the Big East is successful, no conference, whether it has 12 members or 20, can hope to build any kind of common vision for the future, because all trust will be lost.

There have been times when people have risked a great deal to do the right thing. The ACC and the departing schools face that decision today. The remaining Big East schools may face that same decision tomorrow.

For once, let's let doing something because it is right be enough reason.


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