Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Coaches squash 18-game ACC schedule

ACC basketball coaches apparently like their conference schedule just the way it is.

Objections from the ACC's men's basketball coaches squashed the idea of an 18-game conference schedule at the league's annual spring meetings this week on Amelia Island in Florida.

Discussions of increasing the conference schedule from 16 to 18 games stalled when the league's basketball coaches unanimously opposed the idea, according to ACC associate commissioner for basketball media relations Brian Morrison.

ACC coaches are afraid that adding two conference games would make the schedule so strong that they would be reluctant to arrange games with high-profile opponents outside the conference.

An 18-game conference schedule might have helped the ACC squeeze more money out of its television partners, though. Even if the 18-game schedule had been approved, the earliest it could have started would have been 2011-12, after the ACC’s current TV contracts expire.

In football, ACC athletics directors voted to cap travel squads for league games at 72 in a cost-cutting measure that will go into effect his fall.

Other Bowl Championship Series conferences have a 72-man limit on travel rosters. The ACC limited its title game teams to 72 players, but previously had no cap on the number of athletes who could travel and dress for league games.

The league's football coaches also asked commissioner John Swofford to lobby for an early signing date in mid to late December. Football, whose signing date occurs in the middle of February, is the only sport without an early signing date.

Swofford will try to get the early signing date passed at the Conference Commissioners Association meeting next month in Colorado Springs, Colo. Two years ago, the SEC helped stall a previous ACC proposal for an early signing date.

Proponents say signing early would prevent players from changing their minds in January or February after committing to a school, and would stop college coaches from badgering players who are firmly committed.

Early signing date opponents say delaying signing until February gives coaches more time to evaluate recruits.

The ACC also awarded its baseball tournament to Myrtle Beach, S.C., for three years, beginning in 2011. The tournament will be played at BB&T Coastal Stadium, the Carolina League home of the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, an Atlanta Braves farm team.

Jacksonville, Fla., hosted the tournament from 2006 to 2008. It will be played in Durham this year and Greensboro in 2010. - From staff and wire reports