Speaking on a panel about the “financial and competitive landscape for college sports” during the IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, North Carolina State Athletic Director Debbie Yow had a few words about her former school, the University of Maryland, where she served in the same capacity from 1994 to 2010.
According to the Sports Business Journal, Yow discussed a “feeling of isolation” at Maryland, which for many years was the ACC’s northernmost school before it added Boston College.
“One time Coach [Gary] Williams said, ‘Up here in Alaska,’ as a way to refer to the ACC,” Yow said. “When [I] was at Maryland we used to call the ACC the All Carolina Conference. You always feel that way when your headquarters are in another state.”
The financial struggles within Maryland’s athletic department have been well chronicled, and helped propel the university’s move to the greener pastures of the Big Ten. Rutgers followed suit, jumping from the Big East to the Big Ten, just days later.
“If the money were the same, nobody would be switching [conferences],” Yow said. “It’s all about the money.”
Four other comments of note on the panel, three from Yow:
“Nebraska involved a dating process before we got married. With Rutgers and Maryland we got married and now we’re trying to figure out how to live under the same roof.” – Michigan State AD Mark Hollis, on Big Ten realignment.
“There will be some pain as anybody changes conferences … there’s no appreciation for the history of that particular school. Maryland played Duke in men’s basketball. Tens of thousands of alums are familiar with that tremendous rivalry, and it died.” – Yow, on traditions.
“The presidents of the ACC trust each other and had an agreement that they would be contacted. That’s the trust factor and that didn’t occur. I know [ACC Commissioner] John Swofford was trying diligently to get in touch with people and they didn’t respond for two days. Not cool.” Yow, on Maryland’s lack of communication with the ACC before its departure to the Big Ten.
“They’re going to be missed, there’s no question about that. But they’re going to be on a plane going to Madison, Wisconsin, to play men’s basketball in the middle of winter. Good luck. I hope the money is really good.” — Yow, on Maryland’s departure from the ACC.