Before any Canes rip me apart, let me preface this blog post, I thought it was a great idea to add Miami to the ACC. In fact of the 3 additions to the ACC, Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami, I felt the Hurricanes clearly were the most obvious choice. Geographically being in Florida it was perfect. The ACC brought the Virginia Tech\Miami rivalry from the Big East. The Canes had resurrected their football program in the early part of the decade to be among the best country. I can’t fault the ACC for inviting for Miami, because I would have done the same, but that was before things went all wrong in South Florida.
This isn’t just about the mind-boggling list of potential violations as reported by Charles Robinson of YahooSports, either. This is also partly about why Miami was brought to the ACC. The Miami Hurricanes were brought to the ACC to elevate the level of football in the conference. The ACC is smart enough to know the real cash cow in the college sports is football. Miami was coming off a 35-3 run the previous 3 years prior to joining the ACC. Their inclusion was the basis of the conference’s realignment. Florida State was in one division and Miami was in the other. The ACCCG would be in Jacksonville, Fla and was going to play to sellout crowds of Miami and Florida State fans. The problem was Miami never showed up. Since 2006 the Hurricanes actually have a losing record (19-21) in the ACC! They haven’t won a single conference or division title in football. Maybe the ACC is just that much tougher than the Big East, but Virginia Tech didn’t seem to have problems winning ACC Titles. At least the ACC still had basketball…
Well not really, Miami was a big part of the dilution of ACC Hoops. Miami struggled in the Big East under Perry Clark and when Frank Haith took over they continued to be a mediocre basketball program in the ACC. Haith went 43-69 in the ACC, and never finished higher than 5th in the conference. In the 7 years the Canes have been in the ACC they had but 1 NCAA win. More than one person will tell you that the ACC sacrificed it’s basketball soul, for football and Miami is front and center in that conversation.
Even the perennially strong baseball team which won national titles in 1999 and 2001, hasn’t been to the CWS since 2008.
What we have in Miami now in 2011 is an underachieving football team, below average basketball results, a baseball program that had its best days prior to joining the ACC, and now a scandal ridden athletic department with allegations among the worst ever in college sports. Who knew what would happen when Miami was added to the ACC? Most of us thought it was the right thing to do, maybe it still will be, but right now Miami’s inclusion in the ACC has been a total failure.