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UConn Should Join the ACC, and the ACC Should Welcome UConn


Several schools have come up in conversations about growing the ACC: Stanford, Cal, and even SMU. However, there’s a school much closer to the East Coast that makes a lot of sense for both sides: UConn.

UConn hasn’t had a consistent home conference for the last decade. The Huskies were a founding member of the Big East starting in 1979, but headed to the American Athletic Conference in 2013 when the old Big East collapsed. However, in 2020 UConn returned to its roots by rejoining the new-look Big East.

While UConn’s basketball team is as good as ever, coming off a national championship season, the move back to the Big East came at a cost. The Huskies football team is now an independent, one of just four left at the FBS level, because the Big East doesn’t sponsor football.

There’s a reason most independent teams have flocked to conferences. There’s stability in scheduling and regular payouts from conference-wide television deals. Those deals are the most lucrative in conferences that sponsor high-level football. 

The Big East has a rich basketball history, which is why UConn returned to the conference. However, the most recent round of conference realignment is putting pressure on schools to make as much money as possible or risk being left behind. Because of this, it makes sense for UConn to look for a new home. 

An anonymous college coach put it best. “I get that the basketball programs love the Big East, but, as a university, you have to think bigger,” the coach told CBS Sports. “If they can get tens of millions more dollars per year to join a different conference, they have to do it.”

The ACC is the perfect spot for the Huskies. There’s high level football with a stable contract with ESPN through 2036. There’s also a great basketball culture. The ACC boasts blue bloods like Duke and UNC, while also featuring former Big East rivals of UConn like Syracuse and Pitt. The ACC provides the level of basketball that the Big East does, while having even better football than the AAC, UConn’s old home.

UConn moving to the ACC would benefit the conference as well. The Big 12 and the ACC are in an arms race to keep up with the Big Ten and SEC, and as of now, the Big 12 is winning in terms of numbers. It’s time for the ACC to expand, and picking up the reigning basketball national champions is a great start.

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The Fizz is owned, edited and operated by Damon Amendolara. D.A. is an ’01 Syracuse graduate from the Newhouse School with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.


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