Chansky’s Notebook: Delany’s Journey Remarkable

This is today’s Art Chansky’s Sports Notebook as heard on 97.9 WCHL. You can listen to previous Sports Notebooks here.

Jim Delany is a most improbable most influential man in college athletics.

A list came out Thursday on, where 12 of the supposedly smartest people around college sports picked the most influential of their peers. It’s a  curious collection, because it omits giants like John Skipper, the UNC grad and president of ESPN who controls college basketball and football by what teams and what times they put on TV. And Kentucky’s John Calipari, who has almost perfected the one-and-done philosophy while changing the college game, is also left off.

The list is generally not sports specific, although Coach K, Nick Saban and Urban Meyer are named. There are more NCAA officials, conference commissioners like John Swofford, athletic directors, agents, apparel barons and attorneys litigating some of the biggest cases in sports.  Judging from the caustic comments below the article, some think they got the list almost completely wrong. But another Tar Heel, Big 10 Commissioner Jim Delany, is at the very bottom as No. 1.

Delany is mega-powerful, having started conference expansion and his own Big 10 Network, which helps his league spit off more money to its schools than any other, somewhere in the 40 million per-year range. And he’s not afraid to make bold statements, like his white paper on reinstituting freshman ineligibility in football and basketball – called a Year of Readiness – that has no chance yet is provocative given the academic improprieties rampant in college athletics.

But Delany’s professional journey is the most amazing. He was a reserve for Dean Smith’s Tar Heels who was mad at the coach for not playing him more. He slipped into law school and made it through, worked in the state attorney general’s office, as an NCAA investigator and became commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference at age 31. When Wayne Duke retired and the Big Ten was ruled by power coaches Bo Schembechler and Bobby Knight, no one wanted the commissioner’s job. But Delany took it and 25 years later has become certainly one of movers and shaker in the college game.

Delany may not be No. 1 with everyone, but that he is even on the list and at the top after his improbable journey is remarkable in itself.

ACC Football Championship To Call Charlotte Home Through 2019

The Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game will be staying in Charlotte for the near future.

The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Charlotte Sports Foundation announced an agreement Monday to keep the ACC’s title game in Charlotte for another six years, until 2019.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford says Charlotte has been an outstanding host of the ACC Championship and that the “annual weekend is a true celebration of ACC Football.”

The game has been held at Charlotte’s Bank of America Stadium, the home of the Carolina Panthers, for the past four years. The games included sellout crowds in both 2010 and 2011, including an ACC Football Championship record crowd of 73, 675 in 2011.

Johnny Harris, Chairman of the Charlotte Sports Foundation, says he’s proud of the extension and says the Board is “committed to working together to ensure Bank of America Stadium is its home for a very long time.”

Last December, Charlotte was host to the Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and his national championship-winning Florida State Seminoles as they beat the Duke Blue Devils and National Coach of the Year David Cutcliffe.

New Bowl Partnerships Set For ACC

GREENSBORO— The Atlantic Coast Conference has forged seven football bowl game partnerships that will be effective through the 2019 season.

On Thursday, ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced the news for a conference that is looking to improve its collective play on the football field and contend on a national stage.

“We are extremely pleased to announce relationships with this outstanding collection of future bowl partners,” said  Swofford. “Each of these premiere bowls is recognized for its excellence, and they collectively combine to offer our 15-member league more flexibility, improved financials, marquee match-ups and attractive destinations.”

The new agreements include increased net financial revenues to the Conference, reduced ticket obligations, greater flexibility in selection of bowl teams to ensure the best possible match-ups, and prioritized geographical proximity for better access for fans.

In total, the league has reached agreements with the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando; the Hyundai Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas; the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.; the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn.; the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., and the New Era Pinstripe Bowl in New York City.

The ACC champion will again be headingto the Discover Orange Bowl in Miami if that team is not in the College Football Playoff. If the Discover Orange Bowl is hosting one of the semifinal games of the College Football Playoff, the ACC champion will be slotted to play in one of the other host bowls of the playoff – the Fiesta Bowl or the Chick-fil-A Bowl – if not playing in a semifinal game.

Notre Dame To Join ACC In 2013

CHAPEL HILL – It’s official. Notre Dame will play basketball as a member of the ACC next year.

Big East presidents gathered Tuesday morning to vote on allowing the Irish to depart the conference effective July 1. This announcement comes amidst the deterioration of the old Big East, but while it’s making a major shift, it’s not going away.

Seven schools within the conference—known as the ‘Catholic Seven’—have agreed to take the Big East name and create a new basketball-dominated conference. According to ESPN, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John’s, and Villanova will possibly be joined by Butler, Creighton, Dayton, St. Louis, and Xavier to create the 12-member league.

It was known that Notre Dame was coming to the ACC since September. The announcement was made by the school’s president Father John Jenkins and athletic director Jack Swarbrick at a press conference with the ACC held in Chapel Hill. Notre Dame was expected to have to pay an exit fee of $2.5 million to leave before 2015, but because the school did not request any of the league’s revenue from entrance and exit fees in the last few years, no exit fee is necessary.

In October, the ACC announced changes in the schedule to accommodate for the addition of Notre Dame as well as Syracuse and Pittsburgh. The 16-member league in basketball will see 18-game conference schedules—just as they did this year—but will only play two teams twice. North Carolina is paired with Duke and NC State; Duke is paired with UNC and Wake Forest; and NC State has UNC and Wake Forest.

Comment from ACC Commissioner John Swofford:
“Our conference, schools and fans are delighted that Notre Dame will join the ACC on July 1, 2013. The addition of Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse, followed by Louisville in 2014, positions us extremely well with an outstanding collection of 15 member institutions.”
“As was previously announced, our annual five games against Notre Dame in football will begin with the 2014 season. This not only will enhance our league’s already ambitious football schedules but also will provide terrific fan excitement.”
“From a basketball perspective, the level of competition will be second to none. As we look towards the future, there’s no denying that ACC Basketball will continue to set even higher standards of excitement and excellence. The competition will be brutal, which is a great thing for our league and fans.”
Comment from Jack Swarbrick, Notre Dame Vice President and Director of Athletics:
“Notre Dame now looks forward with great anticipation to becoming a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference. We are thrilled to join a great group of institutions who share our commitment to the integration of athletics into the academic mission of the university. Our coaches and student-athletes across our athletic programs are truly excited about the new challenges ahead.”