In a Q&A, Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich hailed the ACC's grant-of-rights deal as a major development for his program.
Louisville sports information director Kenny Klein hangs an ACC banner before the school announced it had been accepted into the league in January.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The University of Louisville has experienced some big developments lately. A Sugar Bowl victory. A men's basketball national title. Women's basketball making the NCAA championship game.
But Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich said that the action the ACC announced Monday, that all of its league members had granted the ACC their media rights through the year 2027, was on a par with those on-field accomplishments in terms of importance to the overall program.
The move effectively locks the league membership in place for the next decade and beyond, at least under the current landscape, after there had been much speculation that other leagues might well target ACC members.
"Today was a big day, it's huge," Jurich said. "Might be the biggest of anything. It solidifies this league. . . . This league is iron-clad now moving forward."
A conversation with Jurich about the ACC developments and other athletic department issues:
Q: Were you surprised that the deal came about?
JURICH: No. We had our meeting last week, and that's what our meetings were about, Tuesday and Wednesday down in Greensboro.
Q: Did you expect, when you first joined the league, that this kind of agreement could happen this quickly?
JURICH: No, no I sure didn't. There was talk of it, but there still were people who were skeptical about it because it was so turbulent out there for everybody else to look at. But once . . . everybody got in the same room together, it was obvious to me, at least at our first meeting at the end of January with all of the ACC members, they were a very cohesive group and a very united group -- quite to the contrary to the rumors you heard -- and I was very impressed with them. And now, these actions speak a lot louder than anybody's words.
Q: So does this calm the waters nationally with the entire landscape?
JURICH: Well I know one thing, it calms the waters in Louisville. And that's all that matters. But I think so. There's not going to be many places to go to reach out to another school. So it's a great fit, and the great thing about it is that it keeps everybody regional. It could not be better for us, absolutely could not be better, because it's the most unbelievable fit. You know how much I like fit, and we are definitely a fit in this league.
Q: What was the ACC reaction to all your recent success?
JURICH: It was great. They've been incredible, even before we had the success that we've had. They've embraced us incredibly and it's going to be a great home for us, and our fans. All of the great places we get to go and its easy to get around.
Q: What was your reaction last week to adding a trip to South Bend to the football schedule in 2014.
JURICH: Well, that was great. It's great, again, for our fans, that we get to do it. But that's going to be a heck of a schedule that year. I know Charlie will be up to the challenge, and the kids will be up to the challenge, so that's great.
Q: How would you sum up the year for Cardinal athletics?
A: Well I don't want to sum it up yet because I still think we have a couple of months to go, but it's been a great year, you sure enjoy seeing all the wonderful coaches and student-athletes have this success, it's what you strive for, it's what we buy the scoreboards for. So it's been a lot of fun. All the credit goes to these great coaches and student athletes.
Q: How big a deal is the coming upgrade in football schedule?
JURICH: Well, obviously, it's a major thing. When Florida State comes in here, Clemson comes in here, Virginia Tech. All those schools, it's gong to be incredible for everybody. Our fan base is a big winner.
Q: Have you seen much of a boost in ticket sales because of it?
A: JURICH: Not really, because we don't have much of a gate left. We've sold pretty much everything.
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