Virginia Continues to Hold-up the ACC

12/6/04 Update: ACC Bowl Line-Up

In case you missed it earlier this week…..after the University of Virginia dropped their 3rd game of the season against top tier competition in a 24-10 loss to Virginia Tech, UVa announced that they would not participate in any bowl that would be played between the dates of December 13th and December 21st because those dates conflict with UVa’s exam schedule.

Translated into more detail, the Cavs would not participate in the Champs Sports Bowl, previously known as the Tangerine Bowl. The Champs Sports Bowl has the 4th choice of ACC teams and was the obvious fit for the Cavs in light of their back-to-back (successful) participation in Charlotte’s Continental Tire Bowl.

After a few days of posturing and sorting, it is now official that the Virginia Cavaliers will represent the ACC in the MPC Computer Bowl (formerly the Humanitarian Bowl) on the infamous blue turf in Boise, Idaho. I think that the only just reward for the Cavs’ brashness and selfishness in this situation is that traveling to Boise, Idaho over New Years may be worse than not going to a bowl at all.

The most prominent Virginia athletics website, The, ran a more detailed (and defense-centric) perspective than you will find in most places. Despite The Sabre’s information on the topic, they choose to ignore two important thoughts that I have on this topic:

(1) Why does Virginia even bother being in the ACC? They obviously cannot bring themselves to think of anyone outside fo Charlottesville in anything that they do. Why do they even need a conference affiliation?

When you are a member of a conference and you derive significant benefit from that membership, then you owe the conference a commitment to behave in the conference’s best interest.

The Sabre’s perspective not withstanding, (laying the blame for UVa’s delay in announcing their intentions to forgo certain bowls at the feet of the conference office) I don’t even care that Virginia waited so late this year to announce this policy. I take issue with the policy’s existence. The ACC’s bowl affiliations were worked out years ago and the Tangerine/Champs Sports Bowl date has been on the calendar long before UVa announced its academic calendar this year. If UVa felt this away about the bowl’s date…then they should have dealt with the problem before the ACC made its bowl arrangement OR they should have arranged their academic calendar accordingly.

Don’t forget, Virginia is barely 18 months removed from extorting the entire conference for political issues within the borders of their state when they forced the ACC to turn its focus from what was best for conference expansion to what was best for UVa by omitting Syracuse and adding Virginia Tech to the roster for expansion. In light of Virginia Tech’s ACC Football Championship this year (and mere presence in the conference), I can’t help but snicker at the fact that if the Hokies hadn’t been around this year the Cavaliers would probably be playing in the Peach Bowl instead of the “Blue Field Bowl.”

(2) I hope/expect the ACC Schools to crucify the Cavs in recruiting over this. But, I genuinely feel sorry for the Wahoo players.

The Cavalier players have worked all year to qualify for the very best post season position that they could possibly earn. In the end, Virginia’s administration effectively punished their kids by declining a bowl in Orlando, Florida to go to friggin’ Boise, Idaho….all so that the kids that have worked so hard could study more?!?! Um…that is going to go over GREAT with the 17 year olds!!! The 17 year olds who want to go to Duke, that is.

So, these kids are going to be incented to work hard in the classroom when the lesson that they have just finished learning is that they don’t get rewarded for working hard?