Report: ACC turns down Alabama’s membership request due to declining football, poor basketball and academics

GREENSBORO, NC — Chalk up another big loss for Alabama. In the days leading up to playing Clemson in the national championship game, Alabama representatives made repeated pleas to ACC officials to join the conference — widely acknowledged as the best in college sports — but were ultimately rebuffed.

“I appreciate Alabama’s interest in joining the ACC,” said conference commissioner John Swofford. “And I truly feel compassion for them in the difficult spot they’re in as the only competitive football team in a dying conference — essentially the new version of what Boise State was a few years back in the WAC. But it’s just not in the best interests of the ACC to add a program of their caliber.”

Swofford pointed out several specific reasons why the ACC turned down Alabama.

“Obviously, it’s a concern that their football is trending down and imagine how much worse it could get if they suddenly had to play a challenging conference schedule,” he said. “But beyond that, the ACC also is very proud of the quality of its basketball, and Alabama essentially doesn’t have a basketball program. And then there’s the academics. While a fine institution for SEC country, the ACC is more of a national conference and Alabama is not quite up to those academic standards.”

SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said he is overjoyed to be retaining Alabama.

“They’re pretty much our whole conference,” he said. “We’ve got Alabama in football and Kentucky in basketball. If either of them left, we’d pretty much have to disband. So today is a good day for the SEC.”

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