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ACC Roundup

Conference moves tournament championship to prime time, Robert Carter defects, and dadgum Jimbo Fisher.

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Robert Carter leaves Georgia Yellow Jacket despite starting role
Robert Carter leaves Georgia Yellow Jacket despite starting role
Streeter Lecka

Tuesday was an unusually big day for the ACC despite it being basketball and football being out of season.

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The conference decided to move the tournament championship to Saturday night in prime time. The thing will start on Tuesday and run, obviously, through Saturday.

The end of it's great and TV will be happy. But it also creates some problems.

First, it's easier to get off of work for three days rather than four. The immediate result is an even poorer attendance on opening day. Fewer people will be able to go.

Add to that that the tournament will be in New York and, at some point, in Florida. But let's consider New York.

Using for discount rates, you can figure on paying around $250 a night. Full rates are as high as you might want to pay. That's $1,250 just for lodging.

So you can pretty much rule out most students making the trip. Imagine the ACC Tournament without a student presence.

You'll still have to eat and get to the arena, so figure, and this is probably cheap, $75 per day for food and transportation. So say $375.

So you're already looking at $1,625, and that's not counting transportation to New York - no big deal if you're a Syracuse or Pitt fan, but for the southern schools, it's a big trip. Let's say you spend $400 on two round trip tickets - again buying cheap and early through a discount service like

Now your tab is up to $2,025.

And you're losing income.

Obviously all these numbers are hypothetical, but it does underscore the point. The tournament is already longer. Saturday night is great and all that. Still, moving it to more expensive cities is going to cut the live audience, certainly in the early rounds.

That we've gotten this far without mentioning that the players are supposed to be in school just reminds us how the whole business has gotten out of whack.

The second big news of the day was Robert Carter's departure from Georgia Tech. It's a bit baffling, and apparently was to coach Brian Gregory as well. He's not exactly on rock solid ground and losing Carter is a serious blow.

But why? The team was going to be built around him; he'd have been a highlight player.

The obvious thought is that Gregory may have problems relating to players. You may remember that he left Dayton shortly after a falling out with point guard Juwan Staten, whose father complained that Gregory was too controlling for his kid (his kid echoed the sentiment).

Whatever's behind it, this coming season was critical for Gregory's prospects. Losing his best player is not likely to help.

On the football side, it's almost a race between UNC's Larry Fedora and Florida State's Jimbo Fischer for who's the most stereotypically monomaniacally focused football coach.

We had our money on Fedora, who during the season, and in the midst of a devastating scandal, prattled on in Kenan Stadium about winning without so much as a nod towards ethics or doing things the right way.

Jimbo Fisher is closing fast though. After saying that Jameis Winston would not be punished by the football team after shoplifting because a three-game baseball suspension was punishment enough - never mind his impressive history of hooliganism - Fisher now would like to make scholarships a five-year deal.

In other words, he'd like to have the dadgum athletes on the field without the bother of the redshirt year. In the man's own words:

"(A freshman) isn't ready at the beginning of the year, but you have to make that decision (to redshirt) by Game 5 or 6. Maybe by games by eight, nine or 10 he's developed himself to go in there and give you 10, 12, 14 plays a game.

"At the end of that season when those freshmen are ready to play and can help you on special teams or get 10 reps a game, it takes the pressure off a guy who's banged up and bruised up. The longer you go in these seasons, the more you have to look at those things as a health issue...Show me the downside. It makes too much sense."

So in other words, as commercial forces push Florida State towards a possible 15-game season, Fisher wants more bodies for the meat grinder. Like Fedora, not a word about education, not a thought about character or leading teenage boys to responsible manhood. Not a thought about the guys who are getting injured, just enough new meat to stand in.

Nothing but winning football games matters to Fisher.

A suitable reward? Five years of Jameis Winston keeping his program in the news.