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ACC Expansion: Cuban Baseball Market, Talent An Option For Conference

The ACC could find itself with an opportunity for expansion and baseball recruiting which it never could have imagined previously.

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Cuban baseball talent has longed been desired by MLB. Soon the ACC may target it as well.
Cuban baseball talent has longed been desired by MLB. Soon the ACC may target it as well.
Koji Watanabe/Getty Images

As college sports - or at least the top tier of college sports - races to a professional model, expansion and new streams of income are increasingly important.

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So for ACC baseball, where to go? Well, south...and southeast.

At least for Miami.

Yes, with the thaw in relations, Cuba is now a possible target for ACC expansion, according to Barry Jacobs.

Think about this: the ACC is only a few years older than the Cuban embargo.

Aside from a large base of 11 million people, the Cubans are baseball fanatics and have a great, largely untapped talent pool the ACC can tap into - and play before.

And while baseball is currently the great passion of the Cuban sports fan, in nearby Puerto Rico, basketball has put down deep and enduring roots. It wouldn't surprise us one day to see a surge in Cuban basketball popularity led by Puerto Rican entrepreneurs.

They'll have to work on it though: current flight times are about 31 hours - that's a long trip. It should take about 2 1/2 hours but currently there are few direct flights.