- Ryan McGee, ESPN The Magazine, NASCAR
Dick Baddour should have been enjoying himself, but clearly he was not. The UNC football team had just beaten Clemson, its first win over the Tigers in nearly a decade. But as the "Carolina Victory March" echoed through the concourse, the Tar Heels AD unknowingly wrung his hands and chewed his lower lip.
Two days later he and his $2.1 million coach, Butch Davis, would announce yet another round of player dismissals in connection with an agent scandal, and he'd have to address another barrage of probing questions before issuing another round of apologies.
And all of it would take place in the middle of Chapel Hill's largest construction zone. Once-quaint Kenan Memorial Stadium is in the midst of a three-year, $88 million renovation, the latest phase of Tobacco Road's gridiron makeover. NC State and Wake Forest have poured a combined $145 million into their facilities over the past half-decade; even lowly Duke has spent $10 million on football upgrades and is mulling a $40-50 million overhaul of Wallace Wade Stadium.
As conferences continue to race to expand for football, they might be wise to press the pause button and learn a few lessons from the ACC. As Ryan McGee writes, adding teams for football often isn't worth all the other costs involved.