Commentary

The Insider: Expansion danger

Advice for team-hoarding conferences: Bigger isn't always better

Updated: October 22, 2010, 11:09 AM ET
By Ryan McGee | ESPN The Magazine
Gluekit for ESPN The MagazineIs expansion really worth all the baggage that comes with it?

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.


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Ryan McGee | email

ESPN The Magazine, NASCAR