Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant takes a look at the ACC’s decision to add Louisville to the conference instead of UConn and although he highlights the relative strength of each school’s football program, a little old fashioned networking certainly didn’t hurt.
Much of the passion of Louisville fans can be traced to the success of athletic director Tom Jurich, who after 15 years at Louisville is considered one of the most powerful athletic administrators in the country. Jurich has clout with administrators, especially at Southern football schools, and he consistently sold Louisville as an attractive program over the past decade to coaches, fellow athletic directors, TV executives, anyone who mattered.
So, when Maryland left the ACC for the Big Ten and the pundits predicted that UConn – academically ranked as one of the top 25 public universities in the country – would be the school to get the ACC invitation, Jurich worked the people he knew. After he won, he said, “We were definitely the underdogs. People had UConn not penciled in, but penned in.”
The consistent theme running throughout the article is that UConn simply needs to continue building its fanbase and program to the point where it will be attractive to any suitor.