N.C. State coach Dave Doeren, left, and North Carolina coach Larry Fedora chat prior to their 2015 game at Carter Finley Stadium. The prospect of divisional realignment did not come up when ACC coaches met this week. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com
N.C. State coach Dave Doeren, left, and North Carolina coach Larry Fedora chat prior to their 2015 game at Carter Finley Stadium. The prospect of divisional realignment did not come up when ACC coaches met this week. Robert Willett rwillett@newsobserver.com

College Sports

Topic of ACC football divisional realignment officially dies

By Andrew Carter

acarter@newsobserver.com

May 11, 2016 07:40 PM

UPDATED May 12, 2016 09:50 AM

AMELIA ISLAND, Fla.

The ACC’s football coaches spent Tuesday and Wednesday discussing the idea of a centralized replay system, the use of video on the sidelines or in press boxes, player safety concerns and other issues that seem to come up annually at the league’s spring meetings.

One thing they didn’t discuss, though? The prospect of divisional realignment.

That had come up every year for as long as any coach could remember, but it wasn’t a topic this week. Which means that now, more than ever, the ACC’s divisions seem permanently set.

“It’s the first year that I’ve been here that that hasn’t come up,” said North Carolina coach Larry Fedora.

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He’s been the head coach at UNC since 2012. During each of his first four trips to the ACC’s spring meetings the league’s coaches discussed realigning the divisions, which have largely remained the same since the ACC went to a divisional format in 2005.

The topic of divisional realignment is a popular one among fans and media. In recent years, at least, two Atlantic Division teams – Florida State and Clemson – have been the ACC’s strongest.

The Coastal Division has been home to far more parity, with UNC winning the division last season, Georgia Tech in 2014 and Duke in 2013. The possibility of divisional realignment is a dead issue, though – if it ever had any life to begin with.

“We have talked about it the three prior years but it doesn’t seem to go anywhere,” N.C. State coach Dave Doeren said. “So I think there’s a lot of other topics that are real, that have steam that we probably spent more time on.”

ACC united on satellite camps

Few issues surrounding college football have generated as much nationwide conversation during the past several months as satellite camps, which describe the practice of teams hosting off-campus camps for high school prospects.

The NCAA last month banned satellite camps but then rescinded that ban weeks later. The camps have remained a topic of debate, however. The Big Ten is in favor of them – mostly because satellite camps would allow its schools to host camps in talent-rich states in the south – but the SEC and ACC are opposed to satellite camps.

“I know that everybody says that the players are being exploited and they’re not being able to be seen by other schools,” Fedora said. “I don’t think that there’s truth to that to be honest with you. I do think that we ought to stop satellite camps.

“But if a school wants to come work your camp, they ought to be able to do it.”

Coaches from lower-division schools, Fedora said, often come and work camps at UNC. He’d like for that to remain possible.

“There was never any intended, on our proposal, to keep other coaches from working your camps,” he said.

No change to basketball schedule

Though several ACC coaches support the idea of adopting a 20-game conference schedule in men’s basketball, there’s not enough support to bring that possibility to a vote. The idea didn’t make it out of the coaches’ meeting on Wednesday, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

Mark Gottfried, the N.C. State coach, is in favor of moving to a 20-game conference schedule because he said it could help the ACC to receive more bids to the NCAA tournament. His reasoning is that more conference games would improve the RPIs of the league’s middle-of-the-pack teams.

And better RPIs would mean better tournament resumes. Increasing the league schedule from 18 games to 20 will remain a point of debate for the coaches.