With Louisville officially joining the ACC at the beginning of next month, buzz about conference realignment has started to pick up again. Speaking of the ACC, was there ever a moment where Kentucky officials discussed a move? Yesterday, Mark Story of the Herald-Leader posted an article with comments from former UK Athletic Director, CM Newton. Surprisingly, the answer to my question is yes.
Back in the early 90’s, Newton and then UK president, Charles Wethington, actually explored a potential move to the ACC. While discussions were kept very secret, reasons were obvious at the time. Kentucky football continued it struggles against SEC opponents, and yearly meetings with teams like Duke, UNC, and Florida St in basketball were very enticing.
“We talked to them very seriously, but very quietly,” Newton said last week. “Dr. Wethington had me go over and talk to them for a short period one evening. They wanted us to come on and join their league. I thought, with the way (UK) football was (struggling in the SEC), that might have been the best path for us. I always felt like (Florida State) was an SEC school in the ACC and Kentucky an ACC school in the SEC. There were a lot of ways in which I thought (UK moving to) the ACC made sense, but at the end of the day, it’s just doggone tough for a school to leave the SEC.”
It may be just me, but the traditions and rivalries created within the SEC are far too much to throw away. What are your thoughts on UK almost making the move to the ACC? To read the entire article, you can follow this link to the Herald-Leader’s post.