George W. Bush & Condoleezza Rice Get Involved In ACC Expansion: Will Their Influence Work??

In a desperate attempt to secure spots in the Atlantic Coast Conference, SMU and Stanford have enlisted the support of powerful allies to bolster their bids.

Former President George W. Bush (SMU) and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (Stanford) have been actively engaging with ACC officials in an effort to gain entry for their respective schools, according to a report by Yahoo Sports.

Former President George W. Bush, who has personal ties to SMU, has lent his support to the university’s endeavors. Bush’s wife, Linda, is an alumna of SMU, and the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which houses his presidential library and museum, further solidifies the Bush family’s association with the institution.

Rice, a distinguished professor at Stanford, is also affiliated with the university’s Hoover Institution, a renowned American public policy research center. Her involvement highlights the deep-rooted commitment of Stanford to explore every avenue for their athletic programs’ future.

Stanford and Cal find themselves in search of new athletic conference homes following a series of departures from the Pac-12, their current conference.

SMU, long aspiring for inclusion in a prominent athletic conference, has expressed interest in the Pac-12 in the past. Now, it seems they have turned their attention to the ACC. 

One of the key hurdles in this pursuit is the requirement for support from 12 existing ACC member institutions, including Notre Dame, to extend invitations.

However, reports indicate that a recent straw poll among ACC universities failed to garner enough support for the expansion agenda, with schools like Florida State, Clemson, NC State and North Carolina reportedly opposed.

Financial considerations loom large over the negotiations. Stanford, with its substantial endowment, and SMU, backed by a robust booster pool, have the capacity to delay their shares of ACC television revenue, thereby benefiting other member institutions.

This financial flexibility could play a pivotal role in shaping the outcome of the discussions.

In contrast, Cal faces financial challenges, with its athletic department burdened by debt. The potential for television revenue presents a crucial lifeline for the institution, particularly as it faces the prospect of being without a conference in less than a year.

This financial aspect adds complexity to an otherwise straightforward decision-making process.

As SMU, Stanford (and Cal) navigate the path to potential ACC membership, other possibilities remain on the table.

Stanford’s athletic success and academic prestige make it an attractive candidate for a variety of options, including independence.

Cal’s situation is more complex, with possibilities ranging from spearheading a Pac-12 rebuilding effort to exploring conferences like the Mountain West or the AAC.

How do you think this whole thing will shake out?

Should the ACC be interested in SMU, Stanford and/or Cal?