Founding the ACC

The Origins of a Major Collegiate Athletic Conference, 1951–1953


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About the Book

In 1953, seven universities seceded from the NCAA’s Southern Conference to form the Atlantic Coast Conference. Founding members Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Wake Forest were soon joined by Virginia. Inspired by national academic and gambling scandals, and a bowl game crisis in 1951, the ACC’s leaders hoped to reduce the commercialism and professionalism that permeated college athletics in the 1950s.
This first ever full-length history examines founding of the ACC, the star athletes and coaches and football and basketball season highlights, along with the negotiations that led to the creation one of America’s most successful athletic conferences.

About the Author(s)

Robert B. McCormick is a professor of history at the University of South Carolina Upstate in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

Bibliographic Details

Robert B. McCormick
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 269
Bibliographic Info: 21 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2023
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8994-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4969-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. The Schools and Men Who Built a Conference 9
2. Reform in the Era of National and Local Scandals 41
3. Banning Bowls 64
4. Southern Conference Football and the 1951 Bowl Crisis 75
5. The Everett Case Invitational: Southern Conference Basketball, 1951–1952 112
6. Conference Struggles and Ineffective Reforms in 1952 125
7. A Reduced League: Southern Conference Football, 1952 137
8. The Last Was the Best: Southern Conference Basketball, 1952–1953 156
9. The Atlantic Coast Conference Is Born 171
10. ACC Football: The First Season 207
Conclusion 221
Chapter Notes 227
Bibliography 245
Index 251

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “An in-depth account of the rationale behind, and the machinations of, the creation of the Atlantic Coast Conference.”—Adam Criblez, professor of history, Southeast Missouri State University