Source: Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson in Talks to Join SEC

by Riley Overend 82

July 07th, 2022 ACC, College, News, SEC

SEC swimming could soon become absolutely stacked.

A source told SwimSwam that Virginia, North Carolina, Florida State, and Clemson are negotiating to join the SEC as ESPN attempts to void their 20-year television deal with the ACC.

According to the source, money is a major factor along with recruiting clashes. Florida reportedly doesn’t want Miami to join, Tennessee doesn’t want UNC, and Kentucky doesn’t want Louisville. Louisville brings in the second-most revenue among public ACC schools. Miami’s revenue isn’t public, but it’s estimated that they are near the top as well — plus they bring a hometown team in a huge market.

The source said that the conversations are still in early stages, but as we’ve seen recently, things can change quickly. USC and UCLA’s surprising jump from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten went from rumor to official news in less than a day. If these early talks eventually become official, this next major shift in conference realignment would send another powerhouse swimming program to the SEC.

The Virginia women are two-time defending national champions, led by a trio who medaled at the 2022 World Championships last month. Texas, which made plans to move from the Big 12 to the SEC last summer, has seen its men’s team capture five of the last seven NCAA championships. If both programs were in the SEC this past season, the conference would have laid claim to three of the top-five finishers on the women’s side and two of the top five on the men’s side.

The SEC hasn’t boasted a national champion since 2016, when the Georgia women claimed the crown. The last NCAA champion from an SEC men’s squad came back in 2009 (Auburn). That could change once the dust is settled in conference realignment.

At this year’s ACC Championships, the North Carolina women placed fourth while the men placed seventh. The Florida State women placed eighth and the men placed sixth at the same meet. Clemson cut swimming a decade ago.

On Wednesday, Sports Illustrated reported on a potential broadcasting partnership developing between the ACC and Pac-12. That news came the same day as a separate report that the Big 12 was looking to poach six Pac-12 schools. The big question remains: Who’s going to get left behind in the process?

At this point, anything is possible.

The latest: What is the ACC’s Grant of Rights and why does it matter?

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1 year ago

So Duke, Wake, Syracuse, NC State, Louisville, Pitt, BC, VT, Ga Tech, and Miami would get left out.

Where would/could these schools end up?

I think somebody would want NC State – it’s a big school in a growing market with a loyal fanbase.
The rest of the schools are a grab bag academically and athletically with a few gems like Duke and Louisville basketball. I could see the BIG10 making a play on State (and/or UVA or UNC if either gets caught out)

Duke (and Vandy if the reshuffling continues) could almost be Ivies – but would kill Duke basketball.
Syracuse, Pitt, BC – could all end up in the the AAC.
Wake – Colonial
… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by PotomacValleyAlum
1 year ago

Leave Miami behind

Don Belenger
1 year ago

Thanks SEC for ruining college sports! The greed of money is now in the NCAA.

Reply to  Don Belenger
1 year ago

I’m not sure why your blaming the SEC. Billions of TV dollars are what is moving this needed. We just witnessed the BIG10 pull in both USC and UCLA, with eyes on Notre Dame, Washington, and Oregon.

Reply to  Mark
28 days ago


1 year ago

So wait, do you mean North Carolina state? Because UNC is referred to as North Carolina and ncst is referred to as state.

1 year ago

Pack ten? More like pack me up cause it seems like every school is shuffling up conferences to

Reply to  Soapy
1 year ago

that’s why north Carolina at UNC with the big dogs? Give me a break

Awsi Dooger
1 year ago

Florida reportedly doesn’t want Miami to join”

As always…Orange, Blue and Mostly Yellow

The Florida Gators are easily the most gutless athletic department in the country, with a wimp heritage dating well beyond a half century. They were too scared to play the upstart former girls school Florida State until the state legislature began pressuring them to do so. The Canes scheduled Florida State beginning in 1951, seven full years before the gallant Gators.

This 1982 article from Sports Illustrated detailed the Gators’ desperation to remove Miami from the schedule. It is a worthwhile read decades later, especially as Gator fans attempt to deny or rationalize. Meanwhile their athletic director made the mistake of being briefly candid to the Sports… Read more »

Bronco Nagurski
1 year ago

In 1953 the old Southern Conference split into the ACC and the SEC, because it was “too big”. Wussies should’ve just toughed it our for the last seventy years.

1 year ago

This “greener pastures” mentality is not sustainable in the long-run, however long that may be. There always going to be the Alabama who has to share its revenue with a Vanderbilt, or the Clemson that shares with Wake Forest, or the Texas that shares with Iowa State. The big schools can’t keep getting away, because eventually there’s nowhere to go. And nobody wants to be left behind. The same thing happens in smaller conferences. The shifting membership of the WAC and subsequent formation of the MWC is a prime example.

It’s like a new business owner thinking he’s pulling a fast one on his competitors by selling his product at such a lower price that he siphons all of the… Read more »

Reply to  thezwimmer
1 year ago

….which is exactly what happened with the Michael Scott Paper Company during its peak

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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