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12-02-2013 11:11 PMbratAs I find myself writing essentially the same thing, at least a couple of times a year, year after year, seems the best way to keep it handy for quick reference is to put it into the Archives.
Those with other points or other specifics may certainly add to the long line of abuses under which we suffered.
Not as fancy or stylized, but I look at is as sort of a Gamecock 'Declaration of Independence".
There were several reasons why we left the ACC.
A double standard from the ACC toward USC than any other school was a key element of
friction. If a student-athlete's eligibility came into question, he had
to stop playing until it was determined if he really was eligible to play or
not. Sounds reasonable until you realize that this was for USC only, while any
other ACC school could allow their kids to keep playing unless it was later
determined something was wrong. This stemmed from a situation that was created
by certain ACC'ers themselves which is mentioned in the next
Right before Frank McGuire's death, some ACC officials met with
him and told him that they had plotted to keep out of the league what was
Frank's biggest recruit ever (Mike Grosso..some considered the second highest
rated HS kid his senior year behind one Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar). They came to ask for his forgiveness before he died.
UNC and Duke, among many others, wanted this kid, too, but he snubbed them in
favor of us. He enrolled at USC and was looking forward to being able to play the following year. Grosso and the other Freshman that came to Carolina with him, routed the varsity when they played.
His uncle ran and owned a small bar and he (the uncle)
was the one and only employee. He paid for the tuition of his nephew and wrote it on a
check that had the bar name on it instead of a check in his personal name. This was not a violation by rules of the NCAA.
Turns out that Eddie Cameron, of Duke, who had hated for McGuire, got ACC support to create a new rule to circumvent things
and hurt McGuire, USC, and this innocent kid. Duke and many other ACC teams recruited Grosso, but were spurned by him.
Grosso scored a 789 on his SAT. Back then, Freshmen vould not play varsity sports, so he came to play on
the Frosh basketball team. Nine months after his enrollment, the ACC created a new rule saying that any student with less than 800 on the SAT could never play in the ACC. To further things, the ACC made an internal review of his recruitment )I read a version (which I cannot verify the source as being accurate...namely off one of the ACC school sites discussing the matter months ago) of this where ACC people barged in on the Grosso family in the middle of the night and gave them the third degree to pressure them in hoped of uncovering some viable evidence and deemed that since the check was written on a business a count instead of a personal account, that a violation had been made, as if to somehow justify their new standards held against Grosso. While the ACC investigators did not find real proof (admission of guilt or paper trail of money being sent to the family, etc.), their investigators decided the family could not afford to pay his tuition. Why, I guess, that shows why Grosso's parents did not pay it and his uncle did, with money from his own business of which he had no employees.
He transferred to Cincinnati, blew out his knee and never had the career
most thought he would. I read an article recently about him, written a couple
of years ago, where he said he has had a difficult life with relationships and
such and until the last few years remained haunted by what happened to him and
he never forgave the ACC for doing what they did to him.
UNC was found to have been allowing, for many years, two kids each season, that did not meet standards
to enroll at that school and play football. Paul Dietzel, who had been trying to
slightly lower the bar to compete with the SEC schools and other conferences for
local kids, found out about it and asked the same thing be allowed at USC. His
request was denied. When he protested about UNC doing it, they stopped, but was
never penalized for their own violations of ACC law.
The funny thing was, USC was decades ahead of its time trying to convince the ACC that football was the real cash cow of the conference (and all of college sports), not basketball. We were sick and tired of losing our best in state players to the SEC because the requirements were significantly higher, set by the ACC, not the NCAA. We wanted to meet the lower standards so that our student-athletes could get into school more easily and improve the product brand of the ACC. We were denied this attempt and it came to be that every time we brought a subject up for a vote that we introduced in an attempt to help the ACC, it was voted down in unanimous fashion by the other schools, 0-7. This was the result of, no doubt, more collusion and secret arm twisting by UNC and Duke.
USC was the league doormat for ages in most sports, basketball being the king sport in the ACC,
made that all the more pleasing to the Tobacco Roaders. When Frank built a team
that started beating them, it inflamed their hatred of him and us and the state of South Carolina.
Some very few people say that leaving the ACC was the worst thing we ever did. If you were alive back then and old enough to have to remember those days, you would disagree,
vehemently. Think of the rivalry and hatred most feel toward Clempson. Multiply
that by four or five times and you would be close to the hatred the ACC had for
us and we for them, basically all because we simply wanted equal treatment and
for the ACC not to be ruled by, UNC and Duke.
The famous fight with Maryland? I was actually there, because as a kid, I was at every home game. It's cause was due to Maryland players throwing elbows all game long and Lefty did nothing to stop
his kids doing it. With 5 minutes left in the game, we were winning by
about 25 points, nearing 100 points, and a Maryland player took a cheap shot at Rick Adylett, hitting him in the head, as drove in for a lay up.
Enough was enough, and our kids let them have it. Lefty got what he deserved for not pulling his
cheap shot artists with the elbows.
After that point and the very unflattering Sports Illustrated issue on John Roche and the team, it was
impossible to stay in the league. Each time our kids traveled, let alone fans,
they were cursed with extreme profanity, hung Roche in effigy, had trash thrown at them, heated coins, gum
tossed in their hair, threats were made and cruel taunts were made about Frankie, Jr.
McGuire's boy, a young teenager who had a severe case of MS and was
mentally handicapped which left him with the capacity of about a two year old. Several times, Frank had to be restrained from going into the stands
at away games (Clempson) because of those taunts.
When USC won the 1971 ACC basketball tournament, 52-51 on a last second shot, two or three seconds after
the game concluded, someone pulled the plug on the broadcast, refusing to show
the Gamecock fans or their team celebrating their biggest and best victory. That is the only time that has ever happened, so it was intentional. You bet your ass if UNC won that game, every celebration, every award would have been broadcast, like it has been every other year and they probably would have interviewed the guy who had the job to lock the building up at night. Additionally, there were co-MVP's of the
tournament. Only one award was available at the end of the game, of course.
Instead of giving it to John Roche, the guy on the team that just won the
tournament, they gave it to the other guy, on the team that lost, who played for
UNC. Saw an article about Roche not too long ago and when asked about that, he
mentioned he never received his award. He really didn't care since he doesn't
display any of his memorabilia.
Even back then many, many Clempson fans pulled for USC in basketball because, they too, hated the ACC teams and they couldn't beat any of the powers. In fact,
Clempson had agreed to pull out with USC to try to force the ACC to change. USC
wanted to do a joint withdrawal, at the same press conference, but Clempson
asked us to do it in the morning and they would follow in the afternoon. The
story is that word got out to ACC people about what was about to happen and they
met with Clempson and told them to stay in the ACC or they would be turned into
the NCAA for another series of football recruiting violations. Stay and everything would be forgotten. They did not keep their word to us and we left the ACC, alone. I vividly remember that day and the USC fans
were joyous, such was the hatred of the ACC. It was like a heavy weight had been
lifted from us. Freedom!!! We were tired of being the red headed step child. To this day, I
despise the ACC and am angry that we ever play any of them, in any sport, unless
it is in a bowl game or NCAA's where we have no choice, and I even include
Clempson in that group. If Clempson had followed through, I believe our rivalry
would not be nearly as bitter as it is today.
Some forget (and this incident was before my time following the team) was that Duke, again, got pissed at McGuire and USC and actually was allowed by the ACC not to play us for a basketball season. If we had tried to request such a thing, you know darn well it would have been refused. Shortly before we decided to leave the ACC, Maryland and a few other ACC teams were making comments that they would refuse to play us again as long as McGuire was our coach.
Few recall that a few years after we left the ACC and before GT joined (thus, the 7 original schools
were left), we approached the ACC to rejoin as the SAT standards had been dropped to
a level similar to what we had wanted (two months after we left the conference) and we also felt some of the raw emotions and bitterness may have subsided by then.
The ACC agreed to let us back in if we did the following:
Pay a fee to be readmitted (nothing wrong with that)
Not be eligible to play for any ACC title for at least 3 years. (no reason for that other than spite)
We had to repay the ACC all the money they would have gotten from us for gates, TV appearances, etc, from the moment we left the conference, just as if we had never gone and even though they did
nothing to earn that money. That probably would have added a couple million to
pay out, at least. That was lots of money, back then. (greed)
We had to offer a public apology to the ACC for ever leaving and admit we were wrong in
doing so. (humiliation)
Promise to never leave the ACC, again. (remove our last right of protest)
All of that was in The State Newspaper and I remember reading it as if it were yesterday.
That was proof that the ACC would still treat us like garbage. The best day,
despite the difficulty of competition, USC ever had in sports was the day we
joined the SEC for they treat us as full equals. The second best day was the day
we left the ACC only because it eventually led us to the SEC.
12-02-2013 10:57 PMbratThanks for all the kind words. One of the few benefits of getting older is the amount of memories you pick up along the way.
I have written the major parts of our leaving the ACC down several times, several boards over the years. Maybe I'll do it again someday. Right now I am working on my Dad's WWII memoirs for the family.
I assure you that I also respect your posts. The fact that we do not agree on all things, why should we? It would get pretty damn boring if everyone had the same viewpoint all the time. Sort of like being a Clempson fan who does not recognize reality if it were to hit them over the head.
12-29-2012 01:09 AMpantera17No prob man. I've never been real impressed with shaw. But heck, he does win. I think DT is a better passer. But it's possible he could lose a game or two with the risk he takes. I hope he plays a lot in the bowl game. But I don't feel like he will. :(
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