ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced Wednesday that the 2009 ACC Championships will be held at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in downtown Durham from May 20-24.
It will be the fourth time the 10,000-seat stadium will host the event—DBAP also hosted the ACCs in 1996, 1998 and 1999—and the sixth time the tournament will be held in Durham. The tournament was originally slated to be held in Fenway Park, but an in-house scheduling error pushed its hosting back to 2010.
“We are very excited to reach an agreement with the Durham Bulls Athletic Park to be the host site for the 2009 ACC Baseball Championship,” Swofford said in a release. “We feel fortunate to know that our teams will compete for an ACC Title in a top-rate stadium that is regarded as one of the best in all of minor league baseball.”
In semi-related news, the Bulls play for the Governor’s Cup, the International League Championship, against the Scranton W-B Yankees starting this Thursday at home. First pitch at 7:05.
Finally, by the grace of youtube, the video of the skydivers who were hired to bring the game ball to Kenan Memorial Stadium for UNC’s home opener Saturday but missed their target by a couple miles and ended up in Wallace Wade during Duke/JMU warm-ups instead.
In Tuesday’s Chronicle, former sports editor and current columnist Meredith Shiner writes about a message left on her cell phone by one of the nation’s top college football coaches. She defends Spurrier’s annual top-25 vote for Duke and laments the decision rendered by the American Football Coaches Association to prevent him from casting one this year.
The following is the audio of the message, in its entirety. Enjoy:
In an interview with The Chronicle today, sophomores Nolan Smith and Kyle Singler revealed that the entire team got together early Sunday morning to watch the USA take on Spain for the gold medal with a fully catered hot breakfast from Mad Hatters at 2:30 a.m. I’m pretty sure there isn’t another student group on campus that would get that sort of royal food treatment. The highlight of the after-hours feast, they say? French toast.
With Coach K scheduled to arrive at RDU this evening around 5 p.m., the team will be meeting him at his home later tonight to welcome him back to Durham.
USA Basketball assistant head coach Jim Boeheim has been blogging from Beijing for the Syracuse Post-Standard. The coach offers some insight into what has been happening in terms of the game–he says the coaching staff stayed up until 2:30 a.m. after a tight 87-76 bout with Australia and that the team’s struggles were not a result of complacency, but rather execution. The gems of the entry, though, come from Boeheim’s off-the-court accounts, like how the Chinese have been shutting down roads for the team when they travel. The Syracuse coach also shares his shock at how good Chinese food is in China (“It’s not like a P.F. Changs; it was more, you know, Chinese!”) and demonstrates how open NBA star players are to new cultures (They’ve been eating every night at California Pizza Kitchen and Tony Roma’s sans coaches). Also, you apparently can get great deals on Odyssey putters and dress shirts, so I highly suggest booking your flights to China soon, before they’re all gone.
Duke’s Department of Athletics announced Friday that it has commissioned video display manufacturer Daktronics to design and install a new center-hung scoreboard for one of the most famous college gymnasiums in the country. The 14-feet wide, 15-feet tall system will include new LED screens capable of flashing statistics and instant replays. The project is expected to be complete by the beginning of the 2008-2009 season.
The Chronicle of Higher Education posted this report today, dated for its August issue, which highlights the skyrocketing costs incurred by athletic departments across the country to attract the nation’s top talent. The article, entitled “Have Money, Will Travel: the Quest for Top Athletes” cites that Duke’s recruiting budget of $1,245,300 has grown a staggering 229% since 1997, which is the fourth highest jump in spending among the 65 BCS schools over that time frame. In case you’re interested, Tennessee has the largest annual recruiting budget, spending $2,005,700, and the University of Maryland has had the highest spending jump over the past 10 years, increasing its budget by 277%. The ACC ranked third among the BCS conferences in spending, with the SEC blazing the money…er…recruiting trail.