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ACC BasketballThe Story of the Rivalries, Traditions, and Scandals of the First Two Decades of the Atlantic Coast Conference$

J. Samuel Walker

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807835036

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807869123_walker

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The Founding of the ACC

The Founding of the ACC

Chapter:
(p.30) 2 The Founding of the ACC
Source:
ACC Basketball
Author(s):

J. Samuel Walker

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807869123_walker.6

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses point shaving in college basketball and the violations of academic standards by football coaches at the College of William and Mary. These were sources of immense concern to presidents of the members of the Southern Conference. Soon after the William and Mary scandal became public knowledge, they held a meeting to consider actions to maintain a healthy balance between academic and athletic goals. The presidents agreed on several measures that they hoped would prevent overemphasis on sports, the most visible and controversial of which was to prohibit participation by Southern Conference football teams in bowl games. This recommendation, which was later formally adopted as conference policy, aroused the opposition of a few members. Led by the University of Maryland's Harry C. “Curley” Byrd, the dissenters began to weigh the possibility of abandoning the Southern Conference and establishing a new league.

Keywords:   point shaving, college basketball, academic standards, football coaches, College of William and Mary

The disclosures of point shaving in college basketball and the violations of academic standards by football coaches at the College of William and Mary were sources of immense concern to presidents of the members of the Southern Conference. Soon after the William and Mary scandal became public knowledge, they held a meeting to consider actions to maintain a healthy balance between academic and athletic goals. The presidents agreed on several measures that they hoped would prevent overemphasis on sports, the most visible and controversial of which was to prohibit participation by Southern Conference football teams in bowl games. This recommendation, which was later formally adopted as conference policy, aroused the opposition of a few members. Led by the University of Mary-land's Harry C. “Curley” Byrd, the dissenters began to weigh the possibility of abandoning the Southern Conference and establishing a new league. (p.31) At the same time, some presidents of Southern Conference schools who strongly supported the ban on playing in bowls increasingly looked with favor on the idea of forming a new conference as a means of asserting better control of athletic programs. Their most prominent spokesman was Gordon Gray, president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina. Between fall 1951 and spring 1953, proposals to organize a new conference gathered momentum. Officials who held differing and sometimes contradictory motives for taking this step operated on separate but parallel tracks. The eventual result was the creation of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“A Man Truly to Be Pitied”

In the aftermath of the highly publicized discrepancies between academic integrity and the practices of football coaches at William and Mary, a disinterested but well-informed observer provided his thoughts on the difficulties that faced college presidents in dealing with athletic issues. Charles J. Smith, former president of Roanoke College in Virginia, published an article in the Roanoke Times that described “an undeclared war between college football and college faculties.” One side was made up of “students, alumni, coaches, sportswriters, the smokeshop boys, many boards of trustees, and most powerful of all, the millions of dollars taken in at the gate.” On the other side, “the poor little college professor stands almost alone.” Smith detailed the plight of the professor. “He has spent long years preparing to teach. He has great respect for the dignity of his calling, and he thinks of a college as being primarily interested in intellectual, spiritual, and moral values. He resents its being turned into a football factory.”

Smith then explained the dilemma that faced administrators who tried to arbitrate the conflict. The college president was, he wrote, “a man truly to be pitied.” In Smiths view, the “cards are stacked against him. … If he sides with the professors he sacrifices his job. If he lines up with the football crowd he sacrifices his integrity.” Smith had no easy solutions to offer. He suggested that pleas for “de-emphasis” of athletics were unlikely to succeed because, like disarmament agreements, such a process required the cooperation of all parties and “constant inspection.” Nevertheless, he argued that football and faculty interests could achieve a “long peace” if presidents and boards of trustees would take corrective action against the “more glaring evils” of the system. He added that this would call for “integrity and courage” that authorities had “so generally lacked in the past.”1 Smiths comments on academic-athletic tensions were an apt summary (p.32) of the predicament that confronted Southern Conference presidents in the fall of 1951. They sought ways to avoid overemphasis on winning and the attendant risks of suffering the problems that had afflicted William and Mary. At the same time, they did not want to surrender the benefits of their athletic programs. The members of the Southern Conference at that time were: The Citadel (Charleston, South Carolina), Clemson, Davidson College (Davidson, North Carolina), Duke, Furman University (Greenville, South Carolina), George Washington University (Washington, D.C.), Maryland, North Carolina, North Carolina State, the University of Richmond (Richmond, Virginia), South Carolina, Virginia Military Institute (Lexington, Virginia), Virginia Polytechnic Institute (Blacksburg, Virginia), Wake Forest, Washington and Lee University (Lexington, Virginia), the University of West Virginia (Morgantown, West Virginia), and William and Mary.

The Consolidated University of North Carolina

The administrator who took the initiative in spurring the conference's efforts to control but not cripple athletic programs was Gordon Gray. Gray had succeeded Frank Porter Graham as the president of the Consolidated University of North Carolina in 1950. At the age of 41, he had already compiled a remarkable record of achievement. He grew up in wealth and privilege; his father was the president of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company of Winston-Salem. Gray graduated first in his class at Chapel Hill and received a law degree at Yale. He practiced law in New York for a time and then returned to his hometown. He purchased and served as the president of the Piedmont Publishing Company, which owned two newspapers and a radio station in Winston-Salem. In 1938, Gray was elected to the North Carolina Senate. After Pearl Harbor, he refused a commission, enlisted as an infantry private, and rose to the rank of captain. In 1947, President Truman appointed him assistant secretary of the army, and two years later, secretary of the army. When he accepted the post of president of the Consolidated University, he commented, “I have decided to devote the rest of my life to public service, and I would rather do it in North Carolina than anywhere else.”

Despite Gray's talents and dedication, he was not particularly well suited to running a university. He was reserved, formal, and unfamiliar with campus institutions and politics. He did not seem comfortable in dealing with either students or faculty and showed little ability to reach out to (p.33)

The Founding of the ACC

Gordon Gray. (Photo by Hugh Morton, North Carolina Collection, University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill)

either. Gray once commented that his positions as secretary of the army and president of the university were “somewhat alike,” except that in the case of the university, the “faculty had no one below the rank of general.” Nevertheless, he was committed to promoting the interests and the reputations of the three schools that made up the Consolidated University, and he was determined not to allow athletic problems to undermine those priorities. While he sought “to preserve both the integrity of American higher education and the undoubted values of intercollegiate athletics,” he worried that “troubles arise” when “the basic values to be had in team sports … are obscured and forgotten in an overwhelming desire to have winning teams at any cost.”2

The Consolidated University over which Gray presided had been created as an administrative unit in 1931. Each of the three campuses had its own chancellor, and the lines of authority and division of labor between the president and the chancellors were, in many respects, illdefined. Gray tried to clarify one important area of ambiguity in 1954 by making the (p.34) chancellors responsible for managing intercollegiate sports at their own institutions. But, despite his preferences, Gray could not remove himself from athletic issues in the big-time programs at Chapel Hill and State College. “Intercollegiate athletics,” he lamented in December 1954, “is the biggest problem I have.”3

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill prided itself on both its academic distinction and athletic achievements. The governor of North Carolina and several other dignitaries launched America's first state university on January 15, 1795, though the first student did not show up for two weeks and others arrived some time later. It struggled to attract students and pay its bills during most of the nineteenth century and was forced to close for a few years during Reconstruction. By the early part of the twentieth century however, the university had grown in enrollment and gained national stature. One indication of its elevated academic standing was that it was awarded a chapter of the renowned honor society Phi Beta Kappa in 1904. In 1922, it joined the University of Virginia as the only members from the South of the selective Association of American Universities, which sought to promote the interests of research universities in the United States. By midcentury, UNC-Chapel Hill had expanded its programs, developed prestigious professional schools, hired eminent professors, and further enhanced its reputation. Students, faculty, and alumni, in addition to their appreciation of the university's growing academic prominence, were shamelessly and justifiably boastful about the exceptional beauty of its campus.

Athletic programs were an important part of student life at, and alumni support for, the University of North Carolina. It enjoyed considerable, though uneven, success in football, by far the most popular sport. The glory years of North Carolina football came between 1946 and 1949 when Charlie “Choo Choo” Justice led the team to two Southern Conference championships and appearances in three bowl games. The university was even more successful in basketball. It won eight conference championships, and in 1946, coach Ben Carnevale led UNC to the final game of the NCAA tournament, which it lost to Oklahoma A&M by the score of 46-43. When Carnevale departed to take the head coaching job at the U.S. Naval Academy, Tom Scott took over. He continued the winning tradition at first, but resigned in 1952 after two consecutive losing seasons. By that time, fans and supporters were grumbling about the decline of North Carolina basketball, which was all the more galling because of fifteen straight losses to their much-disdained partner in the Consolidated University, North Carolina State.4

(p.35) State College was established by the North Carolina legislature in 1887 as the “farmers' college” of the state. Its original name was the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts. It soon adopted a series of requirements that followed patterns of military schools. Students wore uniforms, marched to chapel and the dining hall, and received demerits for misconduct. As the culture and the academic focus of the college evolved, it deemphasized military conventions and changed its name to the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Engineering in 1917. During the 1920s, it expanded what became highly respected courses of study in textiles and forestry, upgraded its engineering programs, created a school of education, placed greater emphasis on research by faculty, and admitted women. The curriculum at State College remained largely oriented toward its specialties in agriculture and engineering, and in those fields it gradually strengthened its academic reputation. It did not begin to award degrees in the liberal arts until the 1960s.

Although UNC-Chapel Hill and State College were parts of the same institution under a single president after 1931, their relationship was often strained and sometimes hostile. A certain amount of ill will was inevitable. Chapel Hill had long tradition, academic prestige, and a leafy campus in a bucolic setting. Even its name sounded romantic. State College was a newer “cow college” that was still seeking to establish its academic reputation when consolidation took place. It was built in the heart of Raleigh and was physically divided by mainline railroad tracks that ran through the middle of campus. Officials at State believed that Consolidated University decisions on the allocation of resources too often favored UNC. They were keenly aware that the president's office was located on the Chapel Hill campus and that the first president of the system, Frank Porter Graham, had headed UNC. The resentment that many State College administrators, faculty members, and students felt toward Chapel Hill extended to athletic competition. In 1958, after NC State was placed on NCAA probation for recruiting violations, Athletic Director Roy B. Clogston complained: “Some of our people have a strong feeling that UNC can and has done some very questionable things as far as ethics is concerned and always seem[s] to get away with it. On the other hand we feel that we always get short changed.”5

State College football and basketball teams achieved only occasional success against North Carolina and other Southern Conference opponents during the 1920s and 1930s. In football, it won the Southern Conference championship in 1927, but generally fared poorly. It had only five winning seasons between 1924 and 1944, and its record against North Carolina was (p.36) 3 victories, 15 losses, and 2 ties. State College did better in basketball. It won the Southern Conference in 1929, and it compiled a winning record 15 times between 1922 and 1946. However, it won just 10 games against North Carolina while dropping 43 during that period. Between 1940 and 1946, it had only one winning season, and the program appeared to be heading in the wrong direction. NC State turned its basketball fortunes around when it hired Everett Case as coach in 1946.6

The Southern Conference and the Problem of Overemphasis

On September 28, 1951, the presidents of the schools that were members of the Southern Conference or their representatives gathered in Chapel Hill to discuss athletic issues. The meeting was arranged by Gordon Gray. This was not the first such conference; Gray had presided over a similar convocation the previous March “to demonstrate the interest and responsibilities of the presidents of the member institutions in all athletic matters.” The September meeting had been scheduled far in advance, but by the time the presidents arrived in Chapel Hill, the football scandals at West Point and William and Mary had drawn national attention. In welcoming his colleagues, Gray emphasized that “this group was considering problems concerning athletics prior to the scandals” and that “this particular meeting was not called to act as a fire alarm squadron.” Nevertheless, the shadow of the point-shaving debacle and, perhaps more ominously, the misconduct of football coaches at one of their own members loomed large among the attendees. Lee W. Milford, the chairman of the faculty Athletic Council at Clemson, asserted that “the basketball bribery which took place at Madison Square Garden in New York has caused a general feeling of fear on the part of several college presidents in the Southern Conference.”7

Acting out of a combination of long-standing concerns, as Gray insisted, and recently triggered fears, as Milford suggested, the Southern Conference presidents recommended a series of measures to combat the ills of overemphasis on athletics in their institutions. Among other things, they agreed to limit or eliminate out-of-season practices, to ban freshmen from participating in varsity sports, and to establish uniform admissions standards for athletes. Their most audacious decision was to prohibit Southern Conference football teams from playing in bowl games as of January 1, 1952. This proposal was overwhelmingly approved by a vote of 13-1 with 3 abstentions and would apply to the season that was already under way. Those recommendations were not binding until they were formally approved by (p.37) conference representatives at their regular meeting in December 1951. But there was little doubt that the presidents' views would carry a great deal of weight. The actions the presidents took were a clear indication of their distress over the recent scandals in college sports and their determination to place athletic programs in a suitable perspective.8

The proposed ban on participation in bowl games was consistent with the position of Gordon Gray. “Our experience with bowl games has convinced us that they are a non-educational distraction for students, both players and otherwise,” he commented. “As primarily commercial ventures they command much spectator interest but contribute little to the underlying values of intercollegiate athletics.” Many of his colleagues among Southern Conference presidents felt the same way, as their vote at the September 28 meeting demonstrated. A. Hollis Edens, president of Duke, which had a highly successful football program and had played in the Rose Bowl in 1939 and 1942, pointed out that bowl games were “sponsored by promoters, by interests completely divorced from educational institutions.” He believed that the “commercialism of college sport … has made certain phases of college athletics wholly incompatible with the aims of higher education.” Harold W. Tribble, president of Wake Forest, offered similar complaints. He asserted that bowl games “contribute definitely to the trend toward commercialism of college athletics,” and added: “I am in favor of doing everything we can to restore intercollegiate athletics to the status of general student activities.”9

Clemson College and the Bowl Ban

The burden of the prospective Southern Conference policy of barring participation of its members in bowl games fell hardest on Clemson and Mary-land. Both had excellent football teams in the fall of 1951 and hoped to receive invitations to postseason bowls. Clemson College (it became a university in 1964) cast the only vote against the ban at the presidents' meeting on September 28.

Clemson was located on land bequeathed to the state of South Carolina by Thomas G. Clemson, a prosperous mining engineer, diplomat, scientific farmer, and son-in-law of John C. Calhoun. He died in 1888, and his will designated that the school placed on his property should be named the Clemson Agricultural College of South Carolina. Like State College in North Carolina, Clemson specialized in agriculture and engineering and struggled to build an academic reputation. It fared well in competing (p.38) with the University of South Carolina in perennial legislative contests over budget allocations. But in a poor state that habitually underfunded education, Clemson, like other public colleges in South Carolina, did not receive the resources required to establish programs that ranked with the leading academic institutions in the South. From the time that it was founded, Clemson enforced military procedures and discipline. Its all-male student body wore uniforms, received military instruction, marched to classes and meals, and was subject to rigorous rules of conduct. The military aspects of student life at Clemson continued until 1955, when military customs were abolished and replaced by civilian norms. Women were first admitted the same year.10

Intercollegiate sports, especially football, inspired intense pride and fervent loyalty at Clemson. The college began playing football shortly after it opened and quickly achieved success. The team went undefeated in 1900 under the coaching of John W. Heisman, for whom the award for the best player in college football was later named. Clemson's chief rival, in football as in budget battles, was South Carolina, and for many years the annual matchup drew boisterous capacity crowds during Fair Week at the state fairgrounds in Columbia. Frank Howard, who became head coach in 1940, guided Clemson to six bowl games before retiring in 1969. The basketball program generally lacked the fan following or the institutional support that football received, and it had just ten winning seasons between 1922 and 1953. It captured its only Southern Conference championship in 1939, led by its first basketball All-American, Banks McFadden. McFadden, regarded as “Clemson's best athlete ever,” was also the school's first consensus All-American football player in 1939, when he was the star running back on a team that appeared in the Cotton Bowl.11

The president of Clemson in 1951, Robert Franklin Poole, sharply disagreed with his Southern Conference counterparts on the benefits of a ban on bowl appearances. After graduating from Clemson in 1916, Poole had earned a Ph.D. at Rutgers University and pursued a career in plant pathology. He joined the faculty at North Carolina State College in 1926 and stayed until offered the presidency of Clemson in 1940. He joked that when he moved to Clemson from State College, he improved the intellectual quality of both institutions. Poole sought to elevate Clemson's academic reputation by increasing the number of professors with advanced degrees and by encouraging the faculty to conduct original research. Having played end on the football team as an undergraduate, he was a strong supporter of Clemson's athletic programs. He believed that the proposal to prohibit participation (p.39) in bowl games by conference schools was misguided. While he disapproved of “unethical practices and low moral standards” that caused “loss of institutional integrity,” he denied that a bowl ban would solve the problem. On the contrary, he declared that he was “in favor of more bowl games.” Poole argued that in “these uncertain times, we should use good, clean American sports of all kinds as a means of building up the morale of our people.” For those reasons, he had opposed the recommendation on bowl games that the conference presidents adopted at the meeting of September 28, 1951.12

The University of Maryland and the Bowl Ban

Although Maryland had voted “pass” on the bowl game issue at the presidents' meeting, Curley Byrd, like Poole, regarded the ban as unpalatable and unnecessary. As Maryland marched toward an undefeated season and the Southern Conference championship in the fall of 1951, Byrd commented that despite abuses at some schools, “in the great majority of institutions, football is being kept on a safe and sane basis.” He added that “we believe we are doing that here.” Washington Post columnist Shirley Povich reported that if the Southern Conference blocked Maryland's bowl ambitions, Byrd might “give a thought to kissing the conference goodbye.”13

If Byrd believed that football was administered on a “safe and sane basis” at Maryland, others were doubtful. The university made great strides after he became president in 1936, but by the early 1950s it had gained a reputation as a “football factory.” When Byrd took over the presidency, the University of Maryland was a modest-sized, underfunded, and undistinguished institution. He set out to elevate its stature and heighten its visibility. He applied his formidable powers of persuasion to win unprecedented levels of support from the state legislature. He also secured large amounts of funding from the New Deal programs of the federal government for campus buildings and professional schools. Between 1935 and 1954, the enrollment at Maryland rose from 3,400 to more than 15,000, its annual budget increased from about S3 million to more than $20 million, and the value of the physical plant surged from $5 million to $65 million.

Byrd's manner and appearance exuded self-confidence, warmth, and glamour, and he charmed legislators, corporate donors, alumni, and students. But neither his personality nor his achievements impressed most members of the University of Maryland's faculty. Byrd, who was a dominant presence in almost any social or political setting, was seldom if (p.40) ever comfortable in dealing with his own faculty. He had, at best, a limited understanding of faculty concerns or the importance of research and scholarship as a path to prestige for the university. He held honorary doctorates from Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and Western Maryland College, and he used the title of “Dr. Byrd” in his formal communications. But he showed little respect for Maryland professors and tended to regard them as “hired hands.” Faculty members resented low salaries, heavy teaching loads, and the lack of appreciation for scholarly activities. They were also deeply offended by Byrd's dictatorial style. “Regarding salary and promotion increases,” he once commented, “I do not usually consult with department heads at all.” There were no clear guidelines for tenure, no faculty organization, and no general faculty meetings. In 1948, Phi Beta Kappa denied membership to Maryland in significant part because of Byrd's “autocratic powers” and the fact that the faculty “does not function at all as an academic body.”14

By the end of World War II, Byrd had decided to promote the name of the university by making it a national football power. “We want the biggest and best of everything,” he declared, “including our football team.” In his first decade as president, Byrd had maintained his interest in the football team but had not placed great emphasis on its performance. Mary-land achieved only moderate success and did not consistently rank among the best teams in the Southern Conference. In 1944, it won only a single game. In 1945, Byrd hired a young coach named Paul “Bear” Bryant on the recommendation of George Preston Marshall, the owner of the Washington Redskins. In his first and only season, Bryant led Maryland to a 6-2-1 record. But the euphoria ran out when Bryant discovered that Byrd, without his knowledge, had fired one of his assistants and given a player a second chance after the coach dismissed him from the team. Bryant promptly departed College Park to take the coaching job at the University of Kentucky.15

After a losing season in 1946, Byrd hired Jim Tatum, head coach at the University of Oklahoma, who fulfilled his ambitions for gridiron excellence. Maryland appeared in the Gator Bowl in 1947 and 1949 and had an even stronger team in 1951. While the top priority for Byrd and Tatum, who also served as athletic director, clearly was football, they also sought to improve Maryland basketball, which had recently suffered through a series of dismal seasons. In 1950, they brought in Herman A. “Bud” Millikan as head coach, and he immediately made Maryland a strong competitor in the Southern Conference.

(p.41)

The Founding of the ACC

Curley Byrd (left), Jim Tatum, and members of the University of Maryland football team, 1951. (Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries)

Although Byrd was gratified by Maryland's rapid and widely noted progress in its athletic programs, he was distressed by criticism that the university overemphasized football. The charges arose in part from the high percentage of available scholarships that went to football players and other benefits for athletes. But they focused on the university's heavy expenditures on sports while glaring academic needs were not addressed. In 1951, the university opened its new million-dollar football stadium, which was, appropriately enough, named for Byrd. A short time later it began work on a new indoor coliseum that would be the second largest arena in the East, after Madison Square Garden. The projected price of this building was $2.7 million. Byrd's desire for “the biggest and best of everything” did not extend to the school's library, which the student newspaper described in 1954 as not “even reasonably close to being adequate.” It had only limited seating for students and its collections were woefully sparse. Byrd adamantly denied that his “only concern” was “producing a winning football team” and (p.42) asserted that “educational authorities almost everywhere have looked upon the progress of the University of Maryland in the last few years as one of the outstanding developments in American education.” It appeared to a growing body of observers, however, that the balance of athletic and academic goals had shifted to an overemphasis on football in the late 1940s.16

In light of the strong connection that Byrd saw between the fortunes of the Maryland football team and the reputation of the university, his opposition to the recommendation of Southern Conference presidents to ban participation in bowl games was predictable. By the time that the conference held its regular annual meeting on December 14-15, 1951, both Mary-land and Clemson had accepted invitations to bowl games. In defiance of the proposals the presidents had adopted in September, Maryland agreed to play in the Sugar Bowl and Clemson in the Gator Bowl on New Year's Day, 1952. At the December meeting, Byrd asked the conference representatives to approve Maryland's bowl appearance. He affirmed that he supported actions that could discourage athletic abuses at conference schools, including higher standards of eligibility and tougher recruiting restrictions. But he argued that the ban on bowls was not an effective means of “eliminating evils.” After listening to his appeal, the conference rejected it by a vote of 14-3. Then, by a margin of 12-5, the delegates placed both Maryland and Clemson on probation for one year, which meant that they could not play any conference member in football, except one another, during the 1952 season. Gordon Gray suggested that the penalty was necessary “for the integrity of the Conference in the eyes not only of the sports world but of the educational world as well.”17

The University of South Carolina and the Formation of a New Conference

After Maryland's victory over top-ranked Tennessee in the Sugar Bowl, Byrd remained disgruntled with the actions of the Southern Conference. “Confidentially, I met with the Presidents and they were perfectly frank in saying that they had to do something to save face,” he told Southeastern Conference commissioner Bernie Moore. Byrd's annoyance quickened his interest in forming a new conference. This was not a new idea; in June 1951, he had advised Gray that “we should have a more closely knit organization … in which there would only be institutions of similar resources and interests.” The bowl ban and probation, however, seemed to spur his determination to investigate the advantages of abandoning the Southern Conference. (p.43) In May 1952, he invited the presidents of North Carolina, Duke, South Carolina, Clemson, and the University of Virginia, which was not a conference member, to a dinner to discuss “our specific future in intercollegiate athletics.” He did not explicitly mention the option of establishing a new league, but he raised the possibility of making “a far reaching decision.” He acknowledged that “it may be that it would seem more advantageous to continue our present status,” but he clearly was trying to gain support for a change. There is no indication that Byrd's dinner ever took place.18

Clemson, which was equally displeased with the penalties imposed by the Southern Conference, shared his views on the need for change. Athletic council chairman Milford found it “really pathetic to see some of the weak, young presidents who had gotten caught in the North Carolina-Duke web.” President Poole believed that the presidents were “on a limb for having ignored lack of morals and unethical practices in some of the conference schools.” He told Byrd that “more and more it seems to me one of the ways to correct the thinking in the Southern Conference is to match teams on the basis of their ability to play relatively equal teams under the same conditions.”19

Another conference member that lined up with Maryland and Clemson was the University of South Carolina. At the December 1951 meeting, it was the only school to join them in voting to approve Byrd's request for permission to play in the Sugar Bowl. South Carolina's position on the bowl ban reflected is disaffection with the Southern Conference. Rex Enright, the university's football coach and athletic director, played a leading role in pressing for the formation of a new league. During an NCAA meeting in January 1952, he met informally with a few other athletic directors to discuss the difficulties in scheduling that were inherent in the makeup of the Southern Conference. Among the other attendees at the meeting, which was neither officially authorized nor publicized, were Jim Tatum, Eddie Cameron of Duke, and Chuck Erickson of North Carolina. All were former football players and were either coaching football at the time or had done so in the past. It is likely that they stood together in opposing the conference's policy on bowl games. In any event, they informally agreed at their meeting to approach the presidents of their universities about establishing a new conference.

The fundamental problem with competition in the Southern Conference was the large number of schools and their differences in size. The larger members of the conference were reluctant to play the schools with small student bodies and limited seating in their stadiums. And with 17 colleges (p.44) in the conference, it was impossible to play every other member in a season. In 1950, Washington and Lee won the conference title with a 6-0 record and received an invitation to the Gator Bowl. But its schedule did not include Clemson, which had a 3-0 record in conference play, or any of the other larger schools in the conference. The same kind of issue arose in basketball. The conference champion was decided in a postseason tournament, but only eight teams qualified. For those reasons, the athletic directors of the big-time athletic schools who met in January 1952 supported the creation of a conference with fewer members and greater uniformity in size and resources. Their top priority was to improve the level of competition and the financial well-being of their football programs. The accord among the athletic directors of several schools was an important step in that direction. But they recognized that the departure from the Southern Conference they advocated would not take place without the approval of the presidents of the prospective members of a new league. The ban on bowls was critical in persuading Presidents Byrd and Poole that the time had come to form a new conference.20

The leadership of the University of South Carolina (USC) gradually moved toward the same conclusion. Although the university had voted against placing Maryland and Clemson on probation in December 1951, the school's president, Norman M. Smith, told Byrd the following month that “bowl games are a growing abuse.” The ineffective Smith was a lame duck by that time, and his successor, Donald S. Russell, took a more favorable view of the role of athletic programs in gaining recognition for the university. He assured Byrd in November 1952 that South Carolina “will be happy to support a modification of the rule … banning participation in bowl games.” Russell was a highly popular choice to replace Smith and to deal with a series of severe problems the university was facing. He was a close friend and former law partner of South Carolina governor James F. Byrnes. When Russell took over as president of South Carolina in September 1952, he vowed to make it a “great university” that would soon be “as good as” the University of North Carolina.21

The University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 under the name of South Carolina College, and for the first six decades of its existence it achieved distinction as one of the leading institutions of higher learning in the South. The Civil War was a devastating blow to the college. It closed for a time and after it reopened it sought in vain to recover its previous status. It made out poorly in competing with Clemson and other state colleges for the limited funds that the legislature provided. By the time that the United (p.45) States entered World War II, historian Henry H. Lesesne has written, USC “was a racially segregated, small, sleepy southern college” that “ranked well behind the leading public universities in other southeastern states.” Conditions became even worse after the war ended. Even as enrollment boomed, the state reduced the university's appropriations, which placed it in dire financial straits. In the late 1940s, USC was threatened with a loss of accreditation because of the meagerness of the state's support and the weakness of its libraries and graduate programs. Faculty salaries were the lowest among southern state universities, and in 1948-49, only 19 percent of the faculty held Ph.D.s.22

South Carolina's athletics, underwritten by private funding from boosters, were well-off compared to academic programs. But the university failed to win any Southern Conference championships in football and only one in basketball (in 1933). Its performance in those sports was respectable, though hardly dominant, in the immediate postwar period. Enright led the football team to winning seasons in 1946,1947, and 1951. Under the guidance of Frank Johnson, the basketball team was competitive and compiled winning records in five years between 1946 and 1953. When Donald Russell assumed the presidency of USC in 1952, he took important measures to improve academic quality, upgrade the faculty, and elevate the university's reputation. As a part of his campaign to make South Carolina a “great university,” he favored, in Lesesne's words “a successful, well-rounded athletic program that was fully integrated into campus life.” Russell held Rex Enright in high regard, and he apparently endorsed the athletic director's views on abandoning the Southern Conference and organizing a new league.23

By some point in 1952, then, the presidents of three Southern Conference schools—Maryland, Clemson, and South Carolina—had concluded, along with a group of athletic directors, that they should establish a new conference. Their position was based largely on their opposition to the ban on participation in bowls and their judgment that a league of like-minded schools with similar resources would be beneficial to their football programs. It remained unclear, however, whether other conference members who fit that category and whose presidents were far less interested in football would support the same objective.

The Big Four and the Formation of a New Conference

Once a football faction that included several presidents and athletic directors decided to work for the formation of a new conference, the success of (p.46) their campaign depended on the support of the “Big Four” in North Carolina. The schools that made up the Big Four—UNC, State College, Duke, and Wake Forest—were located within a 30-mile radius of Raleigh. The title of “Big Four” seems to have been a journalistic invention that had caught on in the local area. It had nothing to do with the size of the schools in the early 1950s; UNC was the biggest of the Big Four with about 7,500 students, State College and Duke were relatively large with about 5,000 students, and Wake Forest was by far the smallest with about 2,200 students. But the name was a convenient short-hand for the keen and tenacious nature of their rivalry.24

The presidents of the Big Four schools regarded sports as a legitimate and, if well-controlled, beneficial part of their educational mission. “Bigtime football,” Gordon Gray wrote in January 1952, “keeps the persons, the appearance, and the general nature of the institution before a large section of the public and gives a wholesome emotional catharsis to the students themselves.” His counterparts at Duke, Hollis Edens, and at Wake Forest, Harold Tribble, took the same position. But they also were deeply concerned about the abuses that arose from an overemphasis on winning, and they found that athletic issues too often detracted from matters of greater importance in academic institutions. On balance, they seemed to regard sports as a necessary and frequently annoying nuisance, and they worried that the Southern Conference and some of its members were not adequately governing athletic programs. “We believe that a sane program of intercollegiate athletics is a constructive influence in the life of a college or university,” Edens commented. “It becomes our duty to make every effort to preserve that which is good.” But, he added, “we are administering to a sick patient.”25

Gray, Edens, and Tribble gradually came to regard withdrawing from the Southern Conference and forming a smaller, more manageable league as the best way to deal with a “sick patient.” They were not sympathetic to the motives that drove the football faction to the same conclusion, and indeed, do not appear to have known about the secession efforts of their counterparts in other conference schools at the time. They determined that a new conference would advance their goals of asserting control over athletics and avoiding overemphasis on winning. Gray told a friend in September 1952 that unless the Southern Conference “mends its ways we will pull out.” He was particularly unhappy that the conference had not banned freshman participation in varsity sports, but he was concerned about other issues as well. Gray's position represented a separate, parallel track toward (p.47) a new conference from that followed by Byrd and his supporters. One track focused on football ambitions while the other emphasized the primacy of academic goals. Gray worked with Tribble and more closely with Edens to carry out their vision of balance and discipline in athletic programs through the formation of a new conference.26

Edens had become president of Duke University in 1949. He had spent almost his entire career in college administration, first at Emory University, his alma mater, and then as the vice-chancellor of the University System of Georgia. He had recently accepted a job as associate director of the Rockefeller Foundation's General Education Board when the Duke trustees elected him the third president of their institution. Edens delayed taking over at Duke until he completed the requirements for a Ph.D. by writing his dissertation in political science at Harvard. During his rapid rise through the ranks of college administration he had earned a reputation as a personable, talented, and ambitious leader, though his limited scholarly credentials were a concern to the Duke faculty.

At the time that Edens arrived, Duke was a well-regarded private university that aspired to join the top echelons of American higher education. Duke had been established as a result of the vision and wealth of James Buchanan “Buck” Duke. He had made his fortune in the tobacco and electrical power industries, and in 1924, he set up the Duke Endowment to provide support to the Methodist Church in North Carolina, hospitals and orphanages for black and white citizens in North and South Carolina, and educational institutions. In addition, 32 percent of the endowment was designated to create a new university that was named for his family. Duke University was built as an elaborate and carefully planned extension of Trinity College in Durham, to which the Duke family had offered generous financial assistance for years. J. B. Duke wanted the faculty of the new university to “insure its attaining and maintaining a place of real leadership in the educational world.”

Duke University gradually carried out the wishes of its founder. It expanded its academic programs, recruited faculty, and established graduate and professional schools. In 1938, it was admitted, with effective support from the University of North Carolina, to the Association of American Universities, a key indication of its growing stature as a research university. Although in its early years it suffered from a reputation as a refuge for, in Time magazine's phrase, “wellheeled Joe Colleges,” it became increasingly selective in its admission policies. By 1949, Duke had the 14th largest university library in the country, the second largest university hospital in (p.48) the South, and a strong academic reputation. Edens was committed to further improving Duke's academic standing and its contributions to southern society.27

From the time that Duke was founded, athletics were an important part of campus life. The school's first president, William P. Few, commented in 1939 that sports “contribute greatly to the physical well-being and pleasure of the students” and had been “conducted in full cooperation with the University's educational purposes.” The football team played in a 35,000-seat stadium built along with other new campus structures, and after Duke lured an outstanding coach, Wallace Wade, from the University of Alabama, it became a leading power in the Southern Conference. It won six conference titles under Wade and played twice in the Rose Bowl. The 1942 Rose Bowl was played before a throng of 56,000 in Durham after the seating capacity of the stadium was temporarily expanded. The game took place outside Pasadena, California, for the only time in its history because of a prohibition on large public events on the west coast in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. When Wade joined the military, he was replaced for the duration of the war by assistant coach Eddie Cameron, who led the team to three conference championships and Duke's first bowl game victory in the 1945 Sugar Bowl.

Before taking over for Wade, Cameron had coached Duke's basketball team to Southern Conference championships in 1938, 1941, and 1942, and a record of 226-99 between 1929 and 1942. During that time, he extended Duke's recruiting, scheduling, and renown well beyond North Carolina. He was also instrumental in the construction of Duke Indoor Stadium, which could seat more fans than any basketball arena south of Philadelphia. The initial funds for the facility came from Duke's participation in the 1939 Rose Bowl. When the arena opened on January 6,1940, a crowd of about 8,000, the largest attendance ever for a basketball game in the South, turned out to watch Duke defeat Princeton. Shortly after Wade returned from the war, Cameron was appointed Duke's athletic director, and he remained at that post until 1972. Duke's sterling performance in football and basketball during the first quarter-century after its founding continued to demonstrate what President Few had called “full cooperation with the University's educational purposes.” In March 1951, the New York Times, in a series of investigative articles on college sports after the point-shaving scandals came to light, concluded that Duke “holds its athletes to high academic standards.” Edens was determined to carry on that tradition. “I would not want the (p.49) alumni,” he once wrote when declining an invitation to an out-of-town Duke football game, “to get the idea that I take the game as seriously as they do.”28

Harold Tribble, the president of Wake Forest College (it became a university in 1967), agreed with Gray and Edens on the desirability of sponsoring competitive athletic programs without overemphasizing them. The problems he faced in achieving that goal were in many ways more difficult than those of administrators at UNC, State College, and Duke. The school that became Wake Forest was established in 1834 by the North Carolina Baptist Convention to train ministers. It was located in Wake County a few miles north of Raleigh in an area known as the Forest of Wake. The town of Wake Forest gradually developed around the college to provide homes, dining services, and entertainment to students and faculty. Both the college and the town remained small; the enrollment at the school in 1919 was 534 and in 1943 it was 458. The Baptist Convention exercised great influence over the governance and the culture of Wake Forest College. It required all students to participate in chapel services every day for many years, though by the 1940s, the rule for compulsory attendance had been reduced to three days a week. In 1937, the Convention prohibited dancing on campus on the grounds that it was “demoralizing and … tends toward immorality” Women were first admitted as students to Wake Forest in 1942, in part to maintain the college's enrollment with so many men serving in the military.29

Wake Forest's faculty focused on teaching rather than on research and publication. The college was proud of the rigor of its academic programs, but it did not rank with Duke and North Carolina among the prestigious institutions of higher learning in the South. Wake had only a small endowment and faced chronic financial uncertainties. In 1946, it received an irresistible offer that eventually brought about profound changes for the small college and the town that supported it. The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, named for the son of the founder of the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, pledged an annual contribution of $350,000 in perpetuity to the college if it would move 110 miles west to Winston-Salem, the second largest city in North Carolina. The gift caused both excitement over the improvements it would make possible and consternation over the prospect of leaving the town of Wake Forest. After much deliberation, the trustees of the college and the Baptist Convention decided to accept the grant and make the move. The first task was to raise a great deal of money for the costs of relocation (p.50) and the construction of a new campus. The Reynolds family provided indispensable support for those efforts with additional funds and with the donation of a 300-acre tract of prime land for the new campus.

The burden of fund-raising and of dealing with the myriad problems that the move to Winston-Salem created fell on Harold Tribble. Tribble was serving as president of the Andover-Newton Theological School in Massachusetts when he was elected as president of Wake Forest by the Board of Trustees in May 1950. He was an ordained Baptist minister who held a doctorate in theology and had published three books on Christian doctrine. When Tribble interviewed for the Wake presidency, he announced that he was impressed with the “vital religious atmosphere” at the school and that he was “enthusiastic about Wake Forest.” In light of the daunting challenges he faced, he needed all the enthusiasm he could muster. The board's first choice for president had turned down the job in part because he doubted that Wake could raise the money it needed to move to Winston-Salem and build a new campus.

Tribble took on the task with dedication and skill. The upheaval and uncertainties that the change of location caused for students, faculty, and residents of the town of Wake Forest required both tact and toughness. Tribble earned much respect, along with some criticism, for the manner in which he managed the move, and won affection from many for his warmth and kindness. He was very much a hands-on administrator who was interested in every aspect of Wake Forest's educational, religious, and social activities. His goal was to build the college's reputation along with its new campus without sacrificing its traditions. He was ever mindful that the college had been founded and supported for over a century to advance the purposes of the Baptist Convention. In seeking his objectives, he displayed an administrative style that could be “uncompromising and sometimes dictatorial,” in the words of college historian Bynum Shaw. In 1954, for example, he offended Gordon Gray, who had close ties with Winston-Salem and with the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. After a fight broke out during a football game between Wake and North Carolina, Tribble accused UNC of “a very unfortunate display of bad sportsmanship.” Films of the game did not show conclusively who was to blame for starting the brawl, and Gray said only that he was “very sorry it happened.” Even after administrators of both schools met to resolve their differences, Tribble complained to Gray about North Carolina's behavior. He suggested that its representatives had failed to “demonstrate clear moral and ethical discernment and trust-worthiness.”30

(p.51) Tribble believed that athletic programs could contribute to the welfare of Wake Forest College if they did not receive inordinate attention or emphasis. “It is our earnest desire and firm resolve,” he wrote in 1953, “to maintain the high scholastic and moral standards that are essential in a well-balanced program of Christian education and a wholesome program of such activities as athletics, intramural sports, debating, gymnastics, dramatics, glee club, and other phases of school life.” As the smallest and poorest of the Big Four schools, Wake struggled to remain competitive with its local rivals. It was remarkably successful in fielding good teams. After Wake Forest joined the Southern Conference in 1936, football coach Douglas “Peahead” Walker led his teams to a record of 77-51 and two bowl appearances over 14 seasons. He resigned as coach in 1951 after a salary dispute with Tribble, who refused to pay him more than senior faculty members made. Walker's departure caused much dismay among Wake fans, who viewed it as evidence that Tribble was not committed to strong support for athletics. In basketball, coach Murray Greason led Wake to the regular season championship of the Southern Conference in 1938-39. Although the team lost in the conference tournament, which decided the league championship, it received a bid to play in the first NCAA tournament. During World War II, basketball was suspended from 1941 to 1944, and after the war, Greason had to rebuild the program. In 1953, Wake won its only Southern Conference championship by defeating powerful NC State in the tournament finals by the score of 71-70.31

The Creation of the ACC

In the early part of 1953, the idea of forming a new conference picked up momentum. It gained the support of the two groups, representing seven schools, who favored withdrawing from the Southern Conference for quite different reasons. The football faction regarded this step as the best means to achieve their scheduling and bowl objectives. The academic faction viewed a smaller and more cohesive league as the most promising way to gain better control over athletic programs. In a new conference with fewer schools, the Big Four by itself would have enough votes to establish policies on which its members agreed. Gradually, the two separate tracks converged. Gray, who had spearheaded the ban on participation in bowl games, softened his position in late 1952. Although he personally continued to oppose bowl appearances, he was no longer certain that the best policy was a conference ban. He preferred to allow individual schools to make (p.52) their own decisions about playing in bowls. For their part, the football partisans did not dispute the need to enforce academic standards and stricter control of eligibility and recruiting. Byrd had stated this clearly when he appealed to the conference meeting in December 1951 for permission to play in the Sugar Bowl. Eddie Cameron favored a “high academic standing requirement” for athletes and suggested that scholarship awards be limited to those who placed “in the upper three quarters of [their] graduating class.”32 Gray conversed frequently by telephone with Edens about plans for a new conference, and administrators from all of the prospective members presumably contacted one another informally to discuss the topic. The Washington Post reported that UNC athletic director Chuck Erickson “spent several days at College Park going over plans for the secession” with Byrd, though Gray apparently was not aware of the meeting. By early May 1953, the presidents of seven schools—the Big Four plus Maryland, Clemson, and South Carolina—had agreed on establishing the new league, subject to the approval of their governing bodies. Gray told the Committee on Athletic Relationships of the Board of Trustees for the Consolidated University on May 6 about the arrangements and received their tentative endorsement. Curiously, he included the University of Virginia among the prospective members of the conference. There is no evidence that Virginia had been approached about joining, but its academic reputation and priorities fit well with Gray's own goals.33

On May 7, 1953, the eve of the regular meeting of the Southern Conference, representatives from the schools that planned to make up the new league met in Greensboro. Most of those in attendance were athletic directors and faculty chairmen; Tribble was the only president to participate. They agreed, without dissent, on their intention to “separate from the present Southern Conference and form a new working organization.” They proposed that in “view of the increasing problems in intercollegiate athletics … the formation of a smaller conference is desirable.” The seven seceding schools acted out of a coincidence of interests, and that is how Byrd and Gray, who were at the opposite poles of the bowl game debate in 1951, wound up on the same side in working for a new conference. Everyone concurred, with varying levels of enthusiasm, on seeking to maintain a balance between academics and athletics and on allowing individual members of the new league to decide on bowl game appearances. Some unidentified administrators had already contacted Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl officials about the possibility of signing a contract that would extend an automatic invitation to the champion of the new conference.34

(p.53) After the seven colleges agreed among themselves to establish a new conference, they appointed three representatives to advise Max Farrington of George Washington University, president of the Southern Conference, of their action. He accepted their suggestion that at the regular Southern Conference meeting the next day, he would order an executive session that included only official representatives of the 17 schools. On the morning of May 8, 1953, James T. Penney, faculty chairman at the University of South Carolina, informed the executive session that seven members were leaving the conference. He disclosed that this idea had been “under consideration” for some time and that it “was crystallized at a meeting last night.” Penney added that the decision to form a new league “was taken with mixed feel-ings” but with the “belief that this action will be best for all concerned.” The ten remaining members of the Southern Conference were surprised but gracious, and the rest of the day's activities were devoted to working out a series of administrative details to carry out the separation. After the breakup was announced, Dick Herbert, the highly respected sports columnist for the Raleigh News and Observer, commented that although rumors about “a division of the unwieldy Southern Conference” had circulated “for years,” it had occurred with “a minimum of acrimony” and with a “sudden-ness” that was “startling.” When Eddie Cameron was asked if he had expected the new league to emerge from the Southern Conference meeting, he responded, “Frankly, I did not.”35

After determining to depart from the Southern Conference, the members of the new league faced a variety of organizational issues. The first was the selection of a name. Among the possibilities mentioned were Mid-Atlantic, South Atlantic, Seaboard, Dixie, Mid-South, Tobacco, Rebel, and Cotton. When league representatives gathered on June 14, 1953, to take up questions relating to administration and governance, they unanimously adopted the recommendation of the athletic directors that the name be “The Atlantic Coast Conference.”36

The ACC immediately considered questions of greater substance, including the two that had led to the founding of the conference: the balance between academic and athletic programs, and participation by conference schools in bowl games. The new conference approved a set of by-laws on August 7, 1953, that were in large part drawn word-for-word from the by-laws of the Southern Conference. But there were a few significant differences that reflected the priorities of Gray, Edens, and Tribble. The most prominent was that the ACC specifically prohibited freshmen from playing on varsity teams. The failure of the Southern Conference to take this action (p.54) had been a major disappointment for Gray and one of the primary reasons he supported the formation of a new conference. The ACC also added to its by-laws a requirement that athletes must “be enrolled in an academic program leading to a recognized degree, and should be making normal progress, both quantitatively and qualitatively, toward the degree.” Otherwise, the ACC's rules for eligibility and financial assistance for athletes were the same as those of the Southern Conference. Athletes who were awarded scholarships could receive only “actual institutional expenses” plus $15 per month.37

The ACC's regulations were similar in many ways to guidelines that the NCAA had adopted in 1951. But, unlike the NCAA's non-binding recommendations, the ACC's requirements carried sanctions, including the threat that any contest in which an ineligible player participated would be forfeited. ACC members clearly indicated, however, that they would not support academic requirements that they viewed as unreasonably strict. Duke University pushed for acceptance of Cameron's proposal that students who placed in the “lowest quartile” of their high school graduating class could not be granted athletic scholarships or other financial assistance. This motion was defeated by a wide margin on the grounds that the quality of secondary schools varied so much that class rank was not a fair measure of a student's ability. Even UNC and State College voted against Duke on this matter.38

Despite Duke's setback on the class standing issue, Gray and his associates succeeded in achieving the fundamental academic goals they had sought in favoring a new conference. The football faction also won support for its objectives of allowing members to play in bowl games and easing scheduling difficulties. The football scheduling problem was quickly resolved at the June 14 meeting with an agreement that by the 1956 season, ACC members would play at least five other conference schools. The bowl issue was also settled without major contention. In November 1953, the ACC signed a two-year contract to send its best team to the Orange Bowl for a guaranteed payment of at least $110,600. The ACC adopted a policy that allocated 50 percent of the bowl receipts to the participating school and divided the remainder among the other league members and the conference.39

Another important issue that the ACC addressed shortly after its founding was the status of its basketball tournament. Football coaches and their concerns had played a key role in the formation of the conference, but basketball questions were at best secondary considerations. Basketball (p.55) coaches were not deeply involved in the breakup of the Southern Conference and in at least some cases were not even consulted. Maryland's Bud Millikan recalled that the ACC was “originally formed as a football league” and that he had not been asked for his views on the impact it would have on his program. The Southern Conference was the only league in the nation to select its champion in a postseason tournament, and the ACC's policy on this matter was initially unclear.

A few days after the announcement about the creation of the new conference, NC State's Everett Case called for a meeting of basketball coaches. He wanted to revise schedules for the upcoming season to drop games with former Southern Conference rivals that would “not mean a great deal” and to make arrangements that would “maintain interest in our new league.” He was also anxious to achieve a consensus on determining the basketball champion and deciding who would represent the conference in the NCAA tournament. On June 14, 1953, the ACC voted to follow the Southern Conference's example by designating the tournament titlist as the league's NCAA representative. It did not, however, formally declare the team that won the tournament as the “conference champion” until 1961. With a smaller conference, the ACC tournament would include every team, who would be seeded by the regular season standings. The tournament, along with receipts from bowl games, was expected to provide most of the operating expenses for the conference. The most recent Southern Conference basketball tournament had turned a profit of about $53,000, and the old league retained its total assets of about $150,000 after the new conference was formed. The ACC did not begin with a large reserve. Each of the seven charter members paid an initial assessment of $200, and at the conference meeting in December 1953, the league's balance sheets showed that it was $14 in the red.40

The Eighth Member

When plans for the new conference were announced in May 1953, many observers speculated that an eighth member would be added in the near future. At that point, the seven original members had not decided whether to invite another school to join the conference. The principal advantage would be that an eight-team league would make better pairings and presumably generate greater interest in the conference basketball tournament. The three schools that were prominently mentioned as a possible eighth member that would fit the academic and athletic profile of the ACC were (p.56) Virginia, West Virginia, and Virginia Tech. Virginia appeared to have the inside track, and its academic distinction made it especially appealing to North Carolina and Duke. Some members, however, complained that Virginia “had never done anything for the Southern Conference but with-drawn from it.” West Virginia was anxious to join if invited, but it was hampered by the difficulty of traveling to Morgantown. Virginia Tech was a long shot, largely because, as Dick Herbert explained, it “has had trouble for years producing strong football teams.” The charter members were not inclined to expand beyond an eight-team league; one of the main purposes of forming the ACC was to keep it relatively small. At their meeting on June 14, 1953, they agreed to invite Virginia to join the conference. A motion to make the same offer to West Virginia and Virginia Tech failed for lack of a second.41

It was far from certain that Virginia would accept the ACC's invitation. The final decision would be made by its governing body, the Board of Visitors, and its members were sharply divided on whether joining the conference would be beneficial to the university. The University of Virginia, famously, had been founded by Thomas Jefferson, who purchased the land, designed the buildings, and planned the curriculum for his “academical village” in the last years of his life. It was chartered by the Commonwealth of Virginia in 1819 and opened six years later. The stately Rotunda, modeled after the Pantheon in Rome, and the elegant pavilions that flanked the “Lawn” that Jefferson laid out, were the symbol and the pride of the university.

By the time that the university celebrated its centennial, its academic quality did not measure up to the splendor of its architecture. “Entrance requirements at the university in the 1920s were extremely low,” historian Virginius Dabney wrote. “The university had been plagued for many years by the presence of mediocre undergraduates…. Frequently they were flunk-outs from Ivy League colleges or they had been rejected by one or more of those institutions.” The graduate school was lackluster and few of the faculty produced notable publications. The library ranked low among research institutions in numbers of and expenditures on books. Support for the university from the state was limited to “meager allotments,” both in absolute and comparative terms. Presidents of the university worked hard to improve academic programs and to increase state appropriations, with mixed success. During the early years of the twentieth century, Virginia's academics had been strong enough to gain membership in two organizations that were emblems of prestige, Phi Beta Kappa and the Association (p.57) of American Universities. In later years, it still qualified as a leading institution of higher learning in the South, but its performance fell short of its own aspirations and the prerequisites of lofty national stature.42

While Virginia struggled to uphold high academic standards, it remained rich in traditions that had developed over the years. Its student body took enormous pride in an honor system that effectively guarded against cheating and other offenses. The all-male enrollment wore jackets and ties to class and to practically any other school function. Students and alumni had their own vocabulary. The university did not have a campus, it had “the Grounds.” New students were not freshmen but “firstyears,” and so on until they graduated as “fourthyears.” They often referred to their school not as the University of Virginia but as “The University.” Above all, Virginia had a long-standing tradition as a party school of staggering pro-portions. Its reputation for world-class revelry was exaggerated but nevertheless based in fact. “The University has been regarded since the 1920s as a center of hard drinking rather than studying,” Holiday magazine reported in 1961, “a kind of lower-case Ivy League playground for Southern snobs and rich Northern boys who couldn't make the tougher scholastic hurdles at Princeton or Harvard.”43

When Colgate Darden became president of the University of Virginia in 1947, he sought to extend the academic improvements his predecessors had set in motion and to combat the school's image as a “playground” for casual students. The son of working-class parents, Darden had graduated from Virginia in 1922 and gone on to a career in politics. A conservative Democrat, he served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the U.S. House of Representatives and as governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia during World War II. When he took over at the university, he was committed to enlarging its budget and upgrading its programs by using his political skills and experience in dealing with the state legislature. One of his primary goals was to put into effect a policy of admitting fewer students from private preparatory schools and more from public schools in Virginia. During the 1950-51 school year, the university's student body included students from only 54 of 352 high schools in the commonwealth. “I have always felt that Jefferson intended that the University would be the capstone of a great public school system in Virginia,” Darden remarked. He also campaigned to assert more control over fraternities as a way to change the perception of Virginia as a party school.44

Darden's position on athletics reflected the priority he attached to academic issues. Although he had no desire to “downplay” athletics, he wanted (p.58) to avoid placing undue emphasis on them. “As a matter of fact, athletics constitutes one of the lesser problems at this University,” he commented in 1951. “There are many other things that need looking after and need it more than athletics.” Nevertheless, he could not avoid a series of important matters involving athletic policies and programs. One was his opposition to the NCAA's “Sanity Code.” Another was the attitude of the faculty toward the role of sports at the university. In October 1951, a faculty committee complained that Virginia was guilty of overemphasis of athletics. The committee was chaired by Robert K. Gooch, a professor of political science and a star quarterback during his undergraduate days at Virginia. He was also a longtime friend of Darden, with whom he had shared a “great adventure” as volunteer ambulance drivers during World War I. The Gooch committee recommended that Virginia eliminate athletic scholarships and assign control of athletic policies to the faculty, particularly in applying “strict rules of eligibility.” It argued that “the detrimental effects that can come from too much emphasis on athletics in colleges and universities” were evident in the recent scandals at West Point, William and Mary, and elsewhere.

The Gooch panel s proposals won the endorsement of the faculty of the College of Arts and Sciences, but other faculty members were less enthusiastic and alumni supporters of Virginia sports were outraged. Virginia's football teams under Art Guepe compiled a record of 39-15-2 between 1946 and 1951, and its basketball teams had seven consecutive winning seasons between 1944 and 1950. Darden defended the football program by pointing out that the graduation rate for players was only slightly lower than the student body as a whole. But he was sympathetic to the Gooch report's warnings about the dangers of big-time sports.45

Under those conditions, Virginia's acceptance of the invitation to join the ACC was doubtful, and it generated a great deal of debate within the university community. The advisability of joining the new conference was first considered by the Athletic Council, a committee composed of faculty members, alumni, and students that played a key role in determining athletic policies at Virginia. On May 30, 1953, Athletic Director Gus Tebell urged the council to support membership in the ACC. He was concerned that if Virginia remained an independent, it would face unprecedented difficulties in finding opponents to schedule and in raising adequate funding to support its teams. He also suggested that the new conference would “help provide … sane rules which everyone can live up to.” The council was convinced and voted unanimously in favor of membership. At its next meeting on September 25, 1953, the council asked Tebell to list potential (p.59) disadvantages of affiliation with the ACC. In response, he expressed concern that Maryland, Wake Forest, and Duke would be so powerful that they would force Virginia to make changes that were “out of character” or face the likelihood of assuming “a door-mat role.” Tebell also expressed doubt that Virginia had much “in common” with Maryland, NC State, Wake, and Clemson. He feared that some members of the ACC, whom he did not name, would violate the rules of the conference. “They did it in the old Southern,” he remarked, “and they can't be trusted now.” The council deliberated at length over the pros and cons of joining the ACC and then unanimously agreed that, on balance, the advantages of membership outweighed the drawbacks.46

The final decision was in the hands ol the Board of Visitors, and it discussed the issue for about four hours at a meeting on October 9, 1953. Barron F. Black, the rector of the board, asked Tebell about his comment to the Athletic Council that Virginia had little in common with some members of the ACC. Tebell explained that the “feeling against Maryland results from their recent ruthless attitude in building a football team.” But he added that “we play them in all other sports, and relations are good.” He believed that Maryland and Wake, which had a “fine president,” would “fall in line” with conference rules. He confessed that he knew little about Clemson. Darden announced that he opposed joining the ACC, in part because it would separate the university from its traditional rivals in the state of Virginia. He also worried that the ACC's rule for the number of courses an athlete had to pass to be eligible for competition, which was stricter than Virginia's standard, would discourage players from public high schools in the state from enrolling at the university. After several members recited conflicting views, the board concluded that joining the ACC was both necessary to sustain the competitive and financial viability of the athletic program and desirable as a way of balancing the university's athletic and academic commitments. It was a close call; the board decided in favor of affiliating with the ACC by a vote of 6-4. At its meeting on December 4, 1953, the ACC voted unanimously to admit Virginia to the conference. On the same day, it declined to extend invitations for membership to West Virginia and Virginia Tech.47

Commissioner Weaver

After the ACC settled the question of membership, it turned to the important task of appointing a commissioner, who would be the administrative officer of the conference. Duke's Wallace Wade, the commissioner of (p.60) the Southern Conference, also served as the interim commissioner of the ACC while it was getting organized. On May 6-7, 1954, the ACC agreed on a series of duties and powers that it vested in the commissioner. They included routine matters such as preparing an annual budget, purchasing trophies, and selecting game officials. They also included a broad range of responsibilities for interpreting and enforcing conference rules. They were similar to the duties of the commissioner of the Southern Conference, but the ACC granted greater discretion and independent authority to its executive officer. For example, the commissioner could, on his own initiative, investigate possible violations (neither the conference's minutes nor its expectations were gender neutral). If he found that rules had been broken, he could impose fines, reprimands, penalties, and even “order severance of athletic relations with the offending institution subject to action of the Conference.” The Southern Conference had not explicitly provided its commissioner with such sweeping jurisdiction. The ACC, in another departure from its predecessor, also directed the commissioner to “study athletic problems of the Conference, offer advice and assistance in their solution and encourage and promote friendly relations which should exist among the member institutions, their students and alumni.”

At a special meeting on May 28, 1954, the ACC chose James H. Weaver as its commissioner. He had been athletic director at Wake Forest since 1937, and during that time had earned the affection and respect of his colleagues and adversaries in the Southern Conference. Weaver was the son of a Methodist minister and college president, and he grew up in Emory, Virginia. He attended Trinity College in Durham for a time, but an incident in which he and several others provided freshmen with involuntary swimming lessons led to his abrupt departure. He then went to Centenary College in Louisiana, where he played football, basketball, and baseball and was elected vice-president of the student body. After graduating in 1924, Weaver got into coaching and wound up as head football coach at Wake Forest. When Wake joined the Southern Conference, he became its first athletic director. In that capacity, he produced consistently successful teams that at least held their own and often excelled in the Big Four. Weaver was calm, levelheaded, and slow to anger. He clearly displayed his wrath, however, when coaches or administrators took actions that he thought undermined the principles of the conference. “Jim Weaver wanted [the ACC] to be admired for its integrity,” commented Gene Corrigan, who worked for Weaver as assistant commissioner for a time in the 1960s and later became the commissioner of the conference. “The NCAA wasn't a factor then. Conferences took care (p.61)

The Founding of the ACC

Jim Weaver, shown here presenting the ACC Tournament championship trophy to North Carolina State's Dave Gotkin, 1955. (Courtesy The North Carolina State Archives; reprinted by permission of The News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina)

of all penalties. He had a very, very difficult job.” Weaver began his job with the ACC on July 1, 1954; he performed his duties in a suite in the King Cotton Hotel in Greensboro. Until he hired Corrigan in 1967, he and his secretary were the entire administrative staff of the ACC.48

With the appointment of Weaver, the ACC completed its organizational framework. The founding of the conference was a direct result of the severe problems in college sports that emerged with such fanfare in 1951. The point-shaving scandal and the transgressions at William and Mary motivated Southern Conference presidents to take actions that they hoped would prevent similar difficulties in the future. The ban on bowl appearances that they favored, in turn, led Curley Byrd and others to conclude that forming a new league would be the best way to accomplish the goals they sought in their athletic programs, especially football. Meanwhile, Gordon Gray and his allies decided that a new conference was the most likely means to assert the primacy of academic programs and to avoid overemphasis on winning. With the exception of the rule prohibiting freshman participation in varsity sports, the ACC's rules on eligibility and scholarship assistance were (p.62) much the same as those of the Southern Conference. But the size of the new conference and the compatibility of its members were a substantial departure from previous arrangements. Gray and his supporters believed that those attributes would enable better control of conference policies and reduce the risk of athletic infractions that embarrassed member institutions, lhe ACC was established, then, with a commitment to academic integrity that went hand-in-hand with its aspirations for athletic excellence. The dual purposes of encouraging competition between well-matched rivals while also promoting an appropriate balance of academic and athletic programs were the critical considerations that led to its founding. It soon became evident that those goals, however desirable, were not easily achievable. Within two months after its creation, the ACC had to deal with the issue of over-emphasis on winning when allegations of serious violations of NCAA and conference rules by one of its own members came to light.

Notes:

(1) . Roanoke Times, November 28, 1951.

(2) . Gordon Gray to Clarence P. Houston, January 6, 1951, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (NCAA: General), “Statement Made to Herb O'Keef re Athletic Situation,” December 2, 1951, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (General, 1951), Records of the Office of the President: Gordon Gray Files, University Archives, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; James L. Godfrey, “William Brantley Aycock: University Administrator, 1957–1964,” North Carolina Law Review 64 (January 1986): 215–18; Philip M. Stern, The Oppenheimer Case: Security on Trial (New York: Harper and Row, 1969), 258–59; William D. Snider, Light on the Hill: A History of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1992), 238–39; William A. Link, William Friday: Power, Purpose, and American Higher Education (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995), 73–75.

(3) . Gordon Gray to Joe R. Fletcher, December 7, 1954, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (General, 1954–55), Gray Files, University of North Carolina Archives; Link, William Friday, 24–25, 98–99.

(4) . Alwyn Featherston, Tobacco Road: Duke, Carolina, N.C. State, Wake Forest and the History of the Most Intense Backyard Rivalries in Sports (Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press, 2006), 4–17; Adam Powell, University of North Carolina Basketball (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2005), 9–37; Richard Stone, “The Graham Plan of 1935: An Aborted Crusade to De-Emphasize College Athletics,” North Carolina Historical Review 64 (July 1987): 274–93; Snider, Light on the Hill, 3–4, 24–237.

(5) . Roy B. Clogston to James H. Weaver, November 15, 1958, Box 1 (Atlantic Coast Conference), Collection UA 15.007 (Department of Athletics Subject Files), University Archives, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh; Alice Elizabeth Reagan, North Carolina State University: A Narrative History (Raleigh: North Carolina State University Foundation and North Carolina State University Alumni Association, 1987), 18–26, 45–81, 93–96, 160; Furman Bisher, “Each Game He Dies,” Collier's, January 31, 1948, pp. 22–23, 48; Link, William Friday, 24–25; Snider, Light on the Hill, 215–18.

(6) . Bill Beezley, The Wolfpack: Intercollegiate Athletics at North Carolina State University (Raleigh: North Carolina State University, 1976), 117–34, 239, 334–36, 339–41.

(7) . A. Hollis Edens to Gordon Gray, February 15, 1951, Minutes of the Meeting of Presidents, Faculty Chairmen, and Athletic Directors of the Southern Conference Members, March 3, 1951, Box 68 (Southern Conference), A. Hollis Edens Records, University Archives, Duke University, Durham, N.C.; H. C. Byrd to Gordon Gray, June 4, 1951, Minutes of the Meeting of Presidents, Faculty Chairmen, and Athletic Directors of the Southern Conference Members, September 28, 1951, Box 109 (Southern Conference), H. C. Byrd Presidential Records, University Archives, University of Maryland, College Park; Lee W. Milford, “Annual Athletic Report, 1951–1952,” Box 2 (Athletic Council), Records of the Athletic Council, Special Collections, Clemson University, Clemson, S.C.

(8) . Minutes of the Meeting of the Presidents, September 28, 1951, Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Durham Sun, September 28, 1951; Winston-Salem Journal, October 1, 1951.

(9) . Gordon Gray to E. A. Darr, January 15, 1951, “Statement Made to Herb O'Keef,” December 2, 1951, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (General, 1951), Gray Files, University of North Carolina Archives; “Suggested Joint Statement by Southern Conference Presidents,” n.d., Box 68 (Southern Conference), Edens Records, Duke University Archives; Harold W. Tribble to H. C. Byrd, February 5, 1952, John L. Plyler to Byrd, February 18, 1952, Box 109 (Southern Conference Presidents, 1952, Ltrs. re. Bowl Games), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives.

(10) . Wright Bryan, Clemson: An Informal History of the University, 1889–1979 (Columbia, S.C.: R. L. Bryan Co., 1979, 1–193; Henry H. Lesesne, A History of the University of South Carolina, 1940–2000 (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2001), 1–10.

(11) . Sam Blackman, Bob Bradley, and Chuck Kriese, Clemson: Where the Tigers Play (Champaign, Ill.: Sports Publishing, 2001), 237–41, 245–48; Bryan, Clemson, 71–78, 206–11.

(12) . R. F. Poole to Wilbur C. Johns, February 12, 1952, Box 2 (Athletic Council, 1952), Athletic Council Records, Special Collections, Clemson University; Anderson Independent, January 31, 1958; Bryan, Clemson, 122–25.

(13) . H. C. Byrd to Herbert O'Keef, November 3, 1951, Box 240 (Athletics, Misc., 1951), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Washington Post, November 12, 1951.

(14) . George H. Callcott, A History of the University of Maryland (Baltimore: Maryland Historical Society, 1966), 313–45; David S. Brown, Richard Hofstadter: An Intellectual Biography (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006), 37–41; Bob Considine, “Curley Byrd Catches the Worm,” Saturday Evening Post, June 28, 1941, p. 14; “The Coach,” Time, August 3, 1959, p. 52; George H. Callcott, interview with author, University Park, Md., November 30, 2006.

(15) . Tim Cohane, “How Maryland Became a Football Power,” Look, November 2, 1954, pp. 50–58; , Bear: The Hard Life and Good Times of Alabama's Coach Bryant (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1974), 85–90; Callcott, History of the University of Maryland, 354.

(16) . H. C. Byrd to J. Mears, December 14, 1951, Box 240 (Athletics, Misc., 1951), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Washington Post, November 12, 1951; Diamondback, November 18, 1953, January 19, 1954; “The Losers Are Winners,” Newsweek, November 24, 1958, pp. 68–70; New York Times, February 18, 1989; Kent Baker, Red, White, and Amen: Maryland Basketball (Huntsville, Ala.: Strode Publishers, 1979), 85–86; Callcott, History of the University of Maryland, 354–57.

(17) . Minutes, Annual Meeting, Southern Conference, December 14–15, 1951, Box 13 (Southern Conference Annual Meeting, 1951), Geary Eppley Papers, University of Maryland Archives.

(18) . H. C. Byrd to Gordon Gray, June 4, 1951, Box 109 (Southern Conference, 1951), Byrd to Bernie Moore, December 20, 1951, Box 240 (Athletics, Misc., 1951), Byrd to Robert B. House, May 5, 1952, Box 109 (Southern Conference Presidents), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives.

(19) . Lee W. Milford to A. C. Mann, December 19, 1951, Box 2 (Athletic Council, 1951), Athletic Council Records, Clemson University; R. F. Poole to H. C. Byrd, January 30, 1952, Box 109 (Southern Conference Presidents, 1952, Ltrs. re. Bowl Games), Poole to Byrd, May 9, 1952, Box 109 (Southern Conference Presidents), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives.

(20) . Durham Morning Herald, May 9, 1953; Bruce A. Corrie, The Atlantic Coast Conference, 1953–1978 (Durham, N.C.: Carolina Academic Press, 1978), 42–43; John Roth, The Encyclopedia of Duke Basketball (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 2006), 124–26; Barry Jacobs, Golden Glory: The First 50 Years of the ACC (Greensboro, N.C.: Mann Media, 2002), 22–23; Bill Brill, Duke Basketball: 100 Seasons, A Legacy of Achievement (Champaign, Ill.: Sports Publishing, 2004), 35.

(21) . Norman M. Smith to H. C. Byrd, January 28, 1952, Box 109 (Southern Conference Presidents, 1952, Ltrs. re. Bowl Games), Donald Russell to Byrd, November 10, 1952, Box 109 (Southern Conference—Letters to Presidents re. Bowl Games), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Lesesne, History of the University of South Carolina, 78–80.

(22) . Lesesne, History of the University of South Carolina, 1–65.

(23) . Ibid., 65–67, 115–16; Donald Russell to Gordon Gray, June 15, 1954, Box 1 (Associations: Atlantic Coast Conference), Records of the Office of the President: Donald S. Russell, 1953–54, (p.337) University Archives, University of South Carolina, Columbia; “Football Record Book,” “Men's Basketball Record Book,” www.soconsports.com (accessed October 8, 2008).

(24) .Featherston, Tobacco Road, 1–12; Bynum Shaw, The History of Wake Forest College: Volume 4, 1943–1967 (Winston-Salem, N.C.: Wake Forest University, 1988), 49; Robert F. Durden, The Launching of Duke University, 1924–1949 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1993), 465; Harry Henson, ed., World Almanac and Book of Facts, 1950 (New York: New York World-Telegram, 1950), 550; Reagan, North Carolina State University, 126.

(25) . Gordon Gray to J. G. Stipe, January 22, 1952, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (General, 1952), Gray Files, University of North Carolina Archives; “Suggested Joint Statement by Southern Conference Presidents,” Edens Records, Duke University Archives; Edwin G. Wilson, interview with author, Winston-Salem, N.C., September 22, 2008.

(26) . Gordon Gray to H. L. Riddle, September 12, 1952, Subgroup 1, Series 1, Subseries 2, Box 2 (Athletics Relationships, 1952–53), Gray to Kemp D. Battle, October 21, 1952, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (General, 1952), Gray Files, William C. Friday oral history, November 28, 1990, Item L-146, Southern Oral History Program, University of North Carolina Archives; Minutes of the Meeting of the Presidents of Southern Conference Institutions, March 8, 1952, Box 68 (Southern Conference), Edens Records, Duke University Archives; William C. Friday, interview with author, Chapel Hill, N.C., August 15, 2006.

(27) . Robert F. Durden, The Dukes of Durham, 1865–1929 (Durham: Duke University Press, 1987), 199–260; Durden, Launching of Duke University, 67–168, 492–501; “Tobacco and Erudition,” Time, October 24, 1949, p. 49.

(28) . A. Hollis Edens to Colgate W. Darden Jr., October 4, 1956, RG 2/1/2.634, President's Papers, Box 3 (Athletics), University Archives, University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Durden, Launching of Duke University, 236–44; Roth, Encyclopedia of Duke Basketball, 124–29; New York Times, March 18, 1951; “Football Record Book,” “Men's Basketball Record Book,” www.soconsports.com (accessed October 8, 2008).

(29) . Thomas K. Hearn III, Wake Forest University (Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia Publishing, 2003), 7–8, 111; Shaw, The History of Wake Forest College, 1–3; Wake Forest College Birthplace Society, “History,” www.wakeforestbirthplace.org (accessed October 7, 2008).

(30) . Raleigh News and Observer, October 25, October 26, October 28, 1954; Harold W. Tribble to Gordon Gray, c. November 5, 1954, Box 17, File 1058 (UNC–Chapel Hill Controversy), Records of the President's Office: Harold W. Tribble, University Archives, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Shaw, The History of Wake Forest College, 25–106; Wilson interview.

(31) . Harold W. Tribble to Bryan Haislip, February 12, 1953, Box 15, File 900 (Athletics, Criticism, 1950–1964), Tribble Records, Wake Forest University Archives; Hearn, Wake Forest University, 85–90; Shaw, History of Wake Forest College, 56–59, 77–78, 325–34.

(32) . Gordon Gray to Chancellor Harrelson and Chancellor House, November 10, 1952, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (Southern Conference, General), Gray Files, University of North Carolina Archives; Gray to H. C. Byrd, Box 109 (Southern (p.338) Conference—Letters to Presidents re. Bowl Games, 1952), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; E. M. Cameron to Hollis Edens, May 15, 1953, Box 53 (Southern Conference Correspondence, Rulings, Interpretations), Charles E. Jordan Papers, Duke University Archives; Washington Post, October 15, 1952.

(33) . William Friday, “Notes on the Meeting of the Trustees Committee on Athletic Relationships,” May 6, 1953, Subgroup 1, Series 1, Subseries 2, Box 2 (Athletic Relationships, 1952–53), Gray Files, University of North Carolina Archives; Washington Post, May 10, 1953; Friday interview.

(34) . “Minutes of the Various Meetings Held at the Sedgefield Inn, Greensboro, North Carolina on May 7 and 8, 1953,” May 14, 1953, Box 582 (Minutes, Atlantic Coast Conference, vol. 1), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Richmond Times-Dispatch, May 8, 1953; Durham Morning Sun, May 8, 1953; Washington Post, May 10, 1953.

(35) . Minutes of Regular Meeting, Southern Conference, May 8, 1953, Box 80 (Regular Meeting, Southern Conference, May 8, 1953), “Minutes of the Various Meetings Held … May 7 and 8, 1953,” Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Raleigh News and Observer, May 9, 1953; Durham Morning Herald, May 10, 1953.

(36) . Oliver K. Cornwell to “Gentlemen,” May 14, 1953, Box 80 (Southern Conference, 1953), Minutes of Meeting, June 14, 1953, Box 582 (Minutes, Atlantic Coast Conference, vol. 1), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Durham Morning Herald, May 10, 1953; Corrie, Atlantic Coast Conference, 45–46.

(37) . William Friday to Gordon Gray, May 13, 1953, Friday to Gray, June 4, 1953, Sub-group 2. Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (Atlantic Coast Conference, 1953–54), Gray Files, University of North Carolina Archives; Minutes of Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting, August 7, 1953, Report of the Committee on Constitution and By-Laws, October 1953, Box 582 (Minutes, Atlantic Coast Conference, vol. 1), Southern Conference Constitution and By-Laws, July 1, 1952, Box 109 (Southern Conference Presidents, 1952), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Raleigh News and Observer, May 6, 1953; Charlotte Observer, May 8, 1953.

(38) . Minutes of Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting, December 4, 1953, Box 582 (Minutes, Atlantic Coast Conference, vol. 1), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Mary-land Archives; Baltimore Sun, December 5, 1953; Jack Falla, NCAA: The Voice of College Sports, A Diamond Anniversary History, 1906–1981 (Mission, Kans.: National Collegiate Athletic Association, 1981), 135–36.

(39) . Harold W. Tribble to Hollis Edens, May 26, 1953, Box 6 (Atlantic Coast Conference), Edens Records, Duke University Archives; Tribble to Gordon Gray, May 26, 1953, Gray to Tribble, June 12, 1953, Subgroup 2, Series 2, Subseries 3, Box 10 (Atlantic Coast Conference, 1953–54), Gray Files, University of North Carolina Archives; Minutes of Meeting, June 14, 1953, Minutes of Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting, August 7, 1953, Minutes of Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting, December 4, 1953, Report of the Committee on Constitution and By-Laws, October 1953, Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Corrie, Atlantic Coast Conference, 49–50.

(40) . Everett N. Case to Frank McGuire, May 14, 1953, Box 2 (Basketball, Varsity), Collection UA 15.007 (Department of Athletics Subject Files), North Carolina State University Archives; Meeting of Athletic Directors, May 25–26, 1953, Minutes of Meeting, (p.339) June 14, 1953, Minutes of Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting, December 4, 1953, Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Charlotte Observer, May 9, 1953; Raleigh News and Observer, May 12, 1953, May 3, 1963; Baltimore Sun, December 5, 1953; Bud Millikan, telephone interview with the author, July 30, 2006; Jacobs, Golden Glory, 22.

(41) . Minutes of Meeting, June 14, 1953, Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Durham Morning Herald, May 9, 1953; Baltimore Sun, May 9, 1953; Raleigh News and Observer, May 10, 1953.

(42) . Virginius Dabney, Mr. Jefferson's University: A History (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1981), 1–2, 44, 78, 80–82, 105, 185.

(43) . Chester Goolrick, “Mr. Jefferson's University,” Holiday, February 1961, 51; Dabney, Mr. Jefferson's University, 92–96, 293–96.

(44) . Colgate W. Darden oral history, p. 1, RG 26–9, University of Virginia Archives; Guy Friddell, Colgate Darden: Conversations with Guy Friddell (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1978), 1–14, 30, 104–5; Dabney, Mr. Jefferson's University, 271–76, 327–30.

(45) . Darden oral history, pp. 10–11, Colgate W. Darden Jr. to Frank W. Rogers, November 29, 1951, RG 2/1/2.581, Box 3 (Athletics), “Report of the Athletic Committee of the Academic Faculty of the University of Virginia,” October 10, 1951, RG 2/1/2.591, Box 2 (Athletics), President's Papers, University of Virginia Archives; Michael Mac-Cambridge, ed., ESPN College Football Encyclopedia (New York: ESPN Books, 2005), 960; University of Virginia, 1975–76 Basketball Handbook, 62 (in author's possession); Friddell, Colgate Darden, 21, 22, 33; Dabney, Mr. Jefferson's University, 318–19.

(46) . Virginia Stokes to Mrs. Davis, n.d., Minutes of Meeting of the Athletic Council, May 30, 1953, Minutes of Meeting of the Athletic Council, September 25, 1953, RG 2/1/2.631, Box 4 (Athletics), President's Papers, University of Virginia Archives.

(47) . Minutes of the Board of Visitors Meeting, October 9, 1953, ibid.; Minutes of Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting, December 4, 1953, Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Washington Post, October 10, 1953; Cavalier Daily, October 8, October 10, 1953; John S. Watterson, “Football at the University of Virginia, 1951–1961: A Perfect Gridiron Storm,” Journal of Sport History 34 (Fall 2007): 375–87.

(48) . Report of the Committee on Constitution and By-Laws, October 1953, Minutes of Atlantic Coast Conference Meeting, May 6–7, 1954, Box 582 (Minutes, Atlantic Coast Conference, vol. 1), Byrd Presidential Records, University of Maryland Archives; Gene Corrigan oral history, p. 6, RG 26–178, University of Virginia Archives; Raleigh News and Observer, October 11, 1953; Corrie, Atlantic Coast Conference, 53; Jacobs, Golden Glory, 44; Gene Corrigan, interview with author, Charlottesville, Va., November 14, 2006.