The University of Louisville’s future in the Atlantic Coast Conference looks even more brighter with the announcement Monday that the ACC presidents have approved a grant of media rights for the league through 2026-27. The agreement effectively ensures that no schools will be leaving anytime soon.

That’s good for college athletics in general, probably signaling the end to the conference realignment for a while, at least among the major conferences. The deal ensures that a school’s media rights and revenue will remain for all home games will remain with the ACC regardless of the school’s conference affiliation for the next 14 years.

Bad for schools like the universities of UConn and Cincinnati which, unless the reclusive Big 12 ever changes course, are out in the cold, left out of the big picture. Thank you, Big Ten, for taking Maryland for whatever reason, opening the door for UofL’s invitation to the ACC. Dodged a nuclear blast on that one.

From ESPN’s Brett McMurphy:

Bubba Cunningham, the athletic director at North Carolina, said the grant of rights “should put [conference] realignment on the shelf.”

“These are strong and definitive moves by the ACC and its member schools to further announce our desire to stay together and position ourselves among the top conferences in the country,” Cunningham said in a statement. “We look forward to continued talks with the ACC and ESPN on how to best strengthen and position our multi-media package.”

And this from conference expansion guru Frank the Tank:

I’ve never been a proponent of any conference expanding simply for the sake of expanding, yet it feels like the Big 12 didn’t take advantage of a momentary position of strength after they signed their new TV deal with ESPN and Fox last year. Now, to be sure, I never bought for one second that the Big 12 had any legitimate chance at Florida State and Clemson (the former was really only interested in shaking the money trees of the Big Ten and SEC). However, adding Louisville and BYU would have been a solid expansion both athletically and geographically for the Big 12 and that’s an opportunity that has slipped away. The ACC’s choice of Louisville over UConn and Cincinnati effectively blocked Big 12 expansion, whether John Swofford intended for that to happen or not (and I tend to agree with Andy Staples that Swofford is a ninja that has been underestimated by a lot of college sports fans).

Quite a different feeling for University of Louisville fans from last summer waiting and waiting for  the Big 12 to end the waiting game.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.