Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACC Teams' Travel Is Tied Up by the Tube; Coaches Wonder If Cart Is Ahead of the Horse as TV Networks Dictate Schedule

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

ACC Teams' Travel Is Tied Up by the Tube; Coaches Wonder If Cart Is Ahead of the Horse as TV Networks Dictate Schedule

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM VAN BRIMMER

ATLANTA -- Georgia Tech's men's basketball team did something rare Sunday night following its game at Boston College.

The Yellow Jackets checked into a hotel.

The Jackets typically return home immediately after road games on school nights. If there's a late commercial flight, they are on it. If not, they charter a plane.

A schedule stocked with midweek games already forces players to miss enough classes. And school always trumps travel convenience for Georgia Tech.

Almost always, anyway.

This is Georgia Tech's week to play two Atlantic Coast Conference games in three nights, a scheduling quirk each ACC team will deal with once this year because of the league's television commitments.

Tech faced BC on Sunday in a game televised by Fox Sports Net. The Jackets will play Virginia Tech tonight.

"Television is good, but it's to the point where it's dictating college basketball," said Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt, whose team took a charter flight from Boston to Blacksburg, Va., on Monday. "We need to stop and consider what's more important, student-athlete welfare or TV?"

The two-games-in-three-days scheduling has caused plenty of consternation across the ACC this season. While some teams have handled the situation well -- Florida State, Duke and Virginia Tech all recently won games on short rest -- few coaches support the scheduling.

Boston College played the ACC's first Sunday-Tuesday combination of the season earlier this month and lost both games -- a Sunday showdown at Georgia Tech and a Tuesday game vs. North Carolina State at home. The travel drained the Eagles and the lack of preparation time led to an 18-point loss to the Wolfpack.

Not only was the situation bad for the Eagles, but it also made for poor television, Boston College coach Al Skinner said. …

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