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48-7! Is Wake Forest still scoring???

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold
The Truth Network Radio
June 5, 2023 4:10 pm

48-7! Is Wake Forest still scoring???

The Adam Gold Show / Adam Gold

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June 5, 2023 4:10 pm

What was John’s take away from those two days, with how impressive they’ve been? Adam took something away from the Commissioner’s meeting, did John take the same message from it? How much of them being a smaller school, compared to others in the ACC, does that impact things on them at WF? How are they adjusting/responding to the recent ACC talk? Are the NIL collective leaving them behind, because they're a smaller school? Is there anything about the NIL system that John would like to see be done differently?


Speaking of great, 48-7, I mentioned it earlier. That is the aggregate score of Wake Forest's win or sweep of the Winston-Salem Regional first round, first weekend of the NCAA baseball tournament. Joining us is the athletic director, John Curry.

And although it was not specific to talk about this, I do have a question for you, Mr. Curry. Did the Deacons score any more runs while you were dialing the phone? The Deacons did not score any runs at this moment, but we are preparing to score more runs. You know, under Coach Clausen's leadership, I think we're the second highest scoring ACC football program and nationally. Obviously, Coach Forbes and Coach Jebbia dial it up on offense too. So that's just the way it is around here. We just score a lot of points and have a lot of fun. My gosh, 48-7.

You guys need like a mercy rule or something out there. I hope it continues and you'll have Alabama in town coming up this upcoming weekend. So the reason that I got in touch with your office and the people out at Wake and you guys, by the way, are such a great staff. So I thank them for helping facilitate this.

I mean, I contacted, I don't know, two weeks ago or so, three weeks ago coming out of Amelia Island, Florida. And I am just curious, just your big picture takeaway from what those few days were like. Well, my big picture takeaway from those few days is that we're sitting here with a national championship in women's golf and the number one ranked baseball club in the country. So it feels pretty good to be a Wake Forest Demon Deacon right now. You know, our conference is really a tremendous conference that represents all the right things about college athletics. We have the best aggregation of academic institutions, including the Big Four right here in the state of North Carolina. We've got incredible national championships, performances, and lots of different sports, including right here in North Carolina with lacrosse and some others.

And so the conversations that we had in Amelia, I thought were really productive. We've got a recognition that we don't always make the most money, but we do have a recognition that we have a really strong group of institutions and that money is not the only way to be successful. And the ACC has evidenced that and Wake Forest has evidenced that. John Curry, Athletic Director at Wake Forest is joining us here on the Adam Gold show. I'm going to fanslate a little bit of what I was able to take away from that meeting and that it seemed to me that there was a lot of bluster going in and then maybe the realization that this is where everybody is set in.

Is that fair? I mean, I bet the commissioner really summed it up very well in his post-meeting comments. You know, everybody's under lots of pressure. I mean, higher education is under lots of pressure and everyone is, every athletic director, every president is under pressure to continue to produce results and make smart decisions with resource allocations.

And you feel that pressure. And so what I felt coming out of the meeting was, you know, a continued honest and candid conversation about how we can continue to leverage our strengths. You know, you think about it, we're affiliated with ESPN, we've got the ACC Network, ACC Network Extra, and even if you look at it, there was a great tweet last week about, you know, Yankees fans and that's a great franchise. They have to subscribe to four different services to watch games, right?

And that's not the case. That's one of the strengths of our league is that we're affiliated with one company and one group of services. That's better for our fans. It's better for our student athletes. So there's a lot of strengths that we have. You know, we're going to outperform, we're going to out-innovate, and we're going to use our strengths and the strengths of our 15 institutions in our 10 states to continue to be successful.

John Curry, director of athletics at Wake Forest, is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. Speaking to the 15 institutions at Notre Dame, other than in football, they're part of the ACC, and Jack Swarbrick was there. They're also the biggest, the disparity between and the difference between all of the institutions is, to me, is the one element of the ACC that is never talked about enough is that half of the institutions basically are private, small private.

You guys may be the smallest of the institutions. So you look at the Big Ten, and apart from Northwestern, I mean, they're behemoth universities. Other than Vanderbilt and the SEC, they're all big universities. Even the Big 12 and the Pac-12 are big state universities for the most part. How much of that makes it even more challenging in the ACC?

Well, Adam, I think you could really flip it around and go back to the strengths. You know, our 15 universities are really diverse, but they're all pretty excellent. And if you look at the 10 states that our universities are in, including the state of Florida, the state of Georgia, you know, here in North Carolina, we're the number one state in the country for business. According to CNBC, we're the, I think the third fastest growing state in the union. You know, right here in Winston-Salem, we got 1.5 million people within 30 minutes of our stadia. The Piedmont Triad market that we're in is the seventh best market for ESPN in the country in terms of viewership. So we pack all that passion in our league.

I think it's really important. You know, I've worked in the SEC and I've worked in the Big 12, both are great leagues with lots of strength, but every league, you know, sometimes people get consumed about, you know, which brand drives value and all that kind of stuff. The reality of it is, is that for years, USC and UCLA drove the Pac-12 overall brand value. Um, Penn state or not Penn state, Ohio state and Michigan are the bell cows of the, um, of the, uh, uh, the big 10, you know, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, they really drive the ACC. I mean, excuse me, the SEC, I'm getting all this conference stuff.

Um, it's just part of the times, right? So, so that's normal, you know, so what you really got to look at is, is what's the depth of the conference? What are the distinctiveness of the conference that makes it special? And if you think about the traditions and the broad-based excellence of, of the ACC, our conference is really special and it really is unique compared to all the other conferences.

John Curry from Wake Forest is joining us here on the Adam Gold Show. You said earlier that, um, and you didn't say it's not about the money. Obviously it's about the money. Um, so I have several questions when it comes to finances. It seems to me that regardless of what schools in the SEC and the big 10 are going to pull in, and that number will probably all reach close to a hundred million dollars in shared revenue.

When we get to, you know, after a few years of their TV deal, it seems to me like regardless of what they pull in, that schools in the ACC should be able to deal with appropriately, you know, pulling in only 40 or 45 million. But is, is greed and envy entering into this equation too much? Hey, it's Teddy Roosevelt, right? Comparison is the thief of joy.

Yeah. I may have to correct me on who said that, but comparison is the thief of joy. If you, if you fixate on the gap rather than the advantages, then you're really going to have a pretty miserable life. Uh, you know, if you look right now, I mean, you can see across America, how different people, um, make use of their resources. And, you know, if you look at Wake Forest, um, we, we have, we do not have the largest budget in the country. And, um, but we've invested strategically and we have the best baseball facility in the country, and we have the number one baseball program in the country. We don't have a lot of debt on our baseball facility because we have really great contributors and donors, and we've been disciplined to not build facilities, you know, without gifts to go against them. Um, we have probably the best golf facility in the country. We just won the national championship in women's golf, and we won three national championships in men's golf. We have the best on-campus football facilities in the ACC, and probably in the top five or 10 in the country, um, because we have incredible donors and we have incredible institutional leaders, uh, like president Winty and Dr. Hatch before her and a board of trustees that has chosen, uh, to make excellent academic excellence, uh, just like everything else about Wake Forest, which is excellent. So we're not beating everybody in revenue, but we're holding our own, uh, in winning championships on the fields and the courts, you know, where this, we've got this, uh, I think the second largest bowl streak in the ACC, 10th largest bowl longest bowl streak in the country. Um, we've got incredible fan support as evidenced by what we witnessed at David couch ballpark this weekend. So, um, we've made good decisions here and my predecessor Ron Wellman and his predecessor, Dr. Jean hooks, who represent like 60 years of athletic directoring, you know, those guys made really, really smart decisions. And that's how we're going to continue to be successful and compete at the highest level. People just tuning in, just, just heard John Curry, the athletic director at Wake Forest, just bragging, uh, about, about success and you have every right to do so. I wanted to get to this though, because I wanted to get to NIL at some point, um, is in spite of the fact that you have so much, so many, you know, generous donors and contributors and those people who make all those facilities possible.

Is there a feeling busy because you don't have enough of an alumni, but you don't have a huge alumni base, like some of these other schools that the NIL and the collectives, uh, are, uh, are leaving you guys a little bit behind in that area? Well, everywhere in America, the fact is, is that collective, the collective, um, uh, I'm trying to think of the best term, but the collective phenomenon let's use that and let's sit on that last, but, but there's no school in America where their collective isn't driven by the main collectives aren't driven by six to 10 to 15 people. You know, there's a myth that this collective, uh, enterprises are driven by, you know, you know, 35,000 Oklahoma fans all giving a thousand dollars a month creating a collective. That's just not reality. Right.

And so, uh, although I'm not involved with directing, um, roll the quad, which is a collective that is, uh, you can go to the website and you'll see that there's some six or eight white forest people that are pretty engaged in that. So, um, Wake Forest is doing just fine in that regard, but, but ultimately, um, I think the thing that, and I would say for our league and represent Wake Forest kind of epitomizes our league. I mean, our league is still about academic opportunities for student athletes. Our league is still about academic excellence across the academy. Our league is still about broad based opportunities for women, uh, in excellence in women's athletics and trailblazing and women's athletics. Uh, our league is still about all the right things and certainly NIL opportunities. I mean, we have some, uh, very, uh, successful women's student athletes at Wake Forest who've been able to, um, to, um, take advantage of the both academic and academic, um, athletic and academic prominence they've achieved to, to do NIL deals with major corporations.

And so, um, we're holding our own in that regard and we're going to be just fine in that regard. So you're not in any way, uh, you're not, not, I'm not saying anti name image and likeness, but what, if any reservations do you have about the NIL, I guess, system and the way it has played out? I know the NCAA was, was worried that it would be a recruiting inducement. I don't know how you're ever going to get away from that, uh, because there's always been money that has lured players to schools, uh, athletes to schools.

So is there anything about the NIL system that you would like to see done differently? Each week we dive into the mind of the con artist uncovering the secrets behind the biggest Ponzi schemes you've never heard about. We're not talking about Bernie Madoff or Charles Ponzi.

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Well, I don't have the answer to it. I mean, it's such a complex, um, it's such a complex issue and there's so many things that are right about the NIL, um, environment, you know, uh, Emilio Malaccio, who just participated and won the national championship, uh, for Wake Forest and women's golf. He's from Carrie, uh, right there in your market. Um, who's who is, Amelia is a great example. She's been working for the golf channel as an, as an announcer over the last two or three years, Amelia wrote a novel and published self-published a novel five years ago. And literally five years ago, when she self published that novel, she had to pay back like $300 in royalties because it fell under the old rules. Right. So I'm all for the, um, appropriate liberalization of, of, of NIL, uh, rules. I think the bigger challenge that college athletics faces is this idea, uh, with the Johnson case and some of the other cases about whether or not we're going to classify student athletes as employees. And, um, there's enormous value that student athletes receive, uh, from the athletic scholarship, from their NIL opportunities, uh, from their, um, uh, cost of attendance supplements from access to elite universities like North Carolina state and Duke and Chapel Hill and Wake Forest, uh, through their athletic prowess. So there's a lot of great things about it that are that, you know, the, the employment issue, um, that, that, that will create another level of complexity for everyone to deal with.

It's far more significant than, um, kind of the short term, uh, uh, NIL, uh, collective, uh, phenomena. Two more quick things for John Curry, and then I'll let you go. I've taken up way too much of your, I was going to call it morning, but it's really not. It is more fun than work. Right. This is a lot more fun than work.

I appreciate the break. I a hundred percent agree with you, John. Um, just, I'm just always thought like people think we need more revenue. We need to figure out a way to get more revenue, to get more money from ESPN. It looks to me like there are more games on fry football games on Friday night.

Um, is that one way to create more revenue for the league? Maybe saying Friday night football is an ACC staple. Well, under our commissioner, uh, commissioner Phillips leadership and working with our ESPN partners, I think, I think what we're really talking about is value, right? So how do we deliver value to our media partner, ESPN, and in turn, how do we use, uh, the exposure that comes through our universities, uh, to deliver value to our universities and the communities that we serve.

Right. And so, you know, some of those windows, uh, you'd take Virginia tech, for instance, you know, years ago, Virginia tech leveraged Thursday night willingness to be on Thursday night to build their program. And you look at where that university is from a total enrollment now versus where it was 25 years ago. And part of that's because they leveraged that Thursday night, uh, windows. So everybody in America could see what a great atmosphere it is at Virginia tech.

Right. And so looking at those kinds of opportunities, um, to, to provide more value and more exposure for our student athletes and our programs, uh, is important. And in turn, uh, that provides value to our partners. And it's a partnership, you know, last year, uh, when, uh, Wake Forest and Clemson were playing, um, you know, a top 10 matchup. And unfortunately we lost in overtime, but in the, in the fourth quarter of that game, 5.8 million people are watching Winston-Salem North Carolina, Wake Forest, Demon Deacons against the tigers. That's valuable, um, to, uh, to our partners, but it's also really valuable to Wake Forest university. It's valuable to our student athletes who are participating, uh, and it's valuable to Winston-Salem. And one more thing, look, I, whether it's Friday night, I know that, that angers football coaches, especially here in, uh, the state of North Carolina with Friday night high school football.

Uh, but I don't know, maybe Tuesday's just, just a way to set yourself apart and to make it appointment viewing, especially for ACC fans. And one final thing, uh, I have become over the last year and a half, a very big fan of, uh, international domestic football. And there are ads on uniforms. Is that something we could see at some point?

Yeah. Well, um, you know, we, we already have one ad, uh, under the NCAA rules, you can have one logo, uh, which is the apparel logo. So, uh, Nike is a proud partner and sponsor. So you'd have to have a change of an NCAA rule to have, um, you know, truest or a legacy or, or one of our other parts on a uniform.

That would be worth something, wouldn't it? Especially as many bowl games as you guys are in. Well, there's always, uh, there's always potential value, uh, in different opportunities, any way those against, uh, you know, other consequences are unintended, uh, or otherwise. Um, and I believe that generally, uh, we can strike the right, the right balance. Um, but right now we're focused in on hosting the Crimson Tide weekend, which is a great, uh, you know, it's a great matchup for Wake Forest with, with, with, with Alabama, with a great, uh, story program.

John Curry, athletic director at Wake Forest. Thanks for putting up with me, man. I appreciate your time. Good luck this weekend. And we will talk to you again. I'm sure. Thanks so much for having me, Adam. Go deep. You got it. John Curry, the athletic director at Wake Forest.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-05 17:36:51 / 2023-06-05 17:44:42 / 8

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