ACC Collegiate Rugby League
Nine colleges at the core of the famous Atlantic Coast Conference will form a rugby analog beginning with the 2011 season, more evidence of realignment with the sports education model.
The move stems from this year's innovative reorganization of Rugby South's university competition, which introduced a four-conference setup including the Carolinas League. But the spring season isn't long enough to permit both ACC matches and national playoff games, so USARFU's championship has been sidelined. The announcement follows the 2009 debut of the Ivy League Rugby Conference, and news of a college 7s championship to debut in June, broadcast live by NBC. Meanwhile, plans are firming for a national collegiate premier league, also to begin in 2011. Some 15 teams including BYU, Cal, and Penn State intend to participate in the competition, American Rugby News reported. The commonality is rugby's capitalizing on the marketability of major college teams and conferences. The upshot is teams are concluding their fortunes lay in their own hands, through the adoption varsity standards (if not varsity status), not in a top-down model.