Saturday, August 24, 2013

The ACC, SEC, Hospitals, & the DA

In gathering data for the previous article, I put together the following analogies about the SEC and ACC, comparing the SEC to a hospital and the ACC to the DA's office. There wasn't a smooth way to bring them into the article, and I hated to just toss them.

Anyway - hope they make some sense...

It is estimated that nearly 55% of all emergency room care will be uncompensated, yet Federal law requires hospitals provide a minimum level of care to everyone who walks in the door, regardless of legal status or the ability to pay. This leaves the hospital with two choices: absorb the debt or shut down. While many hospitals have closed their doors, the majority recoup the lost revenue by shifting costs to other services, overcharging for ordinary care, or considering the bad debt “charity”.

Now think of the SEC is like a hospital: Portions are very profitable and portions are charity. Because Alabama and LSU perform so well, they more than cover for the losses the rest of the league absorbs. So the SEC can play charity with teams like Kentucky and the Mississippis, knowing enough people want straight teeth (ironic isn't), good knees, and new hips.

Conversely, think of the ACC like the District Attorney's (DA's) office. People enter the DA’s office idealistic, with big dreams of putting away bad guys and making a difference. After a few years of poor pay, lousy work conditions, long hours, and too many bad guys still on the streets, the best attorneys become jaded and start looking elsewhere for better paying jobs. We saw this over the last few years with Clemson, Florida State, and others.

But the ugly truth of the DA’s office is it just another governmental department, and once you’re in, you’re in. Even after the best attorneys get plucked to better paying gigs, the lesser talents are still there, and rather than try work their way to the top, they become satisfied having a steady paycheck and seeing “attorney” written on the door.

So while both hospitals and the DA's office serve the greater good, there are ugly truths they both want to purge, but can't. And that's the same struggle football conferences like the ACC & SEC face, and as long as the greater good of both conferences receive all the attention, nothing will change.

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