Condoleezza Rice And George Bush Are Lobbying On Behalf Of Stanford, SMU To Get ACC Invites

Condoleezza Rice and George W. Bush

Getty Image

Conference realignment is serious business, and can help determine how relevant an entire athletic department will be going forward. That’s why SMU and Stanford have called in President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to lobby on their behalf as they attempt to get into the ACC.

The backdrop to this is that Stanford and SMU are currently on the outside looking in, in terms of having a stable conference. Stanford is currently stuck in a PAC 12 down to just four teams following deflections, while SMU is left outside the power conferences in the AAC.

This can be worth tens of millions of dollars a year, not just in hard dollars, but also in soft donations that are spurred by athletic department success.

Condoleezza Rice is a Stanford alum, and a noted huge fan of football and athletics. She has even served on the College Football Playoff selection committee. George Bush isn’t an alum of SMU, but he spent much of his adult life in the Dallas area, and is a fan of the Mustangs.

And, Ross Dellenger from Yahoo! Sports says they are both involved in lobbying for those respecting schools in conference realignment. Here are more details.

The phone rings. It is an unfamiliar number.

“Hello,” a voice comes from the other end, “this is Condoleezza Rice.”

The phone rings again, also flashing an unfamiliar number.

“Hello,” the voice says from the other end, “this is George W. Bush.”

Powerful figures connected to Stanford — as well as SMU — are on a campaign to encourage leaders within the ACC to rethink their position on acquiring the two schools, as well as Cal. Both of those figures, Rice and Bush, have communicated with conference officials in pursuit of a membership invitation for the schools in which they are vested, multiple sources tell Yahoo Sports.

How effective will they be? So far, not very effective. The two teams are without an ACC invite, and that doesn’t seem likely to change anytime soon.