Sunday, September 18, 2011

ACC adds Pitt and Syracuse, sends Big East scrambling

It's official.

The ACC has accepted applications from the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse, sending the Big East Conference into panic mode - trying to replace two of their cornerstone members.

Richard Broadhead, Duke president and also the head of the ACC Council, said, "Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics. We welcome them as full partners in the ACC."

Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford commented, “[adding Pitt and Syracuse] geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts.

Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said that school officials "could not envision a better conference home for Pitt."

Syracuse chancellor Nancy Cantor - no relation to OSG Brother Phil - was quoted as saying, "'Cuse is looking forward to bringing ACC games to the Big Apple." The Orange was a founding member of the Big East, and had been a part of the conference since 1982.

This is a very significant day for all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff at the University of Pittsburgh,” said Steve Pederson, University of Pittsburgh Director of Athletics. “The strength and quality of the ACC is highly regarded by everyone at Pitt. When we set high expectations for our student-athletes in their academic, athletic and personal goals, it is important to provide every opportunity and resource to enable that success. Joining the ACC and the outstanding institutions in this conference will give every Pitt student-athlete the chance to achieve their highest aspirations.

The ACC scheduled a 9:30 a.m. ET teleconference with the media to announce the additions. It is not clear which division each of the new schools will join.

The additions of Pitt and Syracuse make sense, in geographic terms, for the ACC. The name Atlantic Coast Conference now means a lot more, because there are teams in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York - the majority of the Atlantic seaboard.

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