Blog Entry

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Posted on: September 18, 2011 8:15 am
Edited on: September 18, 2011 10:54 am
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents unanimously voted to accept Pittsburgh and Syracuse as new members Sunday, the league announced. The invitation followed the submission of letters of application from both universities.

“The ACC is a strong united conference that is only going to get better with the addition of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University,” said Duke President Richard Broadhead, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents.  “Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics.  We welcome them as full partners in the ACC.”

On Saturday morning, first reported that Pitt and Syracuse had submitted letters of application to the ACC. Commissioner John Swofford said the league would respect the Big East's withdrawal by-laws, which requires 27 months notice. However, it's doubtful the Big East would want Pitt and Syracuse to remain in the league over that period because it would seek to immediately add additional members to survive.

“The ACC has enjoyed a rich tradition by balancing academics and athletics and the addition of Pitt and Syracuse further strengthens the ACC culture in this regard,” Swofford said. “Pittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACC’s reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC will cover virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.”

It also could serve as a devastating blow to the Big East Conference. Syracuse was a founding member and Pittsburgh has been a member since 1982. The Big East was stunned by the news and didn't learn that either school had submitted a letter of application to the ACC until Saturday.

“This is an exciting day for the University of Pittsburgh. We have a long history of competing and collaborating with the distinguished universities that already are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and have enormous respect for both their academic strengths and their athletic accomplishments,” Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said. “In looking to our own future, we could not envision a better conference home for Pitt and are grateful to the Council of Presidents for extending an invitation to join the ACC community.”

Pittsburgh desire to leave the Big East was "common knowledge," several Big East sources told Nordenberg has served as chairman of the Big East's executive committee of presidents and "put the brakes" on the Big East accepting a $1.3 million media rights deal from ESPN in the spring.

“This is a very significant day for all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff at the University of Pittsburgh,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “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 addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse will speed up the race to 16-team superconferences. So what will happen next? Here's one viewpoint on what lies ahead for the ACC and Big East along with the other four automatic qualifying BCS leagues and Notre Dame.

"We are very excited to be joining the ACC," Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse, and with its outstanding academic quality and athletic excellence, the ACC is a perfect fit for us. The ACC is home to excellent national research universities with very strong academic quality, and is a group that Syracuse will contribute to significantly and benefit from considerably.

"As a comprehensive, all-sports conference, the ACC provides Syracuse tremendous opportunities for quality competition and growth in all sports, while also renewing some of our historic rivalries. This move will also bolster our continued efforts to look outward, engage, and extend Syracuse’s reach to key areas of the country, including the southeast, as we grow and expand our national connections to alumni, partners and the students of the future. We are pleased that Syracuse adds a New York City dimension to the ACC, a region in which we have built strong identity and affinity, and we look forward to bringing ACC games to the Big Apple.  Overall, for Syracuse, this opportunity provides long-term conference stability in what is an uncertain, evolving, and rapidly shifting national landscape."

The league did not announce when Syracuse and Pittsburgh would join the conference. The Big East requires 27 months notice to leave the conference, although it's doubtful that would be enforced, sources said, since the Big East would want to replace both schools as quickly as possible. Big East schools must pay $5 million to leave. Last week, the ACC unanimously increased its withdrawal fee to $20 million, in a move of solidarity.

"Today is a day that we will remember for years to come," Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said. "We are truly excited that academically and athletically we will be a member of the ACC, one of the nation's premier collegiate athletic conferences. As New York's College Team, we plan to compete at the highest level across all of our sports and help to enhance this great conference."

Gross is absolutely right: today is the day that the entire college football conference landscape will remember as the day it changed forever.
Category: NCAAF

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 19, 2011 5:59 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

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Since: Jan 23, 2009
Posted on: September 22, 2011 7:33 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

I agree with you topgun. This is going to mean so much for syracuse in terms of football, and adding Pitt immediatly makes the ACC a stronger football conference which down the road the Syracuse football addition will be beneficial. The Big East has clearly been the best basketball conference for the past few years with the ACC flirting amongst the 2nd-4th best conference range. Noone has been relevant in ACC basketball aside from UNC and Duke since Chris Paul left Wake Forest and CUSE and Pitt give that conference much needed depth on the top tear, and if UCONN joins then wow, a new top ranked conference is made.  If the ACC doesnt decide to move its conference to Madison Square Garden then they are idiots. Its a no-brainer and I think they will. The only argument would be tradition which isnt sensible. If we were honoring tradition in the first place then there wouldnt be all this conference shuffling, so throw that argument out the window. Logically the ACC would move the conference tournament to MSG, Spock would agree with me. 

Since: Oct 12, 2010
Posted on: September 21, 2011 1:05 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Okay first, to all of you whining about students "not seeing a dime" and schools making more money...just shut up.  I don't know where people in this country got this idea that a free education is worthless, especially when it is a full scholarship to a reputable institution like Syracuse (or any ACC school for that matter).  It's sad when we live in a world where college athletes are given full scholarships to private universities and people still have the audacity to complain about schools "taking advantage of them" when there are incredibly inteligent students that could make a major impact on the world and can't afford to go to the most prestigious schools because they aren't simply handed an education.

Now, how can people be upset about this, especially Syracuse and Pitt fans, alums, etc...the BCS didn't ruin basketball, the fans did.  You see, football just flat out makes more money in this country than basketball does, and if you take a look at Syracuse well, historically, we are a football school.  We also happen to have a storied basketball history as well, but it's the revenue we bring in from our football program that will pay dividends in some big ways.  First, rivalries...yeah they are great, but guess what?  Rivalries don't pay bills.  Syracuse is set to make something like 3 times the revenue it has recently in basketball alone...BASKETBALL!  How many people in this city hate Duke?  UNC?  The answer: Everyone except Duke and UNC fans.  Fans will come out in droves to see SU play these programs because, historically, they are consistenly elite.  Gtown is a storied rivalry, but they haven't been relevant in college ball for a few years now...and yet nationally Duke and UNC are recognized as elite teams.  Maryland, Fla St, Ga Tech...good teams as well.  And football?  Hosting ranked opponents like Va Tech, Miami, and Fla St. in the dome multiple times each year?  How can you argue why that is a bad thing.  Marrone has this team's stock moving upwards...and more money only helps Syracuse recruit better talent year-by-year.  What would you rather tell a prospective athlete...that he can play on local television against unknown programs such as ECU and Houston...or that he can play on national television against very good programs like Fla. St, Miami, Maryland, and Va. Tech?  Yeah, that's a no brainer...

I could go on, but I don't think I really have to.  Most people that actually give a damn about Syracuse athletics, and see where this football team is headed, agree with me.  An there are a lot of basketball fans who are excited to welcome Duke and UNC to the dome...oh, and did I mention that UConn seems to be in talks with the ACC too?  Memories of great rivalries will live forever, but I'd rather not see Syracuse go down with a sinking ship.

Since: Mar 26, 2010
Posted on: September 20, 2011 11:03 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Hey Weezy,

Say so long to the GARDEN>  Hello Greensboro. 

Since: Jan 23, 2009
Posted on: September 20, 2011 5:01 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

For the record Syracuse IS recognized as the Football University of New York City there are billboards in Manhattan that advertise such things. Also, Seton Hall and St Johns dont run New York City like Syracuse alumni do. I was a 2010 Cuse graduate and the vast majority of my friends live and work in the City. Also, the addition of the Pinstripe Bowl this past year was a way to further integrate and establish Syracuse as the university of New York. So to make my point even more clear Syracuse owns New York City. 

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: September 19, 2011 8:59 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

NYC Syracuse Alumni group

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: September 19, 2011 5:18 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

 how do you know where most of SU graduates come from? You can't throw out that statement like that without backing it up. Where's your info? Secondly, it doesn't matter how many SU students come from the NYC area. Syracuse has no connection or affiliation with NYC. There is no local cable system that broadcasts their games. They don't report on what the Syracuse teams are doing on the local sports report, unless their playing St. Johns or Seton Hall. Playing a few a couple of games at MSG each year doesn't make them a NYC team, much like Anaheim isn't a Los Angeles team. I went to school with many people from Syracuse back in college who would agree with me, not that I need it. 

Since: Jun 8, 2011
Posted on: September 19, 2011 1:59 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Where do you think most Syracuse graduates live and work?  Where do you think most of their students families live and work?  It isn't Rochester, Buffalo or Albany.

Truth - From what I can tell, they all live in Charlotte, NC now.

Since: Feb 14, 2007
Posted on: September 19, 2011 12:22 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Pitt Alum here...I am a little confused on why they are doing this.  One hand football at Pitt and Syracuse are below average but could you imagine with Pitt vs Duke and UCONN with Syracuse as well.  These are going to be final four caliber games in conference.  AWESOME

Since: Aug 31, 2011
Posted on: September 19, 2011 11:39 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

The kids don't see any of the money no matter what conference they are in.  I think that some of the kids will be excited at the new conferences.  Can you imagine OU's players being upset at having to travel to the west coast to play someone in the PAC rather than travelling to ISU to play?  Or how about the chance that Pitt has to play Duke and UNC every year in baskteball now. I know it's not perfect and may not be the right thing to do but I do think there are some good things for the students too!

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