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Despite Krzyzewski's Opposition, ACC Expansion Talks Heat Up

Posted May 8, 2003

— Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has issues with Atlantic Coast Conference expansion talk, which is expected to be a hot topic at the league's spring meeting this weekend.

"The two-division concept in basketball for our league would be really bad," Krzyzewski was quoted as saying on


"All of a sudden, you wouldn't be playing these teams twice.

"Is the football championship that important that it dilutes something else that you have?"

The ACC apparently feels it can't afford to sit around and hope that in the future a nine-school conference is going to carry the same weight as a conference with double-digit membership. The conference has been in discussions with Miami about joining the league, sparking speculation that the Hurricanes will leave the Big East to join the ACC.

There's also been speculation that if Miami leaves the Big East for the ACC, so will Syracuse and Boston College. The league may add three teams so it can hold an ACC football championship game.

Miami seems ready to jump ship. A former athletic official from Miami gave WRAL several reasons why the Hurricanes would leave the Big East.

First and foremost, the official said, there are six teams in the Big East who are not a part of the conference in football but who vote on all Big East football issues.

The ACC also would better fit Miami's travel schedule, and the ACC could be more lucrative financially for the Hurricanes than the Big East -- possibly bringing in $1.5 million per year. An ACC football title game could generate another $1 million.

The Big East does not have a football championship game.

The NCAA has said that, in order to be eligible to have a football title game, a conference has to have 12 teams.

A possible scenario for the ACC has the league dividing into two divisions of six teams each. Just how the divisions would be set is where debate would begin.

One possible scenario has Duke, North Carolina, Wake Forest, N.C. State -- keeping the Big Four together -- FSU and Clemson.

The other division could have the three Big East teams -- Miami, Syracuse and BC -- joined by Maryland, Virginia and Georgia Tech.

It's not likely that FSU and Miami would agree to be in the same division. Not only are they fierce non-conference rivals who already play once a year, but being in the same division would mean that both wouldn't meet in the title game -- and a Miami-FSU title game would be a marquee event.

Before any of the expansion takes place, seven of the nine ACC schools must vote for it. But the league could have the votes already. The only reported dissensions are UNC and Duke, though other schools may be on the fence.


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