Local News

ACC Presidents Talk Expansion For 3 Hours; Still No Vote

Posted June 18, 2003

— According to

published reports,

Atlantic Coast Conference presidents spent more than three hours in a conference call Wednesday to discuss the league's expansion plan. But no vote was taken on whether formal invitations to join the league should be extended to Big East schools Miami, Boston College and Syracuse.

The nine ACC presidents have spoken for more than eight hours over the past eight days with no votes taken.

A vote was not expected to be held Wednesday unless ACC Commissioner John Swofford felt he had enough support from the presidents to ask for a vote. Seven of the nine must vote in favor of expansion for expansion to occur.

Virginia, Duke and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reportedly have issues about adding three schools and would vote against expansion if a vote were taken now.

Meanwhile,

according to a report in the Washington Post,

Virginia has said it will not be the decisive affirmative vote for expansion -- which reportedly has league officials wondering if they can change the league bylaws so that only six "yes" votes are required for expansion.

Swofford reportedly declined comment after Wednesday's meeting.

Virginia Gov. Mark Warner has all but ordered Casteen to oppose ACC expansion because of the impact it would have on Virginia Tech. If Casteen votes yes, he could be voting himself right out of office.

Some 45 Virginia Tech graduates serving in the Virginia legislature also could get even when working on the budget.

Virginia also is building a $130 million basketball arena and needs to raise another $50 million. One key donor is a Virginia Tech alumnus, who says he'll pull his money if Virginia supports expansion.

Unable to muster the support to invite three schools, Swofford reportedly has been lobbying presidents

to invite only Miami.

The league needs to add three teams to be able to hold a football championship game, but just the presence of Miami is expected to boost the ACC's football fortunes.

Miami President Donna Shalala reportedly has told Swofford that the Hurricanes would come to the ACC if Boston College and Syracuse came with them but that they may not come alone.

The ACC said Tuesday a vote on expansion is expected by the end of June, before the exit fee to leave the Big East jumps from $1 million to $2 million.

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