Local News

Unexpected Move: ACC Reportedly Invites Miami, Virginia Tech

Posted June 25, 2003

— The nine Atlantic Coast Conference presidents and chancellors burned the phone lines for three and a half hours Tuesday night. By the time the conference call was over, according to reports, the league decided to invite Miami and Virginia Tech to join the ACC -- an unexpected turn of events that would leave Syracuse and Boston College in the Big East.

Although WRAL was not able to confirm it late Tuesday night, the ACC presidents reportedly pledged to keep their decision confidential until the four affected Big East Schools could be notified.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford and Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese declined to comment. But articles by the

Washington Post


USA Today

said the deal was struck, and a news conference announcing the decision was expected Wednesday.

Tuesday's conference call was the fifth in the last two weeks by the ACC leadership. No votes on expansion were taken in the first four, and the option of inviting Miami and Virginia Tech reportedly was never discussed prior to Tuesday.

The league has been after Miami from the start of the expansion talks. Miami showed an interest in bringing along Syracuse and Boston College, which would open up three new media markets to the ACC, and ACC officials seemed to embrace the opportunity to get all three.

Talks seemed to break down in recent days. Virginia president John Casteen said he would not approve expansion unless Virginia Tech was one of the schools invited, and the league reportedly needed Virginia's "yes" vote to have the necessary seven votes to be able to expand.

The nine-team ACC needs to add three teams to have a football championship game. Miami was reluctant to join the league alone, and bringing Virginia Tech apparently was enough to push the deal through.

Where the reported deal gets sticky is that Virginia Tech is a plantiff in the lawsuit against the ACC, Miami and BC.

ACC officials -- who made campus visits to Miami, BC and Syracuse -- reportedly have not visited the Virginia Tech campus yet. League officials had said they would visit the campus of each potential new member before offering an invitation.

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski met with the media Tuesday afternoon to discuss expansion. He said he was against expanding to 12 teams -- saying the idea was driven by the prospect of a football playoff game and projected TV revenue for that sport.

"We're just going to make this money?" he said. "It's foolhardy to think that that is just going to happen. There is a price to be paid when you make a change.

"You might move into a great house, but there is a price to be paid for that. You have to sell your house. You move. Your kids are going to a different school. I've never seen an analysis of that, and when you don't see it, you wonder if people don't want you to see the hidden costs."

Krzyzewski said he supported adding Miami alone. He also said the ACC should have pushed the NCAA harder to change a rule that requires a conference to have 12 teams before allowing a football playoff game.

"It's a rule," he said. "Moses didn't bring it down from the mountain top. It's not etched in stone. Why not attack the rule and say: 'Look, why can't we have a playoff with 10 teams?'"

Krzyzewski also questioned the addition of Syracuse and Boston College, two Northeast schools well out of the ACC's region.

"To me, there's a reason why the United States doesn't have a state in France or Venezuela," he said. "We don't belong there. That doesn't mean we don't deal with them.

"There is a lot to be said about your geographic landscape. You don't just go in and say 'I'm going to take you, you and you' and not have sensitivity. I don't think we have distinguished ourselves in doing that."


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