The Atlantic Coast conference announced Sunday morning that it had unanimously voted to accept the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University as members.
The decision came one day after the two schools submitted letters of application to join the conference. It increases the ACC's membership to 14, and leaves the Big East without two of its key pieces. Syracuse was a founding member of the conference, and Pittsburgh joined the league in 1982, three years after it formed.
???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, in a statement. ???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.???
Syracuse was an original target of the ACC back in 2003, when the conference added Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech. The addition of Syracuse and Pitt brings the number of schools to jump from the Big East to the ACC over the past decade to five.
"We are very excited to be joining the ACC. This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse, and with its outstanding academic quality and athletic excellence, the ACC is a perfect fit for us," said Nancy Cantor, Chancellor and President of Syracuse University, in a statement. "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."
Now the question becomes whether the ACC will attempt to keep growing into a super conference of 16 schools. There have been reports linking Texas to the ACC, a move that could include Texas Tech. Other reports indicated two more Big East teams -- Connecticut and Rutgers -- could be under consideration by the ACC.
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