Blog Entry

Pitt, Syracuse not likely on 2012 ACC schedule

Posted on: January 18, 2012 11:38 am
Edited on: January 18, 2012 12:41 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson

With very little warning, the ACC made one of the most prominent moves in conference realignment in the middle of the 2011 regular season with the addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East. The bylaw-mandated 27-month exit period was thought to be negotiable, but all signs from Big East commissioner John Marinatto indicate that the league will hold all departing members to full withdrawal process.

Following the process outlined in the bylaws would hold off the conference move until the 2014-2015 academic year. While the ACC has made it clear they are prepared to work with the Big East to get Pittsburgh and Syracuse to the league sooner, they have not made any legal efforts to expedite the process. With the release of the ACC regular season schedule coming in early February, it is beginning to look unlikely that either school will be in the ACC for the 2012 season.

"You never say never, but it's unlikely there would be major changes once [the schedule] is set," Mike Finn, ACC associate commissioner in charge of football communications, told The Charlotte Observer.

The SEC and Pac-12 have both released their conference schedules for 2012, and the rest of the major conferences will likely follow suit in the next several weeks. The ACC released the 2011 league schedule on Feb. 14.

While the ACC seems comfortable waiting out the exit period, West Virginia is having a much more difficult time leaving the Big East. Both the school and the conference have filed competing lawsuits regarding West Virginia's plans to join the Big 12, and a Rhode Island judge has ordered both parties to enter non-binding mediation. West Virginia hopes to reach a settlement allowing the school to join the Big 12 in time for the 2012 season, while the league has no plans of making exception to the bylaws. A status conference has been scheduled for Feb. 9, as both parties hope to reach a resolution before the Big East and Big 12 release their conference schedules.

When the Big East releases their schedule for 2012, I would expect to see West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse on the slate. If the Big 12 includes West Virginia as well, it could lead to potentially massive headaches for both conferences. It seems as though the ACC is content avoiding the legalities and welcoming their new additions at a later date.

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Since: Jan 2, 2007
Posted on: January 18, 2012 1:03 pm

Pitt, Syracuse not likely on 2012 ACC schedule

John Marinatto should actually be the one looking to expedite the process.  It does the Big East no favors to have Syracuse or Pittsburgh simply running out the clock on their membership without the conference moving to solidify its membership for after the other schools have left.  I stand by my belief that the Big East needs to decide whether or not it wants to be a baskeball conference or a basketball/football conference moving forward.  In the coming age of superconferences, they can't afford to occupy the most populated region of the country and be half a conference.

It's time to call schools like Villanova, Georgetown, and Notre Dame they need to make a choice.  Either you're with us for both sports or your on your own.  I don't believe a conference can exist anymore with some teams joining in for some sports but not for others.  The problem lies in the 300+ teams qualifying for division I basketball status and only a hundred or so for BCS-level football.  But, then again, if you want to hang with the superconferences, you probably need to play in both sports.  Let second tier conferences like the Atlantic 10 or Mid-American focus on single sports.  It's time for the Big East to decide if they're rolling with the big boys or not.  Fighting the departure of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia isn't helping matters.

Since: Aug 10, 2006
Posted on: January 18, 2012 12:23 pm

Pitt, Syracuse not likely on 2012 ACC schedule

The Big Least is just delaying the inevitable - West Virginia will be playing in the Big 12 in 2012.  The lawyers will get it done.  RIP - Big Least.

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