Blog Entry

Pitt, Syracuse apply to ACC, likely in on Sunday

Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:32 am
Edited on: September 18, 2011 12:14 am
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Pittsburgh and Syracuse submitted letters of application to the Atlantic Coast Conference and are "likely gone" from the Big East, high ranking ACC and Big East officials told's Gary Parrish reported Saturday afternoon that the league could vote to accept the two schools as early as Sunday. On Saturday night the ACC announced it would hold a media teleconference at 9:30 a.m. Sunday. The league did not specify what the teleconference was about, but the league's presidents are expected to formally vote to admit Pitt and Syracuse Sunday morning.

It's unknown if the schools could join the ACC next season.

Here’s the latest breakdown on what to expect among the six automatic qualifying conferences.

Pittsburgh and Syracuse independently submitted letters of application to the ACC, a league source told

Florida State President Eric Barron told The Associated Press on Saturday before the Seminoles played No. 1 Oklahoma that the ACC was excited about adding to its "northern tier."

"Pittsburgh and Syracuse, who have applied, these are solid academic schools, and the ACC is a truly academic conference," Barron said. "Certainly great basketball teams, a good history of football.

"I'm sure consideration will be very fast. I'll be surprised if it's not [Sunday]."

Earlier, a Big East official told "There is no scenario where a president applies to a league and isn't admitted."

Ironically, Pittsburgh chancellor Mark Nordenberg is the chairman of the Big East's executive committee. A Big East official added: "It's sort of like the fox in the hen house."

An ACC official said its league has been contacted by 10 schools, but the official would not disclose what conferences those schools were from. 

Also, at last week’s ACC presidents meeting in Greensboro, N.C., the league’s presidents “unanimously” voted to increase the ACC’s exit fee to $20 million. This takes affect immediately. The previous exit fee amount was $12 million to $15 million.

The loss of Syracuse and Pittsburgh could be devastating to the Big East. Syracuse was a founding member and Pittsburgh has been with the league since 1982.

An ACC official also indicated Texas has "reached out" to the ACC, but any speculation that Texas is joining the ACC is "premature."

An ACC official also said there is no timeline on expansion for the league.

In July, ACC commissioner John Swofford talked about expansion with

"I don't think it's inevitable, doesn't mean it won't happen," Swofford said. "That [going to 16 teams] is not easy to do. It's a very sexy subject to write about. It's easy to write about it and make those predictions, but if they don't come true nobody remembers you made those predictions. I think in talking [to other BCS commissioners] -- all of us -- what we want to do is what's best for our conference. We had some very thorough [talks] in the past year because of last summer -- that weren't very public -- but they were very thorough. Our preference is to remain at 12 [schools], we like 12 as the number. We're not crazy about 14 or 16 [schools] because it begins to change a number of things tangibly such as scheduling and intangibly such as culture.

"But we want to remain nimble enough so if we want to look in that direction we'll be ready to do that in very short order. Twelve [teams] works. It's not to say 14 or 16 can't work, it can. I don't think [16 team conferences] is inevitable, it's possible."

A Big East official said it's "common knowledge" among league members that Pittsburgh wants to get its name out in expansion talks.

The Big East, trying to survive all the conference realignment scenarios, has reached out to Texas, Texas Tech, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, Iowa State Baylor, said a Big 12 athletic director.

“Although I was obviously very disappointed to learn the news about the ACC’s being in discussions about membership with the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University, I continue to believe the Big East Conference is well positioned for the future and that the events of the past 24 hours will unify our membership," Big East commissioner John Marinatto said in a statement. "We have been working steadily to solidify and strengthen the Big East  Conference and position us for our upcoming TV negotiations and I am confident that we will again emerge from this situation and remain strong."

Category: NCAAF

Since: Oct 30, 2007
Posted on: September 18, 2011 12:05 am

Pitt, Syracuse apply to ACC, could be in Sunday

Gimpdog, Looks like you may get your wish. Uconn and Notre Dame are likely candidates to take the ACC to 16. I'm glad Pitt is getting out of the big east before it goes belly up. But I'll miss the WVU rivalry. Since they are likely to end up as an independent again maybe we can schedule them instead of one of the other early season non bcs conference stiffs.

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: September 17, 2011 11:43 pm

Pitt, Syracuse apply to ACC; could be in Sunday

UT did not have a TV contract when NU left.  Nice try though.

Since: Jul 8, 2010
Posted on: September 17, 2011 11:11 pm

Pitt, Syracuse apply to ACC; could be in Sunday

i see south florida bulls leaving soon also,tcu dumb ass for joining big east (lol)!!!

Since: Jan 13, 2008
Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:28 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

See what you started??? Way to go, Nebraska!!


Nebraska left because of Texas and thier TV contract.

Since: Oct 15, 2007
Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:27 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

All this conference jumping and creation of 12 to 16 team conferences will, after four years or so, implode in all probability, resulting in another shuffle that somewhat resembles what we had a year or two ago. Net result will be many of the shifting colleges saying "What were we thinking?"

Since: Sep 30, 2008
Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:12 pm

See what you started??? Way to go, Nebraska!!


Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: September 17, 2011 9:51 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

Bring Notre Dame in. So what, we can laugh at Big East football somemore? While you are at it, add Grambling and Youngstown St. Only thing you are blazing is a big crack rock on a Miller High Life can.

Since: Oct 19, 2006
Posted on: September 17, 2011 9:48 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

Two out of the last three championships equals overrated? You are def a moron and probably a Butler or West Virginia fan. Tell your cousins I said hello. UNC is gonna cut the nets down next year. Only thing that is overrated is your hairline. Boob the garbage man.

Since: Sep 28, 2008
Posted on: September 17, 2011 9:46 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"


Your basketball program is medicore, and your football program hasn't done squat in 20 years. Zip your mouth dude. You suck at smack talk. 

Since: Jun 3, 2011
Posted on: September 17, 2011 9:37 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

More than 12 teams in a conference is problematic.  Scheduling. Travel.  Competitively. Academically.    It just isnt a good idea. Im not sure why there is so much talk about these so-called Super Conferences.  Even if they form, within 5 years they will contract and get back down to a workable 12, like the Big East is on the way to doing now.

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