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: Nov 23, 2008
Posted on: September 17, 2011 5:30 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

I love this.  Now the effect of Texas' rattlesnake called LHN is dooming BigEast.  It would be ironic if Big12 comes out intact just without A&M. Then TCU will join Big12 instead of BigEast.  Let's face it, BigEast was nothing but hodge-fodge of tranditional football schools vs CUSA upstarts and needy BB only baggage.  It is apparent that those traditional football schools missed playing BC, VT, and Miami.  But only Syr and Pitt were obvious choice with their academics so they were allowed to apply.  UConn's football, yes I know that they went to BCS bowl last year but that was the fault of the system and they were clearly overmatchted, without any tradition (no TV following) and WVU's academics put them in on deck circle.  ACC is playing smart like Pac12 did last year as getting teams it wants first to close out any possibility of having to accept any unwanted program like Baylor if Texas ever chooses ACC.  Also by taking these teams and putting BigEast in danger puts pressure on Notre Dame.  Notre Dame will be forced to choose between B1G, ACC, or feed rest of BigEast BB schools by itself.  My bet is UConn goes to ACC with Notre Dame. WVU to $EC. Cinnci, Luisville, Rutgers, SF, TCU to suddenly stable Big12 with Ok schools staying. 

Since: Jan 6, 2010
Posted on: September 17, 2011 5:17 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

Someone mentioned Rutgers going into the ACC along with UConn.  If all this happens I would prefer to see Pitt, Syracuse, UConn and WVU go to the ACC.  As I stated earlier, this potential move by Pitt and Syracuse is dubious at best...but one good thing would be for these real programs getting away from the likes of Rutgers who bring little to any conference but JUCO programs, facilities, and mentalities.  Don't buy into that crap about that school bringing in the NYC media market...can't and won't happen as NYC is a pro team entity.

Since: Dec 22, 2009
Posted on: September 17, 2011 5:04 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

As a lifelong Pitt fan this SUCKS

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:53 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

Florida State?!?  Its right there in the article.  C'mon, I can think of 20 million reasons why Florida State (or any other ACC school) wont be joining the SEC.

Since: Sep 17, 2011
Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:39 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

Skyhalk, Be serious. Texas A&M is worth so much more to the SEC than Syracuse & Pitt are to the ACC. Texas comes with 2 of the top 10 tv markets in the country as well as more football history than Pitt & Syracuse. Syracuse has been awful for the last 10 years. This whole thinf is about tv money & the Texas tv markeet give the SEC a giant win, regardles of who #14 is. Don't be surprised if it is Florida State.

Since: Dec 3, 2006
Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:33 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

Why even have conferences? In the past I pulled for the SEC because I'm a BAMA fan. Well most teams in the SEC. It helps recruiting etc. Now if we have 20 teams so what. What does it matter? Conference pride doesn't mean anything. I hate to see all this happening. From now on I will just pull for my team because it's so deluted who cares. In the south it means more to beat LSU and Georgia and Auburn then it does Texas A&M or VaTech. That's why most teams have more fans than we do at bowl games.

Since: Sep 2, 2011
Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:23 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

ACC still a basketball conference obviously. This is a big-time move to go get 2 of the cornerstones of the Big East conference. Big East will die as a football conference. Now the question is if the ACC gets Texas to boost football or does get 2 more from the Big East and solidify itself as the premier basketball conference. Take your pick between Louisville and UConn or maybe toss in Rutgers to get into NYC. Either way this is a solid move for the ACC contingent on Syracuse continuing on the road back to relevance in football and Pittsburgh staying competitive.

Since: Oct 30, 2006
Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:11 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

You must have a hangover, if you think Pitt and Syracuse will upgrade the ACC.  Do you possible think they are better than Florida State, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Miami or North Carolina in football.  Not that Pitt or Syracuse are garbage, but it's not like they will come in the ACC and challenge for a ACC Championship.  But if you all do come to the ACC could you at least bring WVU.  Then it would be a win move for the ACC other than that, they would do better grabbing East Carolina and Delaware.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: September 17, 2011 4:07 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

The Big East had no position of strength. The Big Ten and SEC want to expand and can't get the ACC, so they were going to pick apart the Big East. The ACC just beat them to the punch.

Since: Aug 22, 2006
Posted on: September 17, 2011 3:51 pm

Big East official: Pitt, Syracuse "likely gone"

This is an utter disgrace. The Big East was, BY FAR, the best basketball conference in the nation - for years, the ACC has been Duke, UNC, and nothing else. Both conferences are equally bad in football. As a proud Syracuse alum, I can't wrap my head around why teams in OUR conference would ever view the ACC as greener pastures. Rather than jumping ship, we should have come from a position of power and started adding enough up-and-coming teams (like UCF) to add a conference championship game in football, which is really the end game of all this movement. I'm so disgusted right now, I'm having a hard time even getting excited about any Cuse teams.

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