Blog Entry

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Posted on: September 18, 2011 8:15 am
Edited on: September 18, 2011 10:54 am
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents unanimously voted to accept Pittsburgh and Syracuse as new members Sunday, the league announced. The invitation followed the submission of letters of application from both universities.

“The ACC is a strong united conference that is only going to get better with the addition of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University,” said Duke President Richard Broadhead, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents.  “Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics.  We welcome them as full partners in the ACC.”

On Saturday morning, first reported that Pitt and Syracuse had submitted letters of application to the ACC. Commissioner John Swofford said the league would respect the Big East's withdrawal by-laws, which requires 27 months notice. However, it's doubtful the Big East would want Pitt and Syracuse to remain in the league over that period because it would seek to immediately add additional members to survive.

“The ACC has enjoyed a rich tradition by balancing academics and athletics and the addition of Pitt and Syracuse further strengthens the ACC culture in this regard,” Swofford said. “Pittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACC’s reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC will cover virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.”

It also could serve as a devastating blow to the Big East Conference. Syracuse was a founding member and Pittsburgh has been a member since 1982. The Big East was stunned by the news and didn't learn that either school had submitted a letter of application to the ACC until Saturday.

“This is an exciting day for the University of Pittsburgh. We have a long history of competing and collaborating with the distinguished universities that already are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and have enormous respect for both their academic strengths and their athletic accomplishments,” Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark Nordenberg said. “In looking to our own future, we could not envision a better conference home for Pitt and are grateful to the Council of Presidents for extending an invitation to join the ACC community.”

Pittsburgh desire to leave the Big East was "common knowledge," several Big East sources told Nordenberg has served as chairman of the Big East's executive committee of presidents and "put the brakes" on the Big East accepting a $1.3 million media rights deal from ESPN in the spring.

“This is a very significant day for all of our student-athletes, coaches and staff at the University of Pittsburgh,” Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said. “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."

The addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse will speed up the race to 16-team superconferences. So what will happen next? Here's one viewpoint on what lies ahead for the ACC and Big East along with the other four automatic qualifying BCS leagues and Notre Dame.

"We are very excited to be joining the ACC," Syracuse Chancellor Nancy Cantor said. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse, and with its outstanding academic quality and athletic excellence, the ACC is a perfect fit for us. 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.

"As a comprehensive, all-sports conference, the ACC provides Syracuse tremendous opportunities for quality competition and growth in all sports, while also renewing some of our historic rivalries. This move will also bolster our continued efforts to look outward, engage, and extend Syracuse’s reach to key areas of the country, including the southeast, as we grow and expand our national connections to alumni, partners and the students of the future. We are pleased that Syracuse adds a New York City dimension to the ACC, a region in which we have built strong identity and affinity, and we look forward to bringing ACC games to the Big Apple.  Overall, for Syracuse, this opportunity provides long-term conference stability in what is an uncertain, evolving, and rapidly shifting national landscape."

The league did not announce when Syracuse and Pittsburgh would join the conference. The Big East requires 27 months notice to leave the conference, although it's doubtful that would be enforced, sources said, since the Big East would want to replace both schools as quickly as possible. Big East schools must pay $5 million to leave. Last week, the ACC unanimously increased its withdrawal fee to $20 million, in a move of solidarity.

"Today is a day that we will remember for years to come," Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said. "We are truly excited that academically and athletically we will be a member of the ACC, one of the nation's premier collegiate athletic conferences. As New York's College Team, we plan to compete at the highest level across all of our sports and help to enhance this great conference."

Gross is absolutely right: today is the day that the entire college football conference landscape will remember as the day it changed forever.
Category: NCAAF

Since: Nov 20, 2007
Posted on: September 19, 2011 7:43 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

The ACC crowd was right.  Pitt isn't any good.   You'll be nothing but "middle of the road" in the ACC.  Basketball and football.

Since: Oct 19, 2007
Posted on: September 19, 2011 7:13 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

All I can say is last march during the madness we heard from the ACC crowd say how Pitt isnt any good and that the media hypes the Big East well guess what ACC Fans real soon Pitt and Syracuse are gonna come to town and show you guys down there that they are for real.And I for one cant wait It will be some good BBall

Since: Jul 28, 2011
Posted on: September 19, 2011 4:20 am
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Aug 31, 2008
Posted on: September 19, 2011 3:07 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

  "They got caught with their pants down back when Miami,Virginia Tech and BC left and never recovered. they were on the verge of losing the BCS automatic bid, to the ACC in my upinion. "

Uhmm, the ACC ALREADY has an automatic bid to the BCS. They just haven't had a team good enough to get into the big game.

Since: Mar 15, 2011
Posted on: September 19, 2011 2:44 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

     Why is everyone getting so bent out of shape about this move by Pitt and Syracuse. the writing was on the wall about the Big East in football.And I totally blame the Big East commish and board for that. They got caught with their pants down back when Miami,Virginia Tech and BC left and never recovered. they were on the verge of losing the BCS automatic bid, to the ACC in my upinion. 

    Now they are asleep again, with all the talk and rumors going around about Big East schools thinking of leaving, they decide to sit back and wait to see what happens. their thinking is wait till the other conf`s break up and then go in to pick up the left overs. by the way, Pitt did let them know if something good came up they were certainly going to look it over, so if that wasnt a hint Pitt was thinking of leaving.

    BB has a lot to do with the football part of it too. they just couldnt expand that much because of all the BB only schools in the conf.In my opinion, the Big East would have had to go to at least 12 teams for a good solid conf and that wasnt going to happen because of BB..

   Just a few more comments. Those people talking about Norenburg the Pitt pres as being the chairman of the board, he was like 6 years ago. and that was for like one year. so you ppl are totally out of line blaming him about holding back or stalling the 1.2 billion dollar tv rights.

  Did money have anything to do with this decision, of course. but so what, I dont blame Pitt for going there for the money, they would have to be idiots not to.

  As for traditions, that is a shame to lose. both in BB and football, but you know what, people will get over it, just like everything else. in time they will forget all about it and new rivaliers will begin. Me, I especially  looking forward to when Pitt kicks Virginia butt for the way they were treated there when they played a few years ago. so thats one rivalry I like to see started.

   so to sum this up, yes it was good for Pitt to go to the ACC, good conf for football and for BB, the money is three times better than what the Big East was. new rivalries will be good. it is much better to do this now than to wait until the Big East was too far gone and other conf were filled and not looking for new members, for once I think Pitt is actually ahead of the game. they are in a good solid conf now and hope they stay there a long time. 

   I been going to Pitt football games now for 36 years and I intend on continuing going to games, no matter what conf they are in.

Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: September 19, 2011 12:01 am

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Bobby Fischer, where are you when we need you the most? Okay, let me see if I can get this straight. Syracuse and Pitt are going to the ACC. UConn looks interested in following in their footsteps. Is Rutgers that far behind? Wham! Bam! Thank you m'am. We have our first Super Conference.

Oklahoma and OK St. are primed for the PAC 12. Now I hear Texas may have a tentative deal with the Pac 12 on somehow working the finances and keeping the LHN which means lil bro Texas Tech will tag along. Another Wham! Bam!  - you get the drift.

Texas A&M, who began stirrng up the ashes left by Nebraska and Colorado, is going to the SEC. Could Missouri, Kansas, and  lil bro Kansas St soon follow? Sure would help in basketball. Oh yes, another Wham! Bam! and yadda yadda yadda.

Curious that West Virginia would not be in this mix. (Or are they?) Pretty quiet in Mountaineer land. Not really a southern mix school but stranger things have happened. ACC? What I've read is nothing but criticism coming from their supporters - not sure about that one.

Where do we stand? Iowa St., Baylor, Cincy, Louisville (KY would love to add them to the SEC), and So Florida are right now in limbo. Great pluses and minuses for each of these schools. Add a little non football / basketball only Big East Schools and you have one helluva Goulash. Still don't see how the Big East survives.

Where is the Big 10 in all of this? They say they are comfortable with a 12 team conference but it has got to make them feel a bit uneasy with all these Knights, Bishops, and Rooks, being knocked all over the place. Ya gotta believe Notre Dame feels a bit uneasy too.

I too hate to see traditions dissolved, loyalties thrown away, and honor tarnished but let's see what evolves. We might like it.

"The only thing constant is change." Let's hope the landscape of college sport is not too drastically changed. Afterall, teams still will be able to play one another regardless of which conference affiliation. Some rivalries could continue. When the dust settles, maybe the BCS will entertain a playoff system. Although, can you imagine the cost of going to several post season games for a student or family? One Bowl game can be quite expensive on its own.

Let's not worry about that right now. We have more important issues to concern ourselves .... like, which uniform will Maryland show up in next week. In any event, it "looks like we're in for a bumpy ride."

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: September 18, 2011 10:21 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

The BIG EAST may be down, but they are not out.


This just in once the Mountaineers jump ship it's curtains for the Big East.

Since: Jul 27, 2007
Posted on: September 18, 2011 10:06 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

This is a huge blow to the BIG EAST. I love watching BIG EAST basketball. I always believed they were a better conference than the ACC. Sure Duke and UNC are good teams, but the competition in their conference, seems to be inferior compared to the BIG EAST. It seems every year during basketball season, the critics play up the ACC as Apollo Creed, while the BIG EAST plays the role of Rocky. The BIG EAST may be down, but they are not out.

Since: Dec 29, 2006
Posted on: September 18, 2011 9:37 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse


Where do you think most Syracuse graduates live and work?  Where do you think most of their students families live and work?  It isn't Rochester, Buffalo or Albany. 

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: September 18, 2011 9:34 pm

ACC officially adds Pitt, Syracuse

Syracuse adds a New York City dimension to the ACC, a region in which we have built strong identity and affinity, and we look forward to bringing ACC games to the Big Apple.
How does Syracuse add a NYC demension? NYC is about 250 miles away from Syracuse. With 9 major pro sports teams in the NYC area, 2 of which are basketball teams, college sports takes a back seat. Most sports fans in the NYC area don't really follow college sports. Syracuse has about as much to do with NYC as Anaheim does with Los Angeles...

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