Blog Entry

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

Posted on: February 14, 2012 8:46 am

Although West Virginia is bolting from the Big East early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse will not leave the Big East this fall for the Atlantic Coast Conference, college football industry sources told

West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were scheduled to leave the Big East in 2014, but the Mountaineers filed a lawsuit to exit early. reported last week that West Virginia and the Big East reached a verbal agreement that would pay the Big East $20 million and resolve the issues between the two parties, allowing the Mountaineers to join the Big 12 on July 1. 

Sources told that Pittsburgh and Syracuse won’t try to leave this summer, but will attempt to negotiate deals to allow them to join the ACC a year early in 2013. Unlike West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse have not pursued any legal action to get out of the Big East’s 27-month exit requirement and leave before 2014.

The main reason Pittsburgh and Syracuse are not trying to leave the Big East this season is both schools don’t want to be “any more disruptive to the Big East” for the coming season. If Pittsburgh and Syracuse left for the ACC this summer, the Big East could be down to only five football members.

Another reason, Pittsburgh and Syracuse aren’t trying to join the ACC this fall, is because the ACC doesn’t desperately need the teams to fill out this year’s league schedule, like the Big 12 needed West Virginia to replace Missouri in its 2012 schedule.

With West Virginia paying $20 million to leave the Big East two years early, Pittsburgh and Syracuse each would likely have been required to pay the same amount to leave this summer. Also by waiting until 2013, they likely can negotiate a deal to only pay $10 million – double the $5 they initially paid when they announced they were leaving. That $10 million figure is the Big East’s current exit fee since Navy announced it was joining the league last month.

Finally the timing of a move in 2013 for Pittsburgh and Syracuse also would make more sense logistically since that’s when the Big East will be adding six members – Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, Memphis, SMU and UCF.

In December, Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross said his school would honor the Big East’s 27-month exit agreement, but indicated the Orange preferred to leave sooner.

“We’re just open to seeing what happens,” Gross told two months ago. “They (the Big East) are starting to put together what the new Big East will look like. As they go forward to put together new multi-media deals, they’re going to need us to move out of the way. We’re waiting for that.”

Big East commissioner John Marinatto has said repeatedly that West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Syracuse would not be allowed to exit the league until 2014.

Two weeks ago, when the ACC announced that Pittsburgh would compete in the ACC’s Coastal Division and Syracuse in the ACC’s Atlantic Division when they officially join the league, ACC commissioner John Swofford would not speculate whether the ACC would help Pitt and Syracuse financially to leave the Big East before 2014.

“The fact we made our decision how we will schedule and compete certainly helps us (when they join),” Swofford said. “In terms of when that time may come, I don’t want to get into a hypothetical of this or that. Our position continues to be that we want to prepare ourselves when they’re ready and it’s appropriate for them to join us.”

That won’t be this summer, but the ACC won’t have to wait until 2014 either.


Since: Oct 17, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:52 pm

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

bamamatt, i only got halfway thru the first paragraph of your tome before i stopped reading. a few corrections for paragraph 1-temple didnt leave, they were booted out. and as far as "navy wont join" oops, they already did. other than that i'm sure the rest of your thesis was spot on

Since: Oct 14, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:44 pm

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

Smorgie @ the Y..............You got that right, Virginia Tech will not schedule WVU anymore because of your arrogant fans and all the BS and cursing and bottle-throwing that goes in Mountaineer Stadium.  But friend let me tell you one thing, the HOKIES will meet up with your bunch of misfits any time we have the opportunity to play WVU in a Bowl game

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:35 pm

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

Anyways, I'd say enjoy your Pittsburgh and Syracuse upgrade, but we all know it's not an upgrade.
We all also know that the ACC is a basketball conference first, and that Syracuse and Pitt would upgrade any league's basketball profile.  Whether or not they make football better?  I doubt most ACC fans care.  I sure don't.

I have no idea why Boise State or San Diego State said yes.
Really?  It's all about the Benjamins.  There are significant benefits to being a member of a BCS conference as well.  Which, again, goes back to the money point.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:56 pm

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

They are also staying because that's one less team they have to worry about to get the Big East BCS bowl bid.  I'm a PITT fan but seriously, without WVU, they will have a better chance to go out on top this year...

Since: Oct 28, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:53 pm


Buford62 - your Hokies did have a chance to meet up with West Virginia in a bowl game this past year.   It was called the ACC Championship game.  Unfortunetely you LOST for a SECOND time to a Clemson team that West Virginia then hung 70 points on.

Since: Aug 1, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:52 pm

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

Wow, really ...WOW! Listening to these Montainers, they really think they are one of the top tier football schools? Uhhh, WVU has been better than Boise? Excuse me? did you really say that? Over a long period of time, yes most certainly but not the past several years. Toss into the equation WVU is going to a tougher conference while Boise now gets into the BCS brainer Mountaineer fans, Boise is MUCH better! With your "logic" (or lack thereof) then Syracuse is a powerhouse, after all Jim Brown, Larry Czonka, Floyd Little, Donovan McNabb, Art Monk, all came from Syracuse. But guess what, the past few years SU has sucked (a minor bowl appearance 2 years ago though so they are improving slowly) and losing SU is not a huge loss for the BE if they replace them with the likes of CURRENTLY better teams in Boise St, SDSU, etc... West Virginia? it's a FAIR football school, no worse, no better!

Since: Oct 2, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:41 pm

The NCAA needs to step in and act like men...

With the exception of the CUSA/MWest merger which will guarantee 16 to 20 teams, no conference should have more 12 teams in the FBS.  Temple left the Big East because they said "they couldn't compete" back in 2000 but they have had wins over Big East schools in recent years and was one play away from beating Penn State before they fell apart.  Navy and Army won't join and that's understandable even though the Navy/Rutgers would have much more at stake.  But if Navy and Army knew that there rivalry would be protected forever and that their entry would make the conference viable for a title game things might have been different.

  Syracuse and Pitt are Big East schools period.  Boise and Houston are not.  Only the Dallas Cowboys belong in the East.  College fans and travel has to be reigned in or we might have another Marshall in 1970 just by so much needless air travel.  It's bad enough UAB has to go every other year to Hawaii because of all of these mergers but Boise to Connecticut and vice-versa every year is insane and unneccessary and the same if the Big East gets 12 teams and has an East and West Division. 

There needs to be one more automatic bid and that coming from the west whoever is the highest ranked team from the MWEST or WAC.  If the NCAA were to get manly and say there are travel restrictions like WV not going to the Big12 and the CUSA and WAC Texas teams will automatically join the Big 12 if they decide to leave their current conference and make good on their contract obligations.

Syracuse, Pitt and WV would never have left if the NCAA would have stepped in and said CUSA teams can enter just in football.  Second, if BC would have stayed put the Big East would have already had 12 teams and the other ones wouldn't have tried to jump ship in the first place.  The ACC would have gotten a Marshall or East Carolina and a Temple would have given the Big East 10 teams and it wouldn't have been hard to get two more teams if they had 10 teams.   The NCAA putting their foot down in something besides telling universities they can't serve "luxury" food called donuts to recruits would be so healthy for the state of college football but instead they are a useless body without a clue. 

There is no reason why the NCAA can't say to Missouri and Texas A&M you stay where you are because you're conference needs you since it has only 10 teams.  And when Missouri sees how the Kansas game in basketball and the Oklahoma game in football is never coming back and Texas A&M fans don't feel like going to Columbia, SC and Gainesville to see a football game since Texas is a football conference unto themselves it and the schools realize it then maybe this nonsense will stop in a few years. 

The same for Syracuse and Pitt.  When you're closer to Montreal than to you're potential division foes something has to be done.  Big East basketball would be decimated if any more teams jump ship because they are the number one bball conference and Syracuse has helped put them in that position.  Sure the grass always looks greener on another side but even the NFL decided closer geographic distance within divisions would help the sport back in 2002.  The NCAA needs to wake up and step or the conferences like the Big East need to charge 20 or 30 million dollars to get out of contracts because that's about what per year the Big East will lose in basketball and football combined per year if Syr and Pitt leaves with WVU already gone. 

Since: Dec 20, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:28 pm

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

You spelled "Flush" wrong...and a couple of your sentences didn't make any sense (must be from Morontown, wv)

Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 3:13 pm

WVU: Please flush Pittsburgh needs the water!

Morgantown is on the Monongahela River which flows through Pennsylvania on its way to Pittsburgh.  All the toilets have signs reminding us to "Please fluch, Pittsburgh needs the water."  I always remember clean toilets.

Why the delete administrator?  

Have you seen Pitts offense?  There is no chance Pittsburgh or its natives can score. Even on Valentines Day. 

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:49 pm

Pitt, Syracuse won't try to join ACC this fall

The FACTS are, with Boise State, SMU and Houston coming into the Big East it is a BETTER football conference than it was with West Virginia, Pitt and Syracuse.
Do you honestly believe this??

The facilities at Cougar High are embarassingly small and minor league quality. 
If you ever see them, you would think it was a poorly funded high school stadium.

Boise plays in a small stadium.  SMU has newer digs, but they are tiny as well.

Stadium and Facilities insure revenues and high profile games.   College Football seating is extremely important.

There is no coincidence that the SEC has the largest stadiums and best facilities.

The Big East just lost its 3 biggest stadiums and most developed facilites for tiny little fields.

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