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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2011 11:12 pm
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The Hammer



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http://www.myfox8.com/news/wghp-story-ap-source-pittsburg-syracuse-apply-to-join-acc-110917,0,311428,full.story

 

By AARON BEARD AP Sports Writer

5:35 p.m. EDT, September 17, 2011

 The Atlantic Coast Conference has received application letters from Pittsburgh and Syracuse to join the league, according to a high-ranking ACC official.

At least 10 schools have reached out to the ACC during the recent period of uncertainty about conference realignment, the official told The Associated Press on Saturday. The official declined to identify those schools.

 

The official added that presidents of the league's 12 schools during a recent meeting unanimously approved raising the exit fee to $20 million -- up from $12 million to $14 million -- for any member leaving the conference. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the league has not announced any of the moves.

The Big East's exit fee is $5 million, though schools wanting to leave must provide notice of 27 months.

 
A jump by Pittsburgh and Syracuse could lead to another dramatic shuffle in college athletics. Texas A&M has already announced its intention to join the Southeastern Conference, leaving the future of the Big 12 in doubt.

Big East spokesman John Paquette declined to comment on the possible defections. Pittsburgh spokesman E.J. Borghetti said that athletic director Steve Pederson also wouldn't comment.

If the move goes forward, Pittsburgh and Syracuse would become the fourth and fifth schools to leave the Big East for the ACC in the past decade. Virginia Tech and Miami joined in 2004, and Boston College followed a year later as the ACC's 12th member.

Syracuse is a founding member of the Big East. Pittsburgh joined the league in 1982. The ACC official said their letters of application were for full membership.

North Carolina athletic director Dick Baddour said the ACC created a committee last year of athletic directors, university presidents and faculty athletic representatives to examine possible scenarios of both expansion and defections. Baddour, one of the four athletic directors on the committee, wouldn't reveal specifics of those discussions nor comment specifically on Syracuse and Pittsburgh.

"If you think about this nationally, it's obvious that the world is turning upside down and you want the ACC ... to be in a position where we are strong in all areas, that all of our sports are strong, that our television packages are strong as well," Baddour said shortly before kickoff of the Virginia-North Carolina game.

Speaking on a pregame radio show, Virginia Tech athletic director Jim Weaver said: "We want to move forward and be the best we can be and that's what we're going to do."

The New York Times first reported Friday night news of the talks involving the ACC, Syracuse and Pittsburgh on Friday night and CBSSports.com first reported Saturday the schools filed applications with the ACC.

Until now, the focus of this recent round of conference realignment has been on the Big 12.

The board of regents at Oklahoma and Texas have meetings Monday to discuss the possibility of the universities leaving that league. Oklahoma could be heading to the Pac-12, and taking Oklahoma State with it. Texas has stated its desire to keep the Big 12 together, but the Pac-12 could be an option as well as football independence, a la Notre Dame, which competes in the Big East in all other sports.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott attended 23rd-ranked Texas' meeting with UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Saturday, but said he had no plans to meet with Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds or President Bill Powers.

Scott talked with Texas, Oklahoma and several other Big 12 teams last year while his conference added Utah and Colorado, signing a massive television contract along the way.

Scott reiterated the Pac-12's stance on expansion: The conference is "not being proactive," but has been approached by universities and is willing to consider growing again. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have been linked with a Pac-12 move for several weeks, and Scott has confirmed several unidentified schools recently approached him for preliminary discussions.

"I'm surprised there's been so much activity so quickly," Scott said, alluding to the upheaval in conference alignment talks the past few weeks. "There's been a lot of transition in a short time."

Scott said no school has applied for admission to the Pac-12, but also said the conference has no formal application policy.

There also have been reports linking Texas to the ACC, a move that would likely include Texas Tech.

When the Big Ten was looking to expand last summer, there was plenty of speculation about Big East schools on the Big Ten's target list.

But the Big Ten added only Nebraska (from the Big 12). A few months later the Big East announced TCU from the Mountain West Conference was joining the league in 2012 as its ninth football member and 17th overall.

The Big East was close to signing a contract extension for its television rights with ESPN this year, walking away from a nine-year deal that reportedly was worth about $1 billion.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto said in August the Big East felt it was in a position of strength as the last major football conference to negotiate a deal because there would be more bidders on the market with NBC expanding its cable presence and Fox becoming more involved in college football.

The Big East's situation is tricky because of seven nonfootball members -- such as Georgetown and Villanova -- that help make it one of the nation's strongest basketball conferences. The basketball schools and football schools often have different agendas. But losing Pitt and Syracuse would be a huge blow to Big East basketball as well as football.

There already has been speculation that West Virginia would be a target for the SEC to balance out that conference and grow to 14 members if and when Texas A&M finally joins.

The other football-playing members of the Big East are Rutgers, Connecticut, Louisville, South Florida and Cincinnati.

The ACC would end up with 14 members if it adds Syracuse and Pitt, but 16 might make more sense. Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany has said his league is set with 12, but could reconsider if other conferences make additions.

It seems likely that the latest news about conference realignment won't be the last.

"I think some things will take shape in the near future," Weaver said. 
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 Posted: Sat Sep 17th, 2011 11:40 pm
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stingmark



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Pitt can join any conference they want, they'll still suck.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 12:20 am
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Road Warrior Yajuta



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I hate the fact that Football dominates so much that once powerful Basketball Conferences are destroyed.  The Big East was great as  a basketball Conference.  It is like the Big 12 schools that want to leave.  They would rather have Texas Tech in the Pac 12 than Kansas?  An also ran in Football as opposed to a dominate Basketball power?  This sucks as I am a big Syracuse fan since we used to live near there.  I hate the idea of them going to the ACC but at least the ACC has good basketball tradition.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 02:30 am
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clawmaster
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I don't like it either but we all are going to see more teams changing conferences.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 02:44 am
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I love it. As a lifelong ACC fan, I was worried this new power conference shit was going to hurt or kill the ACC, this guarantees we are players and going nowhere...this helps the football a little but helps the basketball a TON, good stuff. Now we gotta go out and get 2 more, get it up to 16...



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 03:03 am
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clawmaster
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I see conferences continuing to attack the Big East and Big Twelve. The Big 12 is toast.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 03:16 am
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clawmaster wrote:
I see conferences continuing to attack the Big East and Big Twelve. The Big 12 is toast.


This. Most of the big name conferences, are going to continue stealing teams, its sad &I agree that it sucls. Its all about $$$



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 03:20 am
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Word here is that KU is going to try and join the ACC when the Big 12 falls apart.

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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 03:20 am
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Not sure if another Big 12 team though will also try and bolt.

Last edited on Sun Sep 18th, 2011 03:21 am by Principal_Raditch

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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 08:58 am
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I think Texas might be next.



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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 01:01 pm
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The Hammer wrote: I think Texas might be next.Texas has no choice, they poisoned the Big 12, now they realize it, and have to move because their conference is toast.

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 Posted: Sun Sep 18th, 2011 01:18 pm
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It was reported as official on the Raleigh NC Tv station WRAL, just a few minutes ago.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 19th, 2011 03:51 pm
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freebirdsforever2001
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clawmaster wrote: I see conferences continuing to attack the Big East and Big Twelve. The Big 12 is toast.

The Big East will be toast within 2 years.



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 Posted: Mon Sep 19th, 2011 06:23 pm
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Did anyone ever think a simple TV Deal would cause all of this to occur?  I sure as hell didn't think the Big 12 would collapse the way it did when Texas stated they wanted to do their own network

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 Posted: Mon Sep 19th, 2011 06:26 pm
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clawmaster
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What about Notre Dame? ND is independent in football but Big East for every other sport.



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