first_img Comments Published on September 17, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Facebook Twitter Google+center_img Syracuse has accepted an offer to join the Atlantic Coast Conference, according to an SU Athletics press release. ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced on Sunday that the ACC Council of Presidents voted unanimously to accept Syracuse and Pittsburgh as its 13th and 14th conference members. Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor said the university’s Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to accept the ACC’s invitation, according to the release. ‘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 in a press release. ‘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.’ Syracuse and Pittsburgh cannot begin play in the ACC until the 2014 season due to a 27-month notice required before leaving the Big East. For the two schools to make the jump, they also have to pay a $5 million buyout to the Big East. With the move, the ACC becomes the first major football conference in the country with 14 schools. There is a lot of speculation that the conference will try and add two more schools to bring the total to 16, which would allow for two eight-team divisions.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Syracuse and Pittsburgh have become the latest schools to switch conferences in a time of uncertainty in college athletics. Last summer, Colorado and Nebraska announced they were leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-12 Conference and Big Ten Conference, respectively. Utah also decided to move to the Pac-12 from the Mountain West Conference. All three programs are competing in their new conferences this season. And last November, the Big East announced Texas Christian would join the conference beginning in the 2012 season. That move is now unstable because Syracuse and Pittsburgh made their exit from the conference. ‘It’s nerve-racking for everyone in college athletics,’ TCU Athletic Director Chris Del Conte told ESPN on Saturday. ‘There are earthquakes going on all around us. And we don’t know when they’ll settle.’ The conference realignment talks started up again when Texas A&M was unanimously approved as the 13th member of the Southeastern Conference on Sept. 7. The move is being held up because Baylor is threatening to sue, and it will likely become official after the potential legal issues are resolved. Those moves and the one by Syracuse and Pittsburgh on Sunday center on the schools’ attempts to maximize revenue through television deals in college football, according to The New York Times. SU football head coach Doug Marrone said he is excited for the move. ‘Joining the Atlantic Coast Conference puts us in a strong position for the future,’ Marrone said in the SU release. ‘The ACC has quality schools academically and athletically. I look forward to competing against them.’ Syracuse was a founding member of the Big East conference, and Pittsburgh joined the Big East in 1982. In Daryl Gross’ eyes, Sept. 18, 2011, will be a day for fans to think back on as an important one in the history of Syracuse athletics. ‘Today is a day that we will remember for years to come,’ said Gross, SU’s director of athletics, in the SU release. ‘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.’ Syracuse will leave arguably the best basketball conference in the country in recent years for another historically competitive conference. Rather than facing traditional rivals Georgetown and Villanova, the Orange will compete with powerhouses Duke, North Carolina and Maryland. That makes the move attractive to SU head basketball coach Jim Boeheim. ‘In the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics, each school has to find the best fit. The Atlantic Coast Conference has a great basketball tradition, and we look forward to contributing to that,’ Boeheim said in the SU release. The other administrators and coaches in the ACC have expressed excitement in adding Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who had Boeheim on his USA basketball staff as an assistant, thinks the two schools and their rich traditions will bolster the ACC. ‘The addition of two prestigious academic institutions such as the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University, coupled with their great tradition in athletics, is a real coup for the ACC,’ Krzyzewski said in a press release. Cantor, SU’s chancellor, believes the move is the best for the school both academically and athletically. ‘We are very excited to be joining the ACC. This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse, and with its outstanding academic quality and athletic excellence, the ACC is a perfect fit for us,’ Cantor said in the SU release. ‘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.’ [email protected]last_img