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Archive for Wednesday, June 25, 2003

ACC to pursue Miami, Virginia Tech

Syracuse, Boston College reportedly not included

June 25, 2003

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— The Atlantic Coast Conference has decided to pursue a two-team expansion, one that would add Miami and Virginia Tech, a high-ranking league source said Tuesday night.

After a 21/2-hour conference call, ACC commissioner John Swofford refused to comment on whether Miami and Virginia Tech -- the Big East's two dominant football schools -- had been offered invitations to join.

"We're very close to bringing this to a conclusion. I would expect us to have an announcement in the next couple of days," Swofford said.

The Washington Post and USA Today, quoting anonymous sources, reported on their Web sites the ACC voted to extend invitations to Miami and Virginia Tech, and Syracuse and Boston College were not included.

The league source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Associated Press the league presidents decided that the only way expansion would work was if Miami and Virginia Tech joined what would become an 11-team conference.

The source also said ACC presidents no longer expected Syracuse and Boston College to be part of the expansion process.

"We're very close to being at the end of this," Swofford told reporters outside ACC headquarters.

He said the ACC presidents did not have another teleconference scheduled.

"Each conference call has taken us a step further and this was the closest one to the end," he said.

Asked whether the reports on Miami and Virginia Tech were accurate, Swofford said he wouldn't comment on "reports and speculation until we're ready to make a definite announcement as to where we are."

The ACC presidents voted to expand May 13, and conference officials visited Miami, Boston College and Syracuse to assess their facilities. Virginia Tech came into the picture last week, as part of a compromise suggested by Virginia president John T. Casteen III.

Virginia Tech was one of five Big East football schools that filed a lawsuit June 6 to try to stop BC, Miami and Syracuse from leaving the conference. Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and West Virginia were the other parties to the suit.

A Connecticut judge is scheduled to hear preliminary arguments Thursday in the suit.

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