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Big East-ACC peace plan in the works?

By The Associated Press

[ Originally posted 06.23.03. ]

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ — The athletic director of one of the schools in harm's way if an Atlantic Coast Conference raid on the Big East captures some of his league's key members has put forward a plan to halt the war between the two conferences.

Rutgers has suggested a compromise that would allow Miami to join the ACC, but only as long as ACC officials agree to end their bid to add other Big East schools.

Rutgers athletic director Robert Mulcahy confirmed Sunday that he had made the proposal. He would not discuss the plan at length, but The Star-Ledger of Newark reported Monday that other Big East schools are supporting the proposal.

The ACC last month targeted Miami, Syracuse and Boston College for expansion, and the plan seemed likely to sail through the approval process. However, Virginia Tech and four other Big East football schools have since filed suit against the ACC, Miami and Boston College, alleging the three were conspiring to destroy the Big East.

The ACC responded this week by again considering adding Virginia Tech, creating what would be a 13-team league by removing one of the major obstacles to the plan. ACC presidents have met three times via conference call in the past two weeks to vote on expansion, but have failed to do so.

While Mulcahy wants Miami to remain the marquee team in Big East football, he says the Hurricanes departure would be better than having a group of teams leave — a move that could cripple the conference.

"I would hope Miami would understand that our first option is for them to stay with our league. That would take care of the whole issue," Mulcahy said. "But if they're uncomfortable, and the ACC feels it has to do something, this is a reasonable way for all sides to come out of this."

Mulcahy would not comment on whether he has spoken with Miami officials about his proposal. Miami athletic director Paul Dee has said his school does not want to head to the ACC alone.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

02/23/2007 10:36:42 AM

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