Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

ACC presidents pull trigger under fire

By Danny Whitford

• SEC chief Slive should up the ante
• ACC presidents pull trigger under fire
• Big East-ACC peace plan in the works?
• ECU poised to ride out ACC-Big East storm
ACC deliberations at crossroads
Big Top needed for this circus
Where are you, Governor Easley..?
ACC juggling radical possibilities?
Big East would provide big boost for Pirates
• ACC's sure thing overtaken by events?
Football aristocracy blasted by hoops coach
Tulane president plots assault on BCS
• FSU's attention about to be diverted?
• Realignment takes back seat for Thompson
• ACC expansion train slows; ECU on radar
• Marriage counseling: That's the ticket!
• Tulane goes on offensive on dual fronts
• Banowsky defines C-USA's stance
C-USA chiefs wrap up eventful summit
BCS no barrier to Omaha for Bears
Swofford: ACC playing by the rules
Despite obstacles, UMass thinking big
Wellman: A few 12-team leagues the key
• Cards' Pitino out on limb-o about C-USA

• BCS or bust for East Carolina
• Irish hover over ACC, Miami, Big East
• SEC example proves money no cure-all
• Opposition to ACC scheme gaining steam
• ACC foray for 'crown jewel' advances
• Big East's jilted 5 gang up for future
• Herrion keeps eye on Miami's next move

• 'Sopranos' more benign than ACC syndicate
• Meetings leave big questions hanging
Tranghese sounds like "beaten man"
• Moral compass spins out of control
• Big East boss lashes out
ECU well-situated for upheavals
The Empire Strikes Back?
• Notre Dame ponders Big East role
TV markets based on bogus science
• Brave new world for ECU?
• Muse can't take wait-and-see approach
• Execs move to spawn ACC juggernaut
• Muse eyes saga from 'crow's nest'
• Is ECU prepared to navigate storm?
• Time for C-USA to revisit expansion issue

[ Originally posted 06.25.03. ]

The Atlantic Coast Conference web site features a fancy graphic highlighting the league's celebration of its golden anniversary, accompanied by a prominent tagline: "Commemorating 50 years of excellence in intercollegiate athletics."

Next year, perhaps the site's editors will amend that tagline to add: "... And that 50th year was a doozie."

On a day that powerful voices from the league's heartland chimed in with disdain over recent events, the mud-wrestling match between the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Big East over schools the former has been trying to snatch from the latter appeared headed for a dramatic, unanticipated conclusion.

USA Today, The Washington Post and all reported overnight that the ACC's presidents had voted to issue invitations to Miami and Virginia Tech — abandoning all previous game plans as well as a pair of northern schools they had been hotly courting, Boston College and Syracuse.

Now that the league's labored deliberations have finally arrived at a decision on which programs will be formally offered membership, the move poses more questions than it answers.

Will Miami — with an alumni base rooted solidly in the northeast and which is thought to feel reluctant about the idea of departing the Big East unless accompanied by cultural cousins Boston College and Syracuse — take the bait?

Will Virginia Tech — a vociferous plaintiff against the ACC in a lawsuit aimed at halting the raid on the Big East — follow its heart or its brain, its fanbase or its lawyers? Will it be swayed by the fear of being labeled the ultimate symbol of college athletics hypocrisy?

Will Boston College and Syracuse instigate legal actions of their own, accusing the ACC of misleading them into an exposed position that has severely and irreparably damaged their relations with the Big East brethren they jilted for an irresistible siren song?

Will the nine-member ACC — in order to accommodate two divisions, logical scheduling and a football title game — feel compelled to quickly issue another invitation to round out the lot to 12 schools?

In any event, ACC commissioner John Swofford had little to say in the wake of the long and secretive umpteenth teleconference that led to the blockbuster decision — a decision the league office did not acknowledge.

"We are very close to reaching a definitive conclusion to this process," said Swofford in a statement. "We expect to have an announcement in the near future."

The end-game didn't come soon enough to head off another day of stinging criticism from a pair of Tobacco Road icons who are convinced the ACC strayed from its mission.

Former UNC System president William Friday was of the opinion the whole deal should be called off.

“I think the wisest thing now, given the turmoil we're in, is to just say wait a minute and grab the opportunity to show real leadership as a conference and say we’re just not going to talk about this any further right now,” Friday told Raleigh's Time Warner Cable News 14.

“For the first time in my experience you're seeing the intervention of politics in making decisions that are strictly academic and institutional issues,” Friday said. “That's not a good thing.”

Friday's reference to politics was in regards to the involvement of states' attorneys general in the lawsuit filed against the ACC by Virginia Tech, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Rutgers and UConn.

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski indicated the ACC hasn't distinguished itself in its aggressive efforts to annex several schools at the expense of the Big East, and he lent his support to a plan to add only Miami.

"I hope we mend fences because we've obviously gone into another person's yard with our tractor-trailer and knocked down a few trees," Krzyzewski said Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.

Rutgers had suggested a compromise, embraced by North Carolina chancellor James Moeser, that would allow Miami to join the ACC, but only as long as ACC officials agreed to end their bid to add other Big East schools.

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 10:36:43 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.