Syracuse, Pitt Accepted Into The ACC
UPDATE (10.00 a.m., Sept. 18): It's official. Syracuse and Pittsburgh have been accepted into the ACC by a unanimous vote of the conference's council of presidents. Officials from both schools held a conference call with media Sunday morning to discuss leaving the Big East and joining the ACC.
Duke men's coach John Danowski tweeted Sunday morning, as the call was going on, "Welcome Syracuse to the ACC! Really cool men's lacrosse conference!"
Syracuse joins Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. On the women's side, the Orange join Boston College, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
No timeline for the moves was announced by the ACC in a morning press release. The Big East’s bylaws state that an institution is required to provide 27 months notice of leaving the conference, which would push a timeline to the 2014-2015 academic year. But according to collegefootballtalk.com, "Don’t expect it to take even remotely close to that long, however, as discussions have likely taken place that involve exchanging a shortened timeline on a departure for 'financial considerations'."
ORIGINAL (2.25 p.m., Sept. 17): At this point, it's unofficial, but imagine the possibility.
Syracuse joins the Atlantic Coast Conference. How about that lacrosse conference?
In news reported by The New York Times and CBSSports.com, Syracuse and Pittsburgh have applied for membership to the ACC. The decisions have more to do with big revenue-generating sports, football and basketball, than anything, but if Syracuse is accepted into the ACC, the lacrosse world would feel a significant impact.
College lacrosse's version of a super-conference would become even stronger. Syracuse, in men's lacrosse, would join a league with Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. The move would put 10 of the last 13 men's Division I national champions in one conference. Syracuse has won five men's titles since 2000.
On the women's side, the Orange would join Boston College, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Conversely, the Big East, which just started a men's lacrosse league in 2010, would lose its top men's team and one of its strongest women's programs.
And it's just speculation, but would one or more additional men's lacrosse programs with ACC ties – MCLA programs Florida State, Boston College, N.C. State, and maybe Pitt, be provoked to consider going varsity and make the new league a six-team men's group? The addition of Syracuse would give the ACC five men's teams, just one short of the six-team conference size needed for a league to have an automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
And what does this mean for Marquette, which is scheduled to begin varsity play in 2013 and join the Big East in 2014 in men's and women's lacrosse?
Just because 'Cuse and Pitt have applied for ACC membership doesn't mean they'll get it. The conference's council of presidents will vote on the matter. In another conference realignment move, Texas A&M was initially denied entry into the Southeastern Conference by school presidents, but has since re-announced its intention to leave the Big 12 to join the SEC.
"Cuse to the ACC? I'm down with that. Make the best conference Better!" former Virginia defenseman Ken Clausen tweeted Saturday afternoon.
We'll be watching.