Another Winner in ACC Expansion
by Nathaniel Bishton, 7/11/03

Here I was, freshly graduated from high school, ready to embark on the 2003 Virginia Tech football season, I mean, school year, and ACC expansion comes in at full force. Displeasure encompassed me, as it seemed Virginia Tech would be left to build a castle out of hay. But as I returned from a week at the beach with my friends, it seemed that the tables were turning, and if the ACC were to expand, Virginia Tech would be a probable addition.

There has never been anything more exciting to me than venturing to Blacksburg on a Saturday in the fall for a football game. Now that I will be spending the better part of my next four years there, and three of those years would be spent in an ACC school, the excitement only increased. I loved Big East football, but being a part of the entire ACC experience will be something very special. Two of my friends will be playing sports in the ACC, and now theyíll be making trips to Blacksburg, or Virginia Tech will be making trips to Chapel Hill or Clemson for competition. Being able to see my friends compete at the highest collegiate level will be something Iíll cherish for years.

ACC expansion will improve student life at Virginia Tech well beyond even my years on campus. Education will improve incredibly for the students at Virginia Tech in the ACC. The level of education was already rapidly improving in Hokie country, but with the ACC tag added to Virginia Tech, the application for prospective students will look that much more attractive.

Non-revenue athletes will also reap the benefits. Being able to compete at a high level of competition will better the other Hokie athletes in all aspects of their lives. They wonít have to worry about long bus trips to Chesnut Hill, Syracuse, Connecticut, or other northeastern localities. Instead, theyíll have short commutes to College Park, Durham, Raleigh, and Winston-Salem. More hours for study during the school year means fewer hours of summer school, giving the athletes the chance to actually live the life of a college student.

I have the pleasure to live my fatherís and his friendsí dream. It has long been the dream of many Hokie alumni (particularly Mr. Alderson) to be included in the prestigious ACC. Now Iíll be able to relive to my little Hokies as a father, the classic gridiron battles with Miami, Florida State, and Virginia in the Terror Dome, and the time mighty Duke stormed into Cassell as the top team in the land and fell to the not-so-meager Hokies, who completed their dream season with an NCAA Championship. Hey, I can still dream. (Mr. Alderson was also correct about run-on sentences, they are fun).

While we wonít know the true results of ACC expansion for years to come, Iím very confident that the Virginia Tech Hokies are on the rise in all things. Itís amazing how in the course of a few weeks, the hopes of Hokies can go from grimly dim, to brilliantly bright. Whatever the future holds, I am not concerned. I feel much more comfortable with a challenge in the ACC, than with rubble in the Big East. And if the critics boo the Hokies, may they fulfill their will. Thatís why we have the mountains in Southwest Virginia. To block them.

          

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