News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Wednesday, June 25, 2003
by Will Stewart,

Reports: Hokies, Canes to Get ACC Bids

In a completely unexpected twist to the ACC expansion saga, multiple television and newspaper outlets are reporting that Miami and Virginia Tech will receive invitations to the ACC, resulting in an 11-team league.

The ACC Presidents Council met by teleconference for approximately three and a half hours Tuesday evening, and a result that no one foresaw occurred: Boston College and Syracuse were ruled out of ACC expansion, and Virginia Tech and Miami were voted in.

The news was reported first by Fox 8 News in Greensboro, NC at approximately 10:45 p.m., then was confirmed by the Washington Post in a web article that will run in their newspaper on Wednesday. Later on, multiple television stations in North Carolina and Virginia reported it, and in print, the story was confirmed by The USA Today and The New York Times.

The expansion to include Virginia Tech and Miami would happen in the 2004-2005 academic year, meaning that both schools, if they accept the invitations, would play one more year in the Big East before departing.

ACC commissioner John Swofford refused to verify the story on ESPN News Tuesday night, but the ACC is expected to announce the invitations in a Wednesday press conference. The New York Times reported that both Miami and Virginia Tech are expected to accept the invitations. The Times also reported that the vote was 7-2 in favor.

The USA Today report noted that Miami may not announce their decision to accept or reject the offer until Thursday. It is not clear if Miami has to accept in order for the Virginia Tech offer to still be on the table.

The USA Today also reported that if the expansion to 11 goes through, legislation will be forwarded to the NCAA to allow conferences with 10 teams or more to stage football championship games. Current NCAA rules allow for only conferences with 12 teams to hold title games.

Texas AD DeLoss Dodds, the chairman of the NCAA's Football Issues Committee, told the USA Today that he expects the panel, which meets next month in Indianapolis, to weigh a change in NCAA legislation that would give conferences with as few as 10 members the championship game option.

"My guess is that it would be supported," DeLoss said. "It allows people to do what they want to do; it's not something you have to do. And it might be a settling thing, in terms of (avoiding) everybody scrambling to get 12 schools to do something like this."

Stay tuned to the message boards (click the link below) for continued breaking news on this story.


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