Pitt, Syracuse move ACC ahead in college hypocrisy derby

That's the SEC's Mike Slive to left and ACC's John Swofford in middle, as they plot to take over world.

That's SEC's Mike Slive to left and ACC's John Swofford in middle. Each plot to take over world.

Congratulations ACC: You just killed a conference.

Funny. That never was mentioned in the ACC-Syracuse-Pittsburgh teleconference Sunday morning. It was all about patting each other on the back and — let me quote John Swofford directly: “This is a monumental day in the history of our league.”

The Big East? Collateral damage.

The ACC confirmed this morning what had been speculated for a few days: It walked through the back door of the Big East when nobody was looking and the lights were turned out and heisted Syracuse and Pitt from the Big East. And the buildings in college sports Armageddon continue to crumble.

Wake me when college presidents hold their next press conference on the virtues of amateur athletics and academic reform.

After Pacific 10 expansion (with more to come), and impending SEC expansion with Texas A&M (with more to come) and Big Ten expansion (with more to come), the ACC again proved it’s just as bad as the rest of them.

Tradition and regional rivalries and all the makes college sports so wonderfully unique just took another hit. This all comes with a fatter television contract serving as the primary — make that only — motivating factor. The next college president who waves the flag of amateurism gets a pie in the face.

Just can’t wait for those natural geographic rivalry games between Syracuse and Wake Forest, and Pitt and Clemson. The ACC will now have 14 members spread over nine states: Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.

When do they move north into the Maritimes or south into Cuba? The conference schedule should come with a GPS. Or a rail pass. Or a space shuttle.

When the Big East folds into oblivion — or at least is rendered meaningless on the college sports landscape — it can point to the ACC as the relative Axis powers, having lost five schools to the conference: Boston College, Miami, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse.

Yeah, I guess I’m just old. I’ve been banging on this drum for weeks. What others see as progress, I see as a wrecking ball. Four 16-team conferences, which is where we’re headed, accomplishes nothing in the big picture.

All it does is shoot the big picture full of holes.

Some Recent blogs on this topic:

Texas A&M’s move to SEC evidence of NCAA’s lost mission

•  Big 12 schools may sue if Texas A&M leaves for SEC

•  Problem in college athletics isn’t kids, its guys in suits

the headache go away. We’ll know more over the next few weeks.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter @JeffSchultzAJC; friend me at Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC

360 comments Add your comment

GOJACKETS!

September 18th, 2011
10:45 am

Jimmy Boots

September 18th, 2011
10:46 am

Jeff Schultz – what a bitter, miserable man. Send him some Valium.

godawgs

September 18th, 2011
10:46 am

will be 10/11 after this season

GOJACKETS!

September 18th, 2011
10:47 am

As far as the big east goes, these two can see what is about to happen. It is likely they would wind up in the ACC anyway so why not make it easier and take care of business ahead of time. Honestly, these two are the only ones in what’s left of the BE that the ACC should want.

Buzzer

September 18th, 2011
10:47 am

The ACC is playing defense and offense at the same time. They want to stay above 12 members in case the SEC poaches a couple.

Eraserhead

September 18th, 2011
10:49 am

Come on Schultz. You know the Big East is a fraud in football.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
10:58 am

Jimmy Boots — Bitter. Miserable. Yeah, that’s it.

So, Jeff...

September 18th, 2011
10:59 am

,,,just what is the point of this “news”?

NorthAveKillerBeez

September 18th, 2011
11:00 am

Well it makes for one heck of a Basketball confrence I must say haha~

xdawg70

September 18th, 2011
11:01 am

Prediction: The ACC adds Uconn and Rutgers to offset the loss of Clemson and Florida State to the SEC, which moves to complement addition of Texas A&M and loss of Arkansas, the latter moving westward.

ormewood

September 18th, 2011
11:02 am

Swofford and the ACC are simply playing offense. By being proactive, they have assured that they will survive long-term.

UF in a mirror is FU

September 18th, 2011
11:04 am

Jeff, you “hit the nail on the head”, these moves for the money will only kill the incredible tradition that make college sports so intriguing.

Steven

September 18th, 2011
11:05 am

Interesting that last week Jeff said the ACC was being used by Texas, which is looking since A&M is going to SEC, but this week the ACC is destroying another conference? Inconsistent message, or is it a certain bias towards a certain conference? The SEC can add A&M (thereby putting Big 12 to the history pages) but the ACC is evil Axis power by proactively working with Pitt and ‘Cuse to protect it’s own conference? As I say, interesting view of events though one I might call b.s. on if we are being honest.

BHamBuzz

September 18th, 2011
11:05 am

Jeff if you want to start pointing fingers, start with the $EC and their poaching of Texas A&M. ACC is pulling a pre-emptive strike here knowing that FSU, Clemson, and VT are all on the $EC’s shopping list.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:05 am

NorthAveKillerBeez — That’s true, although goodbye to those Syracuse-Georgetown games.

GT91

September 18th, 2011
11:05 am

9 states, JS, you forgot Virginia

david

September 18th, 2011
11:06 am

This the future Jeff, deal with it. My grandmother was from Syracuse, you know who their rivals were back then in the 30’s & 40’s? Colgate, William & Mary, and other Ivy League schools. Should we just back to that era too? If this leads to a playoff and removal of the NCAA in football, full speed ahead.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:07 am

Ormewood — I agree that Swofford and ACC playing offense and being proactive. I just don’t like the big picture so I’m not going to praise him/them for that.

UF in a mirror is FU

September 18th, 2011
11:07 am

To add a thought, the ACC has not been relevant as a football conference since they expanded. Do you think the two extra days of travel make it harder to compete over a 13 to 14 game schedule.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:08 am

UF in a mirror … (that’s profane but funny) …. Thanks, appreciate the comments.

playmeortrademe

September 18th, 2011
11:08 am

College football just might as well implode on itself now. The ultimate goal is to get all the major football playing schools into a few conferences and split football from the NCAA administratively. The CFA finally returns to make sure the money is divided according to plan.

SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12.
-The Big Ten will now go after Missouri, Kansas, maybe K-State, and maybe Rutgers if the ACC does not. Thinks those schools would be more inclined to go Big Ten than SEC or Pac-12
-Pac-12 will outbid the SEC to get the Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State package and will add Boise.
-SEC will get A&M, maybe West Virginia to even out the divisions and stay pat, may go after Texas Tech/TCU.
ACC will go get UConn and South Florida, maybe Rutgers instead of USF to lock up NYC.

Cincinnati and Louisville holding the bag from the old Big East (although Louisville may be attractive to the SEC from a basketball standpoint), Baylor and Iowa State in old Big 12. CUSA, MWC, WAC and Sun are SOL. TCU, Central Florida, and Memphis are left hanging but will find homes eventually. (UCF cause it is in Orlando, Memphis for hoops).

ESPN signs TV contacts for 100 billion dollars and we’ll continue to wonder why players take gifts from boosters.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:09 am

Steven — How am I being inconsistent? I’ve never been pro expansion? The fact that Texas would help the ACC isn’t in conflict with that at all. You need to read more carefully.

Titus

September 18th, 2011
11:10 am

As usual your off point amateurism is revealed. Don’t you think that maybe the genisis of this stems from SU and Pitt reaching out and appying to the ACC? And in order to further stablize it’s place in the inevitable seismic shift, why wouldn’t the ACC accept outstanding schools — both academically and “all sports” atheletically — like these two. The ACC may be the first to join the hypocrital crowd but it least it sticks to its overall ethos in that there is a bigger, more insitutional play here (read: If amalgamation of conferences is the future, the Dukes, GA Techs and UVas of the world want to be affiliated with like-minded academic schools like Pitt, Syracuse and BC).

The ACC will be a bastion of academic and atheltic excellence and will now span the entire east coast…that much is certain.

robinvirginia

September 18th, 2011
11:10 am

Agreed but what else can they do? The Pac 10 is gobbling as are the Big 10 and the SEC. ACC kinds of finds itself with little choice. I agree completely that the uniqueness of college football will evaporate. The person who called Mr. Schultz a “bitter, miserable man” is most likely a sapling who has no memory beyond last week. There was something unique about college football and it’s regional character that is already gone. Shame too. I don’t if my interest will survive the next few years. So be it.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:10 am

BHamBuzz — Again, repeating, again, repeating, again: They’re ALL bad.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:10 am

GT 91 — Yep. Thanks. Will fix.

GTJeff

September 18th, 2011
11:10 am

Xmutt70. The ACC presidents just voted UNANIMOUSLY to almost double the exit fees for any team leaving the ACC to $20 million. Clemson & FSU aint going anywhere. Try to keep up.

Carober

September 18th, 2011
11:12 am

Excellent, brief article. I sat in a sports law class where mike slive, as guest speaker, pounded his chest about the integrity of college athletics and amateurism. Everything the sec has done (and I am certain the other conferences are no exception) is about the t.v. money. Hypocrisy, yes. And what makes this worse is you have fans that follow suit with nonsensical chest pounding about how the better acc football schools will be joining their conference. Those comments are childish and, more importantly, blissfully ignorant of reality. Great article.

Nick

September 18th, 2011
11:13 am

The SEC is not going to poach a couple because FSU is driving the entire process and the $20 million exit fee is way too steep for anyone to leave the ACC. Just like in 03′, Florida State is totally in charge. Pitt and Syracuse were added to bring the ESPN cash cow, basketball back up to snuff. If Texas can’t cut an exemption with the PAC-12 concerning the Longhorn Network, look for them and Kansas to roundout the ACC-16. I expect that Mike Slive will steal Oklahoma and Oklahoma State from the PAC-12 to go along with A&M and either Missouri or West Virginia.

If the PAC-12 relents on the Longhorn Network, then Texas and Texas Tech join the PAC-12.

Reality

September 18th, 2011
11:14 am

14 members over 8 states…..remind me how many states the SEC’s 12 members cover? I think it was somewhere around 9 last time I checked…..make that 10 if Texas A&M jumps over.

Gordon

September 18th, 2011
11:14 am

The old Metro conference died – the world went on. There are many other examples. The world changes. I understand Jeff’s point, but if the ACC doesn’t expand it could become irrelavent. Jeff himself just wrote something recently questioning whether the ACC would even survive (or maybe it was Bradley). Well, the ACC is taking steps to make sure it does. Would you feel better if the Big East stayed intact and the ACC didn’t?

The bigger news for the ACC is that each school raised its exit fee to $20 million, which shows commitment to keeping the existing members in place. I would guess we would add Rutgers and UConn.

I'm Just Saying

September 18th, 2011
11:15 am

Jeff, by implying hypocrisy I am guessing you are referring to doing what you must to staying alive in college athletics. Would you have preferred that the ACC be the conference that is poached? Would that satisfy your sense of morality? I wonder if you would have been so sanctimonious if the shoe were on the other foot….perhaps if it was the SEC who came to poach>

Solid Gold Dancer

September 18th, 2011
11:15 am

Let’s make that 14 members throughout nine states. UVA and VA Tech I do believe are in the unmentioned state of Virginia.

Solid Gold Dancer

September 18th, 2011
11:17 am

Charles Boyer

September 18th, 2011
11:17 am

Jeff, keep in mind that Syracuse was strongly considered in the expansion that brought BC, Viginia Tech and Miami into the ACC. At that time, it was widely held that the conference honchos wanted Syracuse rather than VT. The rub was that Virginia was told by its state government that it could not vote “aye” for the expansion plans unless VT was included. Thus, it was Syracuse out, VT in. For them, it’s almost a logical conclusion.

Pitt was also mentioned at that, albeit only slightly, but it makes sense given that the ACC will not get who it really wants: Penn State. While the Nittany Lions hardly have a notable basketball program, the whole expansion issue revolves around football, and the ACC would love to see its logo on the field in Happy Valley. That won’t happen, of course, because Penn State is a content Big Ten member…so Pitt it is.

That raises the question: what’s West By God Virginia going to do, especially with two of its natural rivals — Pitt and VT — in a new ACC? One could see the Moutaineers coming to the ACC hat-in-hand, asking to join and bring their ambulance beating and couch burning traditions into the conference.

Finally, do not be too surprised if in North Carolina you see a VT-UVA type effort from the state legislature on the behalf of ECU — a school that wants into the BCS so badly its fans never stop talking about it. The Pirates have a sub top-100 TV market and no basketball tradition, so they offer next to nothing to the ACC’s demographics experts, but they do have a powerful set of legislators who would like to see their school prosper in athletics. These days, prosper means the BCS, and it wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see those fellows pull the same game on the ACC.

Buckle up, it’s going to get interesting for the Conference of Duke and Carolina, Plus Their Ten Dwarves.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:19 am

David — Fine. Then let’s just pay the players and call it what it is: professional sports. Then I’d be fine with college presidents doing anything they want.

bamaguy

September 18th, 2011
11:19 am

If you are going to blame the “television contracts” for ruining college football lets go all the way back to the source, ESPN. Back in the day there were only two or three televised games a week.

tc

September 18th, 2011
11:19 am

The sec has not done anything accept decide to allow a team that is begging to get in, to come in. There is no evidence to support that the sec is wooing schools to join. Fortunately, it is not neccessary for sec to do that like it is for the ACC.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:20 am

Playmeortrademe — Congrats. You’ve got the comment of the day.

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:21 am

Titus — This has nothing to do with academics. Absolutely nothing.

Jackets #1 Offense

September 18th, 2011
11:22 am

‘Cuse and Pitt make sense. So does UCONN from a basketball perspective – but Rutgers isn’t good at anything. What about West Virginia??? The fact that WVU isn’t mentioned tells me that they already have been in contact with the Big Ten or SEC.

Also, GT is the #1 offense in the country right now?

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:22 am

RobinVirginia — Thanks.

Gordon

September 18th, 2011
11:22 am

tc,

So you think the SEC is going to stay at 13 teams? And it was Syracuse and Pitt who petitioned the ACC for membership.

UF in a mirror is FU

September 18th, 2011
11:23 am

You bloggers who are defending this action are missing the point. This is only about money, and you reply “big deal”. Remember these are tax-exempt institutions working under the similar IRS filing status as religious organizations. Are not most of us offended when a religious organization abuses its ability to add to its bottom line with tax free money?

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:23 am

Thanks, Carober. Right on point.

Jackets #1 Offense

September 18th, 2011
11:24 am

? Not a question – Fact I mean

5150 UOAD

September 18th, 2011
11:25 am

Proactive or reactive?
The ACC sat around the last time these moves were happening and reacted. The ACC was being Proactive this time.
Maybe these moves by the ACC and SEC is what was ment by The South Rising Again.
All the Conferences can’t survive so some have to be picked apart.

Go Jackets!

September 18th, 2011
11:25 am

I think that Texas will in fact apply to join the ACC. With the addition of Syracuse and Pitt, they will be pressured to move quickly this week if OK and OK state vote to apply to the PAC12/14/16. The belief across the nation is that the big 4 conferences will go to 16 teams. That leaves only 2 spots in the ACC.

Since the Longhorn Network deal can be accepted with very minor tweeking in the ACC (not in any other conference), the ACC is only one time zone away (vs 2 hours from most of the PAC12/14/16, and Texas is an excellent academic university, the ACC is the best place for Texas to join if OK/OK State decide to leave the BIG 12.

I can see the ACC accepting TEXAS and TCU to become the first 16 team super conference. The TCU president has publicly expressed concerns about the fate of the Big East. I doubt they will actually join the Big East next year.

By the way, the Gulf of Mexico is considered part of the Atlantic Ocean to keep the Atlantic Coast Conference name in place.

GR82BAG8R

September 18th, 2011
11:26 am

Until they added Pittsburgh, the ACC consisted of schools consistent with its name – - all schools resided in a state that touched the Atlantic Coast. Is the ACC going to change its name now that it has a school in a state that doesn’t touch the Atlantic Coast, or is it going to be like a famous Size-Integer Conference and just keep its historical name where the number of schools has nothing to do with the name?
If the SEC adds schools outside the Southeast (e.g. Oklahoma), will we change our name???

Jeff Schultz

September 18th, 2011
11:26 am

Reality — Does any trip match south Florida to Syracuse? Not defending SEC but schools packed into SE corner of country. Really can’t compare the two.