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The presidents and chancellors o the ACC will hold a conference call Wednesday morning to discuss plans to replace charter member Maryland, who will be leaving to join the Big Ten in 2014.
According to a report by ACC Sports Journal, votes on potential candidates will be held Wednesday morning with Louisville indicated to be the leading candidate to fill Maryland’s position in the conference. Any expansion candidate must receive at least 75 percent of the votes to be approved for an invitation to join the ACC.
“Given the way the conversations have gone to this point, either Louisville will be approved for an invitation (Wednesday) or nobody will be approved for an invitation,” a source within the ACC told ACC Sports Journal. “Any other result would be a major surprise.”
The competition to fill the looming vacancy to be left by Maryland has picked up since the decision to join the Big Ten was made. In addition to Louisville, other schools such as Big East members Connecticut, Cincinnati and South Florida have been reported to make a case to join the ACC. Navy has also been tied to some reports suggesting an interest to join the ACC. Navy is scheduled to join the Big East in 2015.
Louisville would seem to be a logical fit for the ACC, with a strong reputation as a basketball school that would fit in immediately among programs like Duke and North Carolina. A rising overall athletic department, highlighted by growth in football, as well as a renewed investment in to athletic facilities have made Louisville a program on the rise with legitimate potential to keep the momentum going. What holds Louisville back in the realignment madness is a lack of a lucrative television market.
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The following letter from Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe was distributed by Wake Forest Athletics via email.
As a loyal supporter of our football program, you deserve to know the reasons for the decisions that have been made over the last couple of weeks about some players on our team. The off-the-field incidents have been embarrassing to all of us and it is important that you understand our approach to matters like this. We want you to know that we do not minimize the seriousness of these matters.
Parents understand that children do make mistakes and sometimes do things that are seemingly self-centered or amazingly thoughtless. We can assure you that we never take a young man into our program without recommendations from coaches, teachers, counselors, and school administrators. Recruiting is certainly not an exact science and we diligently try to bring student-athletes to Wake Forest who will try their best to do what is right both on and off the field.
Coaches are teachers. Everyone in our program takes that role very seriously. A primary goal is to develop our players for life after school and football. The hardest decisions a coach has to make are those that may sacrifice winning a game in order to teach a player that making good decisions and caring for others are more important.
Parents are most heartbroken when their children make foolish decisions but coaches run a close second. We are disappointed in the behavior of a few of our players but feel that our team will grow from the experience. Lost in the distractions of a few are the overwhelming number of players who are working hard to be the best each and every day.
We want to assure you that every decision we make in our football program and throughout our Athletic Department is with the future and well-being of Wake Forest and our student-athletes at heart. Winning is VERY important but it will not be pursued at the expense of our integrity. Our players need a reminder sometimes that their commitment to football extends beyond the practice field. We want our players to look back years from now and know that they were more important to us than winning a football game.
Thank you for all your support and loyalty to our program! We look forward to sharing many wonderful moments with you in the future.
- Jim Grobe Ron Wellman
The new ACC-ESPN television deal achieves many things that are essential to us as a conference, institution and program. The ACC is ESPN’s only all-in conference partner and this provides marquee Thursday and Saturday coverage with the multi-platform promotional power that only the World-Wide Leader in Sports can provide. There is no doubt that national sports fans tuning in to normal ESPN programming will be exposed to more of the ACC brand over the next decade than any other league in the country. The ACC’s footprint extends from Boston to Miami and, with the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh, it now encompasses nine of the top 25 media outlets in the nation. This increased TV exposure will help recruits identify with the University of Miami Hurricanes and showcase ACC football, not just to the eastern half of the United States, but to the rest of country as well. The ACC-ESPN television pact is historic in nature and a strong indication of the future of the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Source: Miami Athletics
We are so fortunate at Miami. Our University, under past and present visionary leadership and with an 87-year history of achievement, is strong in our foundation and in our beliefs. It allows us to stay steady when there are stormy seas, and that core strength holds us together today more than ever.
Since joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2004, the University of Miami has worked hard to measure up to the high academic and athletic standards set by our peers and we could not be more proud than to call the ACC our home. We are confident in our progress and in our accomplishments, yet there is still much work to be done. We are committed to the ACC and to doing our part to continue the tradition of excellence across the board. In that regard, we have not engaged in any formal or informal discussions with any other conferences.
The additions of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University, as well as the new exclusive television partnership with ESPN, signal the very strength and nationwide appeal of the ACC. Fans will be able to watch more ACC sports and more ACC games in more ways than ever before with the most powerful brand in sports behind us. This is an exciting time to be a part of the ACC and we are honored and humbled to be among its members.