The reaction has started pouring in after in was made official on Sunday morning that the Syracuse Orange is moving to the The Atlantic Coast Conference. In a rare Sunday morning teleconference, Commissioner John D. Swofford confirmed that the ACC presidents have voted to officially accept Syracuse and Pittsburgh as conference members.
"Today is a day that we will remember for years to come ," says Syracuse University Director of Athletics Daryl Gross, " We are truly excited that academically and athletically we will be a member of the ACC, one of the nation's premier collegiate athletic conferences. As 'New York's College Team,' we plan to compete at the highest level across all of our sports and help to enhance this great conference."
Syracuse was one of two schools to be extended an invitation to the ACC, along with the University of Pittsburgh. The inclusion of Syracuse and Pittsburgh increases the ACC's membership to 14 schools. Speculation is has already surfaced that the end result from all this will eventually be the era of the 16-team super conferences.USA today is reporting that the ACC is open to the idea of inviting two more east coast teams to the conference, more than likely Rutgers and Uconn , depending on how the expansion dominoes fall in other leagues.
All this news was coming down just as the SU Football Team was flying back from Los Angeles, where they lost to USC 38-17 on Saturday night. "I am excited for the University," says Marrone, "our athletics program and our student-athletes. Joining the Atlantic Coast Conference puts us in a strong position for the future. The ACC has quality schools academically and athletically. I look forward to competing against them."
From a basketball standpoint, SU Head Coach Jim Boeheim will have a very different schedule to look forward to in the near future, including, a chance to play teams like the Duke Blue Devils and North Carolina.
"In the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics, each school has to find the best fit," said Boeheim today, "the Atlantic Coast Conference has a great basketball tradition and we look forward to contributing to that."
As far as lacrosse goes, you're not going to find any better competition than what you'll find in the ACC. SU Head Coach John Desko says he looks forward to the challenge. "From a financial standpoint and an exposure standpoint, joining the ACC helps all the sports programs here, which is important. They're all elite programs so it's a great fit from that aspect as well."
Syracuse and Pittsburgh has to give the Big East a 27 month notice of their plans and will eventually pay a 5-million dollar exit fee. Last week, the ACC presidents unanimously approved raising their exit fee to $20 million dollars.
Duke University President Richard Broadhead, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents said, "The ACC is a strong united conference that is only going to get better with the addition of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University. Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics. We welcome them as full partners in the ACC."
We want your reaction too. What do you think of SU's move to the ACC?