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      A warm welcome to a new conference featuring some familiar foes

      With the ringing of the bell here at the Nasdaq Market Site on 43rd street in Times Square it became official. Syracuse is a member of the ACC. Officially. Let that sink in for a moment, and before you get nostalgic about the conference SU is leaving and its soon to be former rivals remember that SU is one of 6 former Big East teams that will be in the ACC by 2014. I've always been a huge proponent of this move, and after today's festivities in New York I couldn't be more excited to cover Syracuse. In addition to the competition the Orange will face, the ACC powers-that-be are some of the friendliest people (and, in some cases strangers) that you'll ever meet. Despite having countless "one-on-one" interview requests, Commissioner John Swofford found time to do every single one. So much, that by the time he got to me and our CNY Central crew I felt I had to apologize in case the questions were repetitive. He insisted one wasn't necessary and gave a great interview, diving in on what could be a touchy subject which was when SU was left out in the cold in the 2003 ACC expansion. He also enlightened by talking about Syracuse being the "bell cow" of his teams when it comes to delivering New York City. After meeting the man just once, it's no secret why the future of the ACC is beyond secure. Swofford is a classy leader. It was also nice to see big time college football coaches like Frank Beamer from Virginia Tech and Jimbo Fisher from Florida State. I wasn't able to speak to Jimbo, but it provided a big smile when Beamer said of playing Syracuse "Donovan McNabb beating us on the last play and Dwight Freeney chasing around Michael Vick." Beamer assured me that Blacksburg hasn't forgotten about Syracuse as a rival. Long story short, the ACC atmosphere is wonderful, welcoming and full of pride and excitement. You could almost call it southern hospitality, but, the conference reaching 43 degrees north on a map. I guess we could just call it a great bunch of people running a great league, that Syracuse fans should be proud to be a part of.