GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Clemson University President James F. Barker, chair of the Council of Presidents, announced today that the Atlantic Coast Conference, having voted to expand to 12 schools, will enter formal discussions with Boston College, University of Miami and Syracuse University regarding their potential membership in the Conference.
Formal action on the admission of new members is pending, based on Conference by-law requirements, which include visits to the three campuses and discussions with each school's President.
"Over the past 18 months, our Conference has been involved in an intense and thorough strategic planning evaluation on the long-term direction of the ACC," said Barker. "The priorities of this evaluation have been academic compatibility, commitment to student-athlete welfare, long-term financial stability and national athletic excellence.
"Today, our member institutions reached agreement to begin formal discussions with Boston College, the University of Miami and Syracuse University to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. These three institutions represent and share the values for which the ACC has long been known."
Further action on expansion will follow on-site visits and discussions with these institutions in accordance with the ACC by-laws. A proposal submitted by the University of Virginia to include Virginia Tech in the expansion to 12 schools fell short of the necessary votes.
Statement from Florida State Director of Athletics Dave Hart in response to ACC's Release:
May 16, 2003
"This step in our ongoing discussions regarding expansion is certainly very significant in nature. As a longtime proponent of conference expansion, I welcome the opportunity for us to move into a very formal stage of assessment with these three outstanding institutions.
I remain convinced as the landscape shifts in intercollegiate athletics, that the ACC would be very positively positioned should these formal discussions ultimately culminate with a conference which blankets the eastern seaboard."