AD Lee Fowler Comments on Expansion

The University of Miami and Virginia Tech will join the Atlantic Coast Conference starting in 2004-05. According to NC State Athletics Director Lee Fowler, this is a time for celebration as the ACC welcomes its two newest members. Miami ended the process on Monday by announcing that it would join Virginia Tech in forming what will become an 11-team league.

On the conclusion of the ACC expansion saga:

"I think the decisions to join the ACC by both Miami are Virginia Tech are very positive. This is a day for celebration in the ACC. I think both schools will be great additions to the league. I've been through a process like this twice already and there are always a lot issues that can pop up at anytime."

What will be the most challenging issue facing the league as it makes the transition from nine to 11 schools?

"I think we'll get together with the two new schools in the league and work out the scheduling and those sort of things. I really don't see any tough issues. We've already got a very good conference. The Big 10 has 11 schools and they've been able to work things out to become one of the better leagues in the country. We'll deal with that as we get together over the next few months to decide those issues."

What are the chances the ACC will get clearance to hold a conference championship game for football with 11 teams?

"I think we'll pursue that, but I'm not sure how that will turn out. If you get it with 11 that would be fine. I've heard a lot of different opinions on what might happen in an NCAA petition. We'll pursue that eventually, but I think what we need to do now is to celebrate and enjoy the moment before working to become the best 11 team conference in the country."

On the probable elimination of the ACC's double round-robin schedule in basketball:

"The coaches really want to keep it at around 16 conference games, so we'll do our best to do that. Had we ended up with 12 teams, it might have been difficult to maintain some of the traditional rivals playing each other twice a year. With 11 teams, I would imagine that we would try to work it as close as we can to what the Big 10 is doing by playing some sort of round-robin format. I think we'll play everybody at least once a year and try to maintain as many of our traditional rivalries as we can."

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