ACC says vote not likely till late June

The Associated Press
6/17/03 6:40 PM

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- The Atlantic Coast Conference said Tuesday it may not vote until later this month on whether to add Miami, Syracuse and Boston College to the league.

The ACC's statement was issued on the eve of a teleconference among the school's top leaders and league commissioner John Swofford, who insisted last week there was no timetable for the vote.

The three Big East schools each have to pay a $1 million exit fee if they bolt to the ACC, and the penalty doubles after June 30.

"The ACC is engaged in a thorough, member-driven, strategic planning process designed to ensure the long-term viability of the conference," Ron Wellman, Wake Forest's athletic director and chair of the ACC athletic directors, said in the statement.

The ACC's nine presidents and chancellors spoke by teleconference last week but reached no consensus on whether to expand the nine-team league. An expansion would require approval by seven of them.

"It was never imperative that a decision had to be made today, tomorrow or the next day. As much time as is needed will be taken," Kevin Morrow, a Syracuse spokesman, said Tuesday.

Officials from the other two Big East schools did not return calls seeking comment.

Duke and North Carolina have voiced concern about travel costs, student welfare and projected football revenues of an ACC title game and future TV contracts. Virginia also has had to weigh political pressure from a state legislature that wants Virginia Tech included in the expansion mix.

The five remaining Big East football schools -- Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, West Virginia and Virginia Tech -- have sued to try to stop the expansion.

The ACC has expanded just twice in 50 years. Florida State was added in 1991 and Georgia Tech in '78.

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