Shaw and Crouthamel react to BC defecting

Syracuse University Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw and SU Director of Athletics Jake Crouthamel will conduct a press conference regarding the ACC, Boston College and the BIG EAST at 12:00 p.m. on Monday, October 13 in the cafeteria of the Iocolano-Petty Football Wing.

The following statements from Shaw and Crouthamel were released by Syracuse University earlier Sunday evening.

Syracuse University responds to ACC invitation, BC acceptance of membership

Chancellor Kenneth A. Shaw:

There were those who felt the intent of the ACC all along was to appreciably weaken the Big East Conference. I've told a number of ACC presidents that taking another Big East school would serve to reinforce this belief, given that we've spent all this time putting together a new conference. Their action is especially disappointing since their stated reason against Syracuse University and Boston College was geographic, specifically their stated desire to retain the conference footprint in the mid-Atlantic and the South.

We've spent the better part of three months planning a new configuration for the Big East. Boston College has been involved in this planning process. We are terribly disappointed that BC would leave at this time. But we will move forward.

This latest event only strengthens my resolve for us to fashion an extremely competitive conference, and we will. This will happen very soon.

Director of Athletics Jake Crouthamel:

For the second time within four months, the ACC has intentionally tried to destroy the football side of the Big East Conference with the clear motive of attempting to eliminate it as a competitor and a BCS participant. Even when we were one of the original invitees involved in ACC expansion, I found that action to be very disconcerting and for that reason we were not falling all over ourselves publicly, as were others in that original mix.

I am personally offended by the actions of the ACC. Its stated purpose in expanding to 12 members was to reach the arbitrary minimum number to conduct a conference football playoff game as currently required by NCAA regulations. A mere first step in seeking an NCAA legislative rule change to permit a conference to conduct a football playoff with fewer than 12 members was not recommended for approval in the preliminary stage. However, there are at least two additional steps which could have delivered the intended result that were not pursued. In fact, all the ACC really wanted was Miami as a tenth member, which would have significantly strengthened their football position without additional negative impact on the Big East. As recently as two weeks ago, the commissioner of the ACC personally indicated to me his intent to follow through with the full legislative process. The fact that this process was ignored lends credence to the destructive motives of the ACC.

As for Boston College, also an original member of the Big East, I am disappointed. Three months ago, the presidents, chancellors and athletic directors of the six remaining Big East football schools sat face to face and pledged their loyalty to one another and to the Big East. I guess handshakes don't mean much anymore.

We will proceed with our ongoing task of re-creating a Big East Conference that will, of necessity, have several new faces. The naysayers may dwell on the negative of losing traditional rivalries and a less attractive schedule, and wonder, "Why don't you invite Penn State or Notre Dame?" I would prefer to look at this process as one of creating new rivalries that will become traditional, building strength within those rivalries, and representing the highest level of intercollegiate athletics in the East.

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