ACC Seizes Initiative

With their pseudo-offer to include Virginia Tech in their expansion efforts, the ACC finally went on the offensive in the latest round of thei attempt to decimate the Big East.

Ever since the steadfast five Big East schools filed their lawsuit against the "Raiders of the ACC", the Swofford Gang has been on the defensive. Every move they attempted to make was either preempted or upstaged by the combined legal, public relations and political efforts of the the plaintiffs and a handful of state officials.

Now, however, momentum has been reversed. The ACC finally got a proposal (or, more correctly, an issue) in front of the public that wasn't preempted by the defenders of the Big East. Now, it's the turn of the plaintiffs to make a move to try to head off the latest "proposal".

The reasons behind the Virginia Tech trial balloon are many. A number of different scenarios have been, and are being, discussed on our message boards.

However, what this latest ACC move really boils down to is integrity. Namely, do the boys in Blacksburg have any?

Virginia Tech, along with the other members of the suit, pledged they would not entertain or accept any offers to join the ACC. Now, barely a month later, that word is being tested.

Many in the media are already quick to say that the Hokies should jump at the offer. Very few words are spoken or written about Tech's agreement not to jump. Were WVU made such an offer, there would probably be thosands of trees sacrificed by Mountain State newpapers to call the school unethical or immoral for even considering such an offer. But for the Hokies, it's mostly brushed aside, with an attitude of "it's just business."

Tech themselves didn't help any with the lame statement they issued on Thursday, which read 'Virginia Tech has not been extended an offer, either formally or informally, to join the Atlantic Coast Conference. We do not know if one is forthcoming. We are not in a position to comment on news reports. We have heard of many what-if scenarios, but we can not comment on rumors, innuendos, and intimations. The expansion plans are the work of the ACC and we have to wait and see what the ACC wants to do.'

Aside from the fact that people comment on news reports every day, the last sentence is troubling. Tech already said, and signed their name, to their course of action - stick with the Big East. Why should it matter what the ACC wants to do? Unless Tech is dealing from both the top and the bottom of the deck, this latest ploy should be met with an aggressive stance, just as every other ACC move has been met.

Part of Virginia Tech's Vision Statement reads: "We value the ability to educate the whole person. Through the undergraduate residential learning experience, students have opportunities for leadership and community service. They discover the value of responsibility, self-discipline, community service, and understanding of others."

If Virginia Tech fails to follow through on their commitment to the Big East and their fellow plaintiffs, what sord of education in responsibility and self-discipline will they be sending to their students?

West Virginia University stood up for Tech and helped them get into the Big East conference, where the Hokies prospered. It's now time for Tech to repay that debt. A debt of honor and integrity.

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