Around the ACC, the two new members were welcomed warmly.
Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski called the moves “a real coup for the ACC,” and athletic director Kevin White said Pitt and Syracuse “provide the best fit _ at the right time _ for the ACC.” Miami President Donna Shalala, a Syracuse graduate, said she was delighted to add those schools.
Swofford confirmed the ACC unanimously approved raising the exit fee to approximately $20 million _ up from $12 million to $14 million _ for any member leaving the conference, a maneuver seemingly designed to keep the remaining ACC schools in the fold.
“I look at that, as I think our presidents do, as actually a show of solidarity and confidence in each other,” Swofford said, “but it’s also set in terms of what we think, in losing a member, the various tangible and intangible costs may be.”
It’s sure to create even more bad blood between two conferences that became embroiled in a nasty lawsuit the last time the ACC expanded by adding schools from the Big East. A multibillion dollar settlement reached in 2005 included the scheduling of nine interconference football games.
With Pitt and Syracuse coming aboard, the number of programs making the Big East-to-ACC jump in the past decade is five.
AP College Football Writers Ralph D. Russo in Tallahassee, Fla., and Jeff Latzke in Oklahoma; AP Sports Writers Jim Vertuno in Austin, Texas; Dave Skretta in Manhattan, Kan.; and Rick Gano in South Bend, Ind.; and Associated Press Writer Alan Scher Zagier in Columbia, Mo., contributed to this report.
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