Timing of ACC move leaves Pitt in limbo

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Pederson said Sunday night the school will honor the Big East bylaws that require departing schools to wait 27 months before officially pulling out of the league.

“If for any reason it’s in the best interest of both parties to accelerate that, certainly we’ll have those discussions,” he said.

Both Dixon and Graham stress the “when” is immaterial at this point. They’ve kept talk with recruits about the program’s future vague at best. Besides, it doesn’t really matter. They know they’ll be on national TV. They know they’ll play top programs. In the end, that’s all that matters.

Dixon has long been a proponent of Pitt remaining in the Big East but understands there are other factors at play besides basketball. He doesn’t take the focus on football as the impetus for switching personally.

If Pitt stayed in the Big East, it meant facing UConn, Louisville and Villanova annually. In the ACC it could mean taking on Duke, North Carolina and Maryland. Seems like a fair trade. There are chances to impress the NCAA tournament selection committee everywhere the Panthers turn.

“I always felt if we were going to move that the ACC would be the best situation for us and it would be the one we would end up going to because we would end up seeking out the best situation,” Dixon said.

There’s little concern about receiving the kind of blowback Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College received when they split for the ACC nearly a decade ago.

Graham is hopeful the football team can continue the “Backyard Brawl” series with rival West Virginia, but knows it’s not a given. A traditionalist at heart, Graham is also pragmatic. Heading to the ACC was a decision out of his hands and creates a new challenge. It’s not one he signed up for, but he’s not complaining.

Pitt has a new home even if it’s unclear when they’ll get the keys.

“The perception is this is a big-time move up for us,” Graham said, “and perception is reality.”

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