- Associated Press - Friday, February 3, 2012

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh will join the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division in football, the league announced on Friday.

When the Panthers actually begin playing in the ACC remains unknown, but athletic director Steve Pederson isn’t ready to shut the door on 2012.

The ACC announced Friday that Pitt will join the Coastal with Virginia Tech, Virginia, Georgia Tech, Miami, Duke and North Carolina. Pitt also will play Syracuse, another Big East program leaving for the ACC, every year, even though the Orange will join the Atlantic Division.

Pitt would like to leave the Big East before the 27 months notice required in the conference bylaws. Pederson said he’s keeping an eye on West Virginia’s lawsuit against the Big East, as the Mountaineers are suing to play in the Big 12 in 2012.

“We’re following that very closely and continue to monitor what happens there,” Pederson said Friday. “I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but it seems like it’s almost changing on a daily basis.”

Either way, Pederson likes the move because it reunites the Panthers with the Hokies and Hurricanes, who left the Big East for the ACC in 2003.

“It renews some pretty significant, historic-type rivalries,” he said.

However, another rivalry _ with West Virginia _ may be up in the air. Pederson said he’ll have to see what happens with West Virginia’s lawsuit and evaluate Pitt’s future non-conference schedules after that. The Panthers and Mountaineers have played 104 times.