- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2003

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — The University of Miami is moving closer to a decision on joining the ACC.

The school’s executive committee of the board of trustees will meet today to discuss moving from the Big East to the ACC. The university also will play host to the first of three ACC site visits Friday, the next step in a likely relocation that could drastically change the landscape of college athletics.

Miami’s executive committee will eventually vote on whether to join the ACC, but university officials don’t expect it before the site visit.

Hurricanes football coach Larry Coker said yesterday he expects a decision “sooner rather than later.”

“I don’t know the timeline, but I think it will be relatively soon if it does come down,” Coker said.

Teams of ACC officials including an athletic director, faculty representative and conference office official will travel to Miami tomorrow and tour the school’s facilities Friday, according to a university source.

They also are expected at Boston College and Syracuse early next week.

ACC presidents voted May 16 to discuss expansion with those schools, making plans to grow from nine to 12 members. No formal invitations have been offered, and site visits are required by ACC bylaws.

Miami is reviewing the financial implications of the move and negotiating details that include divisional alignment and implementation date.

Coker said he would rather be in an opposite division than Florida State — contradicting reports that Miami wants to be in the same division as the Seminoles.

“Ideally, you’d love to be opposite Florida State,” Coker said. “They’ve been down a little bit the last couple years from their standards, but that’s not going to last for long. They’re going to be a very good team.”

If the Hurricanes and Seminoles are in opposite divisions, they could continue their annual rivalry, but the loser would still be able to win its division, advance to the conference championship game and have a shot at earning an automatic berth in the Bowl Championship Series.

If Miami and Florida State are in the same division, the loser of the annual rivalry game would need the winner to drop two league games to have a shot at the conference title.

The downside to being in the opposite division is that the teams might have to play twice.

“I don’t know of anybody if you take a vote that would want to play Florida State twice,” Coker said. “But for us to be in the same side of the bracket, I don’t particularly like that.”

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