ACC Expansion

A few of the major events in recent college athletics history that helped bring about ACC expansion:
  • June 29, 1984: The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, strikes down the NCAA's restrictive television policy. Schools are now free to make their own deals, cable becomes involved and the seven-year-old College Football Association effectively wins independence from the total control of the NCAA. Justice Byron ``Whizzer'' White, runner-up in the 1937 Heisman Trophy balloting as a Colorado running back, writes the dissenting opinion.
  • Jan. 7, 1987: The Pennsylvania State Athletic Association, a Division II conference, introduces legislation permitting leagues with 12 members and two divisions to conduct conference championship football games. It passes without comment.
  • Feb. 25, 1987: The NCAA infractions committee bans the SMU football program from competing in 1987 and limits the 1988 season to eight games. The school bags the '88 season as well. The Southwest Conference is imperiled.
  • June 4, 1990: Penn State joins the Big Ten.
  • Aug. 1, 1990: Arkansas bolts the SWC for the SEC.
  • Sept. 15, 1990: Having turned down the SEC, Florida State joins the ACC.
  • Sept. 25, 1990: South Carolina joins the SEC, giving the league 12 members and setting the table for the first Division I-A conference championship game.
  • Feb. 25, 1994: Seven years to the day after the SMU ``death penalty'' verdict is released, Texas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M and Baylor essentially terminate the SWC by announcing a merger with the Big Eight. The new league will be called the Big 12, and it will also have a championship football game.
  • Aug. 1, 1995: The Pac 10 and Big Ten, previously holdouts from the CFA, join the organization. The CFA, which had been emboldened by the 1984 Supreme Court verdict, creates the Bowl Championship Series, a lucrative four-bowl alliance. Each of the six conferences with champions in the 2002-03 BCS received an estimated $16 million.
  • November 2001: Georgia Tech faculty athletics representative George Nemhauser, the ACC's president in 2001-02, urges preliminary talks with Big East members Miami, Boston College and Syracuse about joining the ACC.
  • May 16, 2003: ACC chief executive officers vote to begin formal talks with the three prospective members.
  • May 19, 2003: Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese blasts the ACC's expansion effort, saying it will deliver ``the most disastrous blow to intercollegiate athletics in my lifetime. It's wrong.''
  • May 28, 2003: A Rutgers spokesman confirms the Big East has offered Miami a guaranteed $9 million a year for five years to stay in the league.
  • May 30, 2003: Miami athletics director Paul Dee says the offer isn't necessarily going to sway his school to stay.
  • June 6, 2003: Connecticut, Rutgers, Pittsburgh, West Virginia and Virginia Tech sue Miami, Boston College and the ACC, seeking to quash ACC expansion by alleging broken promises and restraint of trade.
  • June 18, 2003: An ACC official begins discussions with Virginia Tech, seeking to appease the University of Virginia. UVa, citing political pressure from the state's governor and attorney general, says it can't support an expansion plan that lacks Tech.
  • June 24, 2003: In the fifth teleconference of ACC CEOs, the league votes to invite Miami and Virginia Tech. Votes to add Boston College and Syracuse fail.
  • June 27, 2003: Virginia Tech accepts the invitation.
  • June 30, 2003: Miami accepts the invitation.
Source: News & Record archive

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