Saturday, June 14, 2003

Nobody has a clue in the ACC-Big East dispute

In today's newspaper stories on the Big East-ACC lawsuit:

From the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: "But what little sense I have is of the common variety, and that tells me this lawsuit against Boston College, Miami, and the Atlantic Coast Conference has little merit. And, even though it appears to be working, that still doesn't mean it has merit. . . . This lawsuit is working, primarily because the chancellors/presidents of the ACC don't have the stomach for a nasty court battle. And the Big East is certainly worth saving. But even a great end doesn't always justify the means by which it was accomplished."

From the Charlotte Observer: "Florida State's expansion position since late 2001, that it couldn't promise to stay in a nine-team ACC, was not relayed to ACC commissioner John Swofford by then-FSU president Sandy D'Alemberte, contrary to a report in Thursday's Observer. . . . According to sources, Florida State's position was conveyed by FSU athletics director Dave Hart. 'At approximately the time line suggested in The Observer story, I expressed to the commissioner the fact that I was very concerned about the possibility of the ACC being left behind if serious expansion discussions were not held,' Hart said in the e-mail. 'Our president was never involved in that discussion, and I certainly would not characterize my statement as a threat, nor do I believe it was taken as a threat by the ACC.'"

From Steve Hummer of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "At this stage of the ordeal, it's difficult to even choose sides between the ACC and the Big East. A monkeypox upon both their houses."

From the Raleigh News-Observer: "The current impasse must be frustrating for [ACC Commissioner John] Swofford. After all, his former school -- Carolina -- has been the most reluctant of the holdouts. It was in Chapel Hill that Swofford's reputation as an effective AD reached the point that he became a popular choice to succeed [Gene] Corrigan. Should this vote fail, Swofford might be inclined to resign within a year or so to seek another job. He would have no trouble landing one."

From the Charleston, WV, Daily Mail: "Legal counsel for the Atlantic Coast Conference announced late Friday it believes the lawsuit filed last week by five Big East schools is without merit. . . . 'No matter how many press conferences are called, press releases issued, transparent actions taken or motions filed, plaintiffs' litigation tactics will not affect the final decision by the Council of Presidents. Regardless of whether the ACC elects to expand or whether any institution elects to associate itself with the ACC, this lawsuit will have no bearing on that process or its timing.' . . . Florida State President T.I. Wetherell was quoted Friday in the Tallahassee Democrat, 'The ACC will expand by the end of next week.'"

From the Middletown, CT, Press: "What had only been whispered about behind closed doors before Friday is combining all of the football schools from the Big East with the ACC to create an East Coast superconference."

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Florida State President T.K. Wetherell said Friday that he was 'pretty positive' the Atlantic Coast Conference will vote to add new members Miami, Boston College and Syracuse. 'I believe when the final gun sounds you will see that there will be enough votes to do the [expansion],' Wetherell said speaking in Tallahassee, 'and I think it will be because the presidents and everybody want it to happen, not because some politician weighed into it.'"

From the AP, reported in the Charleston, WV, Gazette: "West Virginia Athletic Director Ed Pastilong said he does not believe the Atlantic Coast Conference presidents will approve the annexation of three Big East schools. 'I’ve said that my personal feeling was that we had a 50-50 chance' of preserving the Big East, Pastilong said Thursday. 'But I’m now thinking of moving that to 60-40.'"

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