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  1. #1

    V. Tech back in the picture....

    With Hokies back in ACC's picture, school in flux

    Associated Press

    RICHMOND, Va. -- Virginia Tech's sudden re-entry in the Atlantic Coast Conference expansion picture created quite a stir on campus Thursday, and could put the Hokies in the position of facing a difficult decision.

    "It's absolutely a double-edged sword,'' William C. Latham, a member of the school's Board of Visitors, said of the ACC's reconsideration of the Hokies. "It's too simplistic to call it a can of worms -- it's a bucketful of worms.''

    ACC leaders decided during a conference call on Wednesday to again consider Virginia Tech in an expansion plan that also targets Miami, Syracuse and Boston College of the Big East. ACC presidents had previously rejected Virginia Tech as a target.

    Since the ACC decided on May 16 to go after only the other three schools, Virginia Tech joined four other Big East football schools in a lawsuit against the ACC, Miami and Boston College, accusing them of conspiring to destroy the Big East. Before that, school officials had lobbied hard to be included if the ACC decided to expand.

    If they got an invitation and decided to jump leagues, the Hokies would be portrayed as traitors who only looked out for themselves. If they chose to keep fighting for the Big East, "We'd have a lot of people very unhappy,'' Latham said.

    Latham said he had a conversation with Virginia Tech president Charles Steger on Thursday, but declined to reveal what Steger told him about the latest developments. He said he assumed Steger spent the better part of the day on the telephone.

    A government source told the AP on Wednesday that Steger planned to call board members Thursday to gauge how they felt about the possibilities now before them. Messages left with several other board members Thursday were not returned.

    "From a personal perspective, and that's all I'll give you, I think some good things are happening,'' Latham said, declining to elaborate.

    "Ultimately everyone's got to make a lot of choices,'' he said.

    Steger learned of the possibility of being included in the expansion plan in a meeting with Georgia Tech president G. Wayne Clough in Blacksburg on Wednesday night.

    Clough, a former dean of the college of engineering at Virginia Tech, told the AP Wednesday night he didn't meet with Steger in any official ACC capacity.

    "It was a friend to a friend and I said any information I got from the meeting I would take back to my colleagues,'' he said.

    The ACC's renewed interest in Virginia Tech, which a college source said was suggested by Virginia president John T. Casteen III during Wednesday's teleconference, is still in the exploratory stages, according to Wake Forest president Thomas Hearn.

    "The Virginia Tech proposal was something that was just floated out there yesterday,'' Hearn said Thursday. "It's hard to tell if this thing has any legs yet.''

    Hearn said no future teleconferences among the ACC presidents and chancellors have been scheduled, but he expects the group will meet by phone early next week.

    "I suspect it would be more of a status report,'' he said.

    Hokies athletic director Jim Weaver was surprised by the developments Wednesday and met with Steger on Thursday morning. Weaver said the Hokies have not received an official invitation to join the ACC, and could only evaluate one if it came.

    School officials also released a statement, saying "the expansion plans are the work of the ACC, and we have to wait and see what the ACC wants to do.''

    The plan to consider including Virginia Tech in the expansion plan would create a 13-team superconference, if approved. It also would free Casteen from the position of casting a vote that either kills the expansion plan or hurts Virginia Tech.

    Duke and North Carolina have both expressed concerns about travel costs, student welfare and projected revenues of an ACC football title game and future TV contracts.

    Casteen, who traveled to Europe for university business and a vacation Wednesday, has supported the Hokies' candidacy and pledged to keep pushing for their inclusion.

    Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore, whose office was involved in the Hokies' joining the lawsuit with Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Rutgers and Connecticut, said the goal all along has been to protect the Hokies' standing in a viable conference.

    "All of this is going to be up to the Board of Visitors,'' Kilgore said.

    Several board members have long felt that Virginia Tech belongs in the ACC, Latham said, adding the manner in which that could finally come about is unsettling.

    "The ACC is apparently in the process of destroying the Big East by design, and I find that deplorable,'' he said.

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  3. #2
    I really don't see how the ACC could shoot itself in the foot anymore. For 1... if they now offer an invitation to VT, that even strengthens the case of the remaining Big East teams that the ACC is out to destroy the Big East. For 2... if VT were to get an offer and accept, they are willingly implementing themself into the lawsuit also.

  4. #3
    That's the irony...they jumped all over the lawsuit....and know this falls in their's almost like the ACC is doing this to shut up V. Tech in regards to the lawsuit....rumor also is that they are now after UConn....I'm getting sick of this....see what happens when you get greedy

  5. #4
    If they were smart, they'd just mention a team outside of the Big East that they were interested in... that way to relieve some of the stress of the lawsuit but it's clear that they are only after Big East teams, strengthening the remaining Big East teams lawsuit. Boy is it going to be a fun year at Pitt football this year... we got Syracuse, Miami, VT, and BC all at home! They want to see a hostile environment, they got it!

  6. #5
    hahaha....I can only imagine the chants from the

    I don't get it either .... even though they have been down the last couple of years....ECU is a very productive program....which defeated Miami a couple of years ago at Carter-Finley Stadium, home of NCSU.... Pirate football is huge in N.C., but of course it's not big time....

  7. #6
    NC has a good football team from time to time also.

    Glad I finally have someone to talk college sports with for once. I must warn you though, I've always disliked the ACC. I hate the Big 10 even more though but that's mainly because of Penn State.

  8. #7
    No prob... I'll defend the ACC all day long....until they screw up....hehehe Yeah, it's hard finding people who actually follow college sports.... I feel like a damn loner until basketball season....cause that's when all the bandwagon s.o.b. Duke and Heels fans appear.....

    Hell, look here.... no one else cares about this.... and this is as important as it gets for college sports....

    oh, and I don't dislike the Big East....just Connecticut, because of Brent Musburger always calling them UConn....made me think the college was in Canada and G'town, but that's because of John Thompson....

  9. #8
    Good, just as long as you don't hate on Pitt. I don't really hate the ACC, I just hate them for the same type reasons you hate certain Big East schools. Jay Bilas and Andy Katz are always on Duke's nuts and it pisses me off. All they talk about is how good the ACC is and last year was an off year for the ACC. I must admitt though, I was against NCSt making the Tourney this year but at least they proved me wrong.

  10. #9
    A lot of people were against NCSU making it, but making the run to the ACC Finals did it....oh to have beaten Duke for Bilas, what to expect from a Duke alumni....I'm sick of Vitale and the Dookies..... I was watching a UNC/NCSU game this year and 27 seconds into the game, he was talking about flippin Duke....

    Regardless of UCLA's legacy, I can't believe Howland jumped ship....especially after the program he built.....

  11. #10
    Yeah, it sucked that he rolled out, but in the end it was a wise move. It's all good in the hood though since now we got Jaime Dixon as the coach. He's the one that went out and recruited everyone that is on this Pitt team and has been an understudy of Howland's for 10 years so I'm sure even thhoguh he doesn't have any prior head coaching experience, he'll be just fine. The only thing that worries me is Pittsburgh is a bandwagon fan town. They only follow you if you're doing great (except the Steelers) and this year will probably be an off year for Pitt hoops unless some of the Freshman coming in really step it up. We lose a ton of offense with O, BK, and D-Not all graduating but we still have a lot of talent. As far as football, last year was really their year. You can laugh if you want, but Pitt was a BCS caliber team. They lost to Miami by 7 (just fingertips short of a TD pass at the end of the game), lost to ND by 3 (got picked off on the 20 yardline of ND with 2 minutes left), lost to A&M by 2 (they were ranked most of the year, lost on bs penalty's trying to kick an extra point, missed it, and then missed the 2 point conversion on the 2nd touchdown), and finally lost by 10 to WVU (backyard brawl... anyone can win that game). If we would have just had a little better play out of our QB, those close losses could have been wins and we would have made a BCS Bowl Game. Most of the cast is back this year on offense but have a couple holes on defense this year. We have great backups to fill those holes though and think we have a shot with most of the good teams at home this year. What sucks is today one of our Sophomore receivers died. They don't know why, but he climbed onto a church catwalk and fell. He was living at the Church's convent because a fire destroyed his appartment. Good football player and even a greater guy... he will be missed.

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