ACC petition has implications for C-USA
[ Originally posted 07.17.03 ]
From staff and
An Atlantic Coast Conference initiative to relax the NCAA's requirements for
holding a conference championship game could impact Conference USA
regardless of the proposed legislation's outcome.
The ACC has
asked the NCAA to change a rule that would allow it and other leagues with
less than a dozen members to conduct a football championship game.
The move comes
only two weeks after the ACC expanded to 11 schools by adding Miami and
Virginia Tech. However, under NCAA regulations, only conferences with 12 or
more teams can stage a title clash.
If the lower
membership threshold is granted, 11-member C-USA could also implement plans
for a championship extravaganza if it hangs on to enough teams to meet the new standard
after the tremors subside from the ACC's recent landscape-shaking raid on
the Big East.
the NCAA declines to lower the minimum requirement, C-USA members Louisville and East
Carolina might be among the schools on the ACC's next menu of targets if the
ACC decides to go shopping for another team.
conferences the SEC, Big 12 and Mid-American are now authorized to hold
championship games. In addition to C-USA, the PAC-10 (10 schools) and Big
Ten (11 schools) would be among other Division I-A conferences which could
elect to have title games if the ACC's latest maneuver succeeds.
Shane Lyons, an
ACC assistant commissioner in charge of compliance, said the ACC filed the
necessary paperwork with the NCAA on Tuesday, asking that leagues with 10
teams be allowed to play conference title games some of which make as much
as $12 million.
The NCAA will
send the ACC proposal, along with about 100 others, to the college
in August, Lyons said.
"This is the
time period we'll start gauging how the NCAA membership feels about it,"
A final vote by
the NCAA's management council, a 49-member group with representatives from
all the Division I-A conferences, could come in April, Lyons said.
It's unclear how
much support the ACC proposal will gain from conferences such as the PAC-10
or Big Ten, which could also benefit from a rule change.
haven't gone out and polled other conferences about it," Lyons said. "But
gotten indications there would be some support."
If the rule is
changed, the ACC would likely hold a title game in 2004 the first season
entry for the Hurricanes and Hokies.
original expansion plan included Miami, Boston College and Syracuse.
idea failed to gain the approval of the league's nine schools presidents,
who eventually settled on issuing invitations to Miami and VPI.
If the proposed
legislation is voted down, the conference will face a decision on whether or
not to bring in a 12th school in order to qualify to conduct the potentially
lucrative title event.
candidates mentioned in the media have included independent Notre Dame,
Florida and Kentucky of the SEC, and C-USA members Louisville and East
Carolina. The ACC's previously rejected targets, Boston College and
Syracuse, may also figure into any deliberations.
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