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ACC petition has implications for C-USA

[ Originally posted 07.17.03 ]

From staff and wire reports

• Summer travels feature realignment chatter
ACC move has dual implications for C-USA
• League tremors low priority for Rimpf
• Tulane CEO bucks BCS, demands reform
• Realignment injects urgency into season
Army declares independence
Big East speeds UConn timetable
• Bearcats overshadow realignment for ECU
• East Carolina fits ACC profile
Can we change the subject, please?
How-to guide: Realigning with class
• Friendly merger of leagues adds up
• Survival in question for hybrid conferences
• Miami Makes the Leap — Now What?
• Hurricanes rage over nervous landscape
ACC, Big East on edge about Miami
• Leagues caught in eye of the Hurricanes
• Media rises to task in ACC-Big East feud

• VPI in; Miami ponders; ECU sees opening
• ECU chancellor keen on developments
• Miami calls timeout to huddle with Big East
BE plans "up front" and "proper" expansion
• ACC door cracked open for ECU...?
• Mountain West preparing to pounce
Chalk one up for the non-BCS schools
• Big East-ACC peace plan in the works?
• ECU poised to ride out ACC-Big East storm
ACC deliberations at crossroads
Big Top needed for this circus
Where are you, Governor Easley..?

RALEIGH  — 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.

Conversely, if 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.

Three conferences — the SEC, Big 12 and Mid-American — are now authorized to hold league 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 membership
in August, Lyons said.

"This is the time period we'll start gauging how the NCAA membership feels about it," Lyons
said Wednesday.

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.

"We really haven't gone out and polled other conferences about it," Lyons said. "But we've
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 of
entry for the Hurricanes and Hokies.

The ACC's original expansion plan included Miami, Boston College and Syracuse. However, that
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.

Potential 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.

Copyright 2003 and The Associated Press. All rights This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007

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