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07.24.05: CIAA trophy to be named after 'Big House' ... ECU hoops mirror reflects Herd, Wave, Knights
07.23.05: East Carolina alum Mike Sutton taken off respirator
... Jury slaps recruiting guru with $30 million verdict
07.22.05: Big Ten stirs the pot of shifting bowl alliances
07.21.05: Cal, AF, road trip to Memphis on Vols' 2006 slate ... Mississippi Valley State hires former USM coach
07.20.05: Revamped Big East striving to hold on to respect
07.19.05: Rocky Mountain football rivalry up in the air
07.18.05: 'One-year rule' presents quandary for recruiters
07.17.05: Williams unaware 'graduation gifts' prohibited
07.16.05: Kansas acknowledges violations under Williams
07.15.05: Big 12, Big East divvy up Gator, Sun Bowl spots
07.14.05: South Carolina fesses up to "major" infractions ... Player nabbed for trying to pass funny money


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Compiled from staff reports and electronic dispatches

Players still learning the ropes of redefined ACC

HOT SPRINGS, VA — Two players from each Atlantic Coast Conference school got together Sunday for a group picture at the annual media kickoff, and the conversation quickly turned to the new divisional alignments.

There was one slight problem — none seemed to know where his team fit.

With the ACC finally expanded to its full 12 teams for the upcoming season, the league will split into the Atlantic and Coastal divisions. The winners meet in the first championship game Dec. 3 in Jacksonville, FL.

``I don't think anybody knows,'' North Carolina quarterback Matt Baker said. ``We were all tapping each other on the shoulder and asking. It's the first year and it's new, and no one has played each other in the division yet. I think by the end of the season, people will start checking out the standings, and that's when everybody will know where they are.''

The teams aren't divided geographically, so that led to the somewhat ambiguous names of the divisions. The conference tried to come up with two equal divisions and started the process by separating longtime powers Florida State and Miami.

Each division has two of the North Carolina schools, and both Virginia and Virginia Tech are in the Coastal with the Hurricanes.

``I think it's pretty even, everybody has a fair shot,'' North Carolina State wide receiver Tramain Hall said. ``Whatever team comes out of this deserves to be there, because this ACC is not easy.''

Boston College officially joined the league July 1, ending a bitter split with the Big East and giving the ACC enough teams to qualify for the lucrative championship game.

Former Big East members Miami and Virginia Tech started play last season, and the Hokies surprisingly won the title by edging the Hurricanes 16-10 in the final regular season game.

The Seminoles had dominated the conference since becoming a member in 1992, finishing with at least a share of first in 11 of the first 12 years. They finished a game behind Virginia Tech a year ago, but equaling that effort might be difficult in 2005.

Already, Florida State has lost cornerback Antonio Cromartie (knee injury) and quarterback Wyatt Sexton (Lyme disease) for the season, and the status of linebackers Ernie Sims and A.J. Nicholson is in doubt after both had run-ins with police.

Sims was arrested following an early morning fight with his live-in girlfriend outside a university residence hall, and Nicholson had a pair or run-ins with local police, including a misdemeanor DWI.

Also, defensive lineman Clifton Dickson was declared academically ineligible and must graduate from a community college before he can be readmitted to FSU.

``I think we're the same Florida State,'' defensive end Kamerion Wimbley said. ``I just think other teams have gotten better in our conference. The only thing that has kept us out of the national championship is a few plays here or there, and if you switch those around, we'd be right back where we've always been.''

Whether that's at the top of the Atlantic division is another question — not that Wimbley knows who the Seminoles have to beat to get there.

``I don't know everybody that's in our division, but I do know everybody in the ACC,'' he said. ``I know the teams that have just joined. But I think as it goes on, everybody will learn who's in what division.''

While the players struggled with how the conference was broken down, none had any problems with why it was done.

``Bringing in more teams brings in more money,'' Virginia Tech defensive end Darryl Tapp said. ``I'm in marketing, so I know that.''

Huggins assistant acquitted of DUI charge

CINCINNATI — A University of Cincinnati assistant basketball coach says he hopes to return to work now that a jury has found him innocent of drunken driving.

Keith LeGree was suspended indefinitely following his arrest in March. He claimed a sleeping disorder caused him to fall asleep at the wheel of his Chevy Blazer, and that he had not been drinking.

A Hamilton County Municipal Court jury deliberated about five minutes on Friday before acquitting him of driving under the influence.

LeGree said he now takes medication and is undergoing tests for the sleeping disorder.

The university's athletic department instituted a zero-tolerance policy for alcohol abuse after coach Bob Huggins was convicted of drunken driving last year. Huggins was suspended for nearly three months.

UC athletic director Bob Goin has said alcohol-related incidents could result in firing if they bring shame on the university or department.

Goin said he would decide Monday whether to lift LeGree's suspension.

News Nuggets are compiled periodically based on material supplied by staff members; data published by ECU, Conference USA and its member schools; and reports from Associated Press and other sources. Copyright 2005 and other publishers. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Page Updated: 02/23/2007 12:26 PM


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