|Sunday, June 22
Report: UNC favors taking Miami only
ESPN.com news services
Saturday's ACC's Council of Presidents meeting resulted in no definitive action on expansion, but North Carolina chancellor James Moeser is pushing harder in favor of adding only Miami, according to a report in the Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer.
The ACC's nine presidents and chancellors had been considering several options: adding Miami, Boston College and Syracuse, as originally planned; pursuing Virginia Tech as well; or adding just Miami. Moeser and Duke president Nan Keohane first opposed expansion, then voted in favor of ACC discussions with Miami, BC and Syracuse, but later expressed concerns again. Now, Moeser sees the addition of Miami and its powerful football program as a potential compromise.
"I think this could be a very good solution that moves us forward, and I've made this case to my colleagues," Moeser told the News & Observer in a telephone interview Saturday. "Miami is the addition that arguably lies in the geographic footprint of the ACC.
"It certainly brings great football strength to the conference without all the baggage of having 12 teams -- divisions, the lack of round-robin schedules, the concerns we have for student-athletes regarding travel time and the cost of travel."
Moeser declined to discuss the details of the Council of Presidents' conference call Saturday. The next conference call probably will take place Tuesday or Wednesday. The presidents and chancellors reiterated their desire to complete the process by June 30.
A league statement Saturday said only that they had "moved closer to the completion of the expansion process." Moeser said he still opposes a 12-team conference. Seven of the league's nine CEOs must vote yes to approve any expansion plan. Last week, at the urging of Virginia president John Casteen III, the ACC made an overture to Virginia Tech. Casteen has been pressured by Virginia Gov. Mark Warner and others to vote against any expansion plan that doesn't include Virginia Tech.
Hearn said Virginia Tech, which hasn't closed the door on joining the ACC, "was talked about in general terms" Saturday but that nothing was settled.
Tech still is involved in the Big East football schools' lawsuit against the ACC, BC and Miami.
Virginia Tech President Charles Steger declined comment Saturday, but Tech spokesman Larry Hincker said, "It's an extremely difficult position to be in."
As for whether the possibility of a 13th member would prompt Duke or UNC to change its position on 12, Moeser said he wasn't budging. "I'm on the record: I'm opposed to 12," Moeser said. "And if 12 is bad, 13 is worse. It's sheer madness. That would be absolutely the worst thing."
Keohane could not be reached for comment Saturday. Although Miami alone could put the ACC in a better position to negotiate a favorable television contract for football, some of the benefits that expansion proponents have cited would be lost if the league added only one school. For example, under NCAA rules, the ACC could not hold a championship game in football without the required 12 members.
Neither Dee nor Miami President Donna Shalala was available to comment Saturday.