Pitt announcement on joining ACC expected soon

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The Post-Gazette has learned that Pitt will move from the Big East to the ACC and that an announcement could come as soon as today.

Pitt's stance has consistently been that the school would like to preserve the Big East but that changed this summer when athletic director Steve Pederson made it clear that the school wanted a 12-team football conference.

Pederson, as well as West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck, also made it clear they were losing faith in Big East commissioner John Marinatto because they believe he wasn't being proactive enough. Syracuse is also reported to be planning to join the ACC.

ESPN has reported that Oklahoma regents are meeting Monday to discuss the school's affiliation with the Big 12 and if the school decides to leave the conference, the conference is likely to fall apart.

And that could trigger a number of other moves across the country, including expansion of the ACC, Pac 12 and SEC.

Currently, the ACC's 12 member schools are Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

The reports that Pitt and Syracuse are leaving the Big East for the ACC has caused a lot of different reactions around the country and Most officials have spent the day declining comment on the reports of Pitt and Syracuse leaving the Big East for the ACC, but Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich didn't hold back in his thoughts on the subject.

Jurich said in a video interview on the website of the Louisville Courier-Journal that Pitt Chancellor Mark Nordenberg has violated the trust of the rest of the conference members and called the matter "slippery."

He also said that Pitt and Syracuse should be ashamed of themselves for not at least picking up the phone and informing the conference that they were leaving.

"[Why this is happening now], I think is a question for Pittsburgh's [Nordenberg]," Jurich said. "I think that is a question a lot of people would like answered. Now everything is going to be up for grabs and we just have to hope we land in the right spot. I won't rule anything out now.

"I talked to [Big East commissioner John Marinatto today] a couple times, he was stunned. I think he at least deserved a phone call, he didn't need to hear about from [CBS reporter] Brett McMurphy."

When asked if he thought it was a done deal, Jurich said, "Yes, I do, they are not applying for anything, they have been invited. That is just a polite word to say, applying, then it doesn't look like you've been raided."

Jurich also said that he was stunned by the developments because he doesn't believe Pitt adds anything to the ACC.

"I didn't believe it because Pittsburgh was involved in it," Jurich said. "I just didn't see the value they would bring to that league at all. That is no slap at Pittsburgh, but I didn't see where that fit was. And then [Nordenberg] was the chair of the executive committee in our conference and he was keeping everyone together and asked everybody to be unified and so I think everybody trusted him.

"It looks pretty slippery to me."


Paul Zeise: pzeise@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1720


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