AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Ever since the Big East tournament (at least in its traditional form) had its swan song at Madison Square Garden in March, there have been calls for the Atlantic Coast Conference to move its basketball tournament to the world's most famous arena.
ACC basketball coaches met Tuesday, and the location of the league's men's basketball tournament was one of the topics on the agenda. Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said he and Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, whose program also is leaving the Big East for the ACC this summer, made their pitch for the league to move its tournament to New York. He admitted, though, that it would be difficult to overcome the tournament's Tobacco Road roots.
The ACC tournament traditionally has been in Greensboro, N.C., home of the league offices. It also has been rotated through locations, including Charlotte, Atlanta and Washington, but never has been held north of the Mason-Dixon line.
"Obviously, coach Boeheim and I are excited about New York, but I also know that Greensboro has a strong, strong presence here at these meetings," Dixon said. "I think [Madison Square Garden] would be the best thing for the conference. I hope that's the way they're headed, but I don't know that it is."
One item that apparently has been ruled out is having New York City as part of a rotation with other cities, including Greensboro. Dixon said both major New York venues, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, would require long-term commitments.
"They've got to lock in an event on an annual basis," Dixon said. "They can't open it up for five days once every five years or something."
Dixon also said that his bid to have Pittsburgh as host of the tournament, at least occasionally, was shot down.
"I think Greensboro has the home-field advantage," Dixon said. "They've got a lot of things tied in there. There's a lot of tradition. ...
"I think in the best interest of all the universities involved, for the conference, I think being in Madison Square Garden would be best. But I think it's going to be very difficult to pull away."
Football coaches wary of rule
Pitt football coach Paul Chryst spent his first full day of meetings going over potential rule changes, on and off the field, with his ACC colleagues.
The most significant on-field change will be a new rule that allows officials to eject a player from the game for targeting a defenseless player above the shoulders.
While Chryst and the rest of the coaches appreciated the intent of the rule, they were concerned about its application.
"The unintended consequences, and how do you coach it, that we feel needs to be looked into further," Chryst said.
As far as off the field issues, Chryst agreed with the NCAA's decision to table a potential rule change that would significantly loosen restrictions on how often coaches could contact potential recruits. Chryst said that he was opposed to unlimited text messaging of recruits (one part of the proposed rule change), but thought there should be some relaxation of recruiting rules.
"I think that we've got to think through all the ramifications of it," he said. "I think there's a time when it could be good. You wish you could just have common sense apply.
"You've got a kid coming on an unofficial visit, he doesn't know where the Hot Metal Bridge is, you'd like to be able to get a hold of him or text him directions."
Chryst explains discipline
Chryst also opened up on the dismissal of defensive back Eric Williams and tight end Drew Carswell, who were kicked off the team last month after being involved in a police drug raid on their home.
Both, along with defensive tackle Khaynin Mosley-Smith, were charged with drug-related misdemeanors.
Mosley-Smith remains on the team but is on indefinite suspension.
Chryst said mitigating circumstances led to him to not dismiss Mosley-Smith, but did not elaborate.
"I mean, we have the right and the duty to hold guys to a higher standard," Chryst said. "That's important. So, they're always unfortunate, but I think necessary, and everyone's story's different."
Moore to transfer
Dixon said that he is trying to help forward J.J. Moore find a transfer destination.
Dixon was unsure if Moore officially had requested paperwork, but indicated that he will use his final year of eligibility elsewhere. "We're trying to help him find a spot, trying to help him find a school," he said.
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @SWernerPG.