It’s official. Syracuse and Pittsburgh have accepted invitations to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The development, first reported late Friday night by Pete Thamel of The New York Times, was made official today.

Needless to say, the move will have huge ramifications, giving the ACC 14 times and strong representation in more Northeast markets.

As for the Big East, losing one of its founding and most visible members, Syracuse, is a huge blow. So too is the loss of Pittsburgh.

While Big East teams must give 27 months notice before changing conferences, there is a chance Syracuse and Pittsburgh could negotiate with the Big East to exit earlier. The ACC said it would not initiate any such negotiations and that it would have to come from the schools.

The move will give the ACC 14 schools, fueling speculation that two more schools will be added so that two eight-team divisions can be formed.

This move, like nearly all conference changes by colleges, was most impacted by football. But lacrosse will also be affected with Syracuse’s big shift.

“From a financial standpoint and an exposure standpoint, joining the ACC helps all the sports programs here, which is important,” Syracuse lax coach John Desko said in a statement just released. “Lacrosse-wise you aren’t going to find any better competition you than you will in the ACC. They’re all elite programs so it’s a great fit from that aspect, as well.”

In an ironic twist to the turn of events, Dave Gavitt, the founder of the Big East Conference, died late Friday night at age 73.

Below are links to some articles of interest:

* Official ACC press release

* Statement from Big East Commissioner John Marinatto

* New York Times analysis of changing landscape in college conference alignment

* Syracuse Post-Standard/ coverage

* Syracuse University press release

* University of Pittsburgh press release

* UConn President says conference shakeup ‘is not close to being over, so we need to have some patience.’

Be sure to weigh in with your thoughts and exercise your right to vote in our latest poll question, which asks what you think of the move.

To vote, go to the right panel of this page. Then, just scroll past the “New Comments” and “Popular” tabs and click on “Poll,” and then cast your vote from the choices available, or write in your choice if it’s not listed.

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Posted In: College lacrosse

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5 Responses to “Syracuse’s Desko on leaving Big East: ‘Lacrosse wise, you aren’t going to find any better competition than the ACC’”

  1. upstate says:

    this is a huge deal. i am surprised more people have not commented. Pitt went too, i realize that is a basketball issue though. that really changes the landscape in the Big East now. It opens it up to other schools like ND and G-Town but it gives the conference a lot less weight. bottom line though, no cuse…no viewership.

  2. Lax n stuff says:

    I see how this is huge for football and basketball, but for lax, not so much. Syracuse will always play Hop, UVa, etc., regardless of league. Not sure the Big East was going to be at a level of the ACC in lax even with Cuse. Thoughts?

    • sgt hulka says:

      I don’t know much about tournament seeding. Perhaps someone can shed some light.

      How much does the conference effect your shot at the NCAA tournament?

      Will ‘Cuse playing in the ACC make it that much harder to make the tourney for an ACC team and, conversely, that much easier for a Big East team?

  3. upstate says:

    now there is only one power conference, and the big east has no chance of catching up. in lacrosse it will be all ACC all the time and that will be the end of it. i think it is unfortunate for the teams in the big east who helped form the conference with the expectation that syracuse would be involved.

  4. The Atlantic Coast Conference is expanding again and has done so once more at the expense of the Big East as Syracuse and Pittsburgh were formally accepted as new members on Sunday morning. ppThe ACCs Council of Presidents voted unanimously to invite both universities after receiving letters of application. ppThe ACC is a strong united conference that is only going to get better with the addition of the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University said Duke University president Richard Broadhead chair of the ACC Council of Presidents. We welcome them as full partners in the ACC. ppSyracuse and Pittsburgh were long-tenured members of the Big East which first formed as a mens basketball league in 1979. We think it is just an excellent group. ppWith the additions of Syracuse and Pittsburgh the ACC also now has a broader national market and covers most of the Eastern Seaboard. ppPittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACCs reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts said Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford. ppThe change will also make the ACC a stronger mens basketball conference while weakening the Big East in that aspect.

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