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Atlantic Coast Conference presidents pledge their unity

| Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, 5:52 p.m.

The presidents of 15 ACC schools, including Pitt chancellor Mark Nordenberg and Notre Dame's Fr. John Jenkins, issued a statement Thursday, asserting their commitment to the conference in the face of the shifting landscape of college athletics.

The statement comes in the wake of Maryland announcing plans to leave the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014 and reports of other ACC schools possibly planning similar moves.

Big East members Pitt and Syracuse are joining the ACC next year and Louisville will join in 2014 to keep conference football membership at 14. Notre Dame will join no later than 2015 in all sports, except football and hockey, but the Irish will play five football games a year against ACC schools.

Here is the presidents' statement:

“We, the undersigned presidents of the Atlantic Coast Conference, wish to express our commitment to preserve and protect the future of our outstanding league. We want to be clear that the speculation about ACC schools in negotiations or considering alternatives to the ACC are totally false. The presidents of the ACC are united in our commitment to a strong and enduring conference. The ACC has long been a leader in intercollegiate athletics, both academically and athletically, and the constitution of our existing and future member schools will maintain the ACC's position as one of the nation's premier conferences.”

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