ACC officially welcomes Pitt, others
All 15 ACC mascots raced to the top of the Empire State Building and rode a boat around the Statue of Liberty.
Four of the conference's most successful coaches, along with former Pitt receiver Larry Fitzgerald, posed for photo opportunities.
ACC commissioner John Swofford, hired 16 years ago Monday, couldn't stop smiling, even after the echo of the NASDAQ closing bell had long subsided.
It was no surprise that Swofford chose New York City as the venue to officially welcome Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame into the ACC.
While the conference expands from its Carolina roots, it could move the successful and profitable basketball tournament to Madison Square Garden, possibly as soon as 2016. The next two tournaments are scheduled for the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina.
“This is the media capital of the world,” Swofford said. “We wanted to showcase the ACC in New York City and show this is a very important part of our new footprint.”
Swofford said the MSG proposal was received well by member institutions, which will make the decision.
“I am confident our schools will make really good decisions,” he said.
With its new markets in New York, Pittsburgh and the Midwest — and Louisville joins next year — the ACC will have more TV households and a greater population than any conference. Swofford added that by 2030, 55 percent of the U.S. population will reside within the ACC's footprint.
Not long after the news conference, Root Sports, which telecasts Pirates and Penguins games, announced a partnership with the ACC to televise 140 live events, including Pitt football and basketball. That's on top of the ACC's 15-year, $3.6 billion contract with ESPN that will bring more than $17 million annually to each school.
That can lead to better resources and, possibly, championships.
Notre Dame men's basketball coach Mike Brey said the ACC has the potential to send as many as 10 teams to the NCAA Tournament.
“You get eight, nine, 10 teams in the tournament because your league is good,” Syracuse's Jim Boeheim said.
Football coaches Frank Beamer of Virginia Tech and Jimbo Fisher of Florida State are looking forward to mining previously untapped pools of talent. Just last month, Beamer lost offensive line recruit Mike Herndon of Staunton, Va., to Pitt.
“Our whole conference just helped ourselves, recruiting-wise,” Beamer said.
It's a big change over the fractured Big East where uncertainty chased away old-guard members.
“It's nice to be in a league where everyone is working toward the same goal,” Boeheim said.
Note: Pitt has retired Fitzgerald's No. 1 jersey. Fitzgerald becomes the ninth Panther to have his jersey retired.
Jerry DiPaola is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @JDiPaola_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Dixon, Pitt men’s basketball team aren’t planning island vacation
- Former Shady Side Academy standout set to take field for Pitt