Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Commissioner John D. Swofford today confirmed that the ACC has invited Syracuse University to join the conference and that the ACC presidents have voted to officially accept Syracuse as a conference member. Syracuse University Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor said today that the University’s Board of Trustees has voted unanimously to accept the ACC’s invitation.
“We are very excited to be joining the ACC. This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse, and with its outstanding academic quality and athletic excellence, the ACC is a perfect fit for us,” Cantor said. “The ACC is home to excellent national research universities with very strong academic quality and is a group that Syracuse will contribute to significantly and benefit from considerably.
“As a comprehensive, all-sports conference, the ACC provides Syracuse tremendous opportunities for quality competition and growth in all sports, while also renewing some of our historic rivalries. This move will also bolster our continued efforts to look outward, engage and extend Syracuse’s reach to key areas of the country, including the Southeast, as we grow and expand our national connections to alumni, partners and the students of the future,” Cantor said. “We are pleased that Syracuse adds a New York City dimension to the ACC, a region in which we have built strong identity and affinity, and we look forward to bringing ACC games to the Big Apple. Overall, for Syracuse, this opportunity provides long-term conference stability in what is an uncertain, evolving and rapidly shifting national landscape.”
Richard L. Thompson, chairman of the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, said, “The Board of Trustees voted unanimously and enthusiastically to accept the ACC’s invitation because becoming a member of the ACC will provide excellent opportunities for the University moving forward. We are joining a stellar group of high-quality, academically strong national universities who also have outstanding, top-rated athletics programs. This move is also consistent with our efforts to grow Syracuse’s footprint outside of the Northeast and into new areas, such as the Southeast, where we have alumni, supporters and a growing admissions base of students.”
“Today is a day that we will remember for years to come,” said Syracuse University Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross. “We are truly excited that academically and athletically we will be a member of the ACC, one of the nation’s premier collegiate athletic conferences. As ‘New York’s College Team,’ we plan to compete at the highest level across all of our sports and help to enhance this great conference.”
Syracuse was one of two schools to be extended an invitation to the ACC, along with the University of Pittsburgh. The inclusion of Syracuse and Pittsburgh increases the ACC’s membership to 14 schools.
“The 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 Brodhead, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents. “Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics. We welcome them as full partners in the ACC.”
“The ACC has enjoyed a rich tradition by balancing academics and athletics and the addition of Pitt and Syracuse further strengthens the ACC culture in this regard,” Swofford said. “Pittsburgh and Syracuse also serve to enhance the ACC’s reach into the states of New York and Pennsylvania and geographically bridges our footprint between Maryland and Massachusetts. With the addition of Pitt and Syracuse, the ACC will cover virtually the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.”
“In the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics, each school has to find the best fit. The Atlantic Coast Conference has a great basketball tradition and we look forward to contributing to that,” said men’s basketball head coach Jim Boeheim.
“With the uncertainty in college sports right now, Dr. Gross and the University administration did an excellent job of putting Syracuse in a position to strengthen ourselves for the future with this move,” said men’s lacrosse head coach John Desko. “From a financial standpoint and an exposure standpoint, joining the ACC helps all the sports programs here, which is important. 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.”
“I am excited for the University, our athletics program and our student-athletes,” said football coach Doug Marrone. “Joining the Atlantic Coast Conference puts us in a strong position for the future. The ACC has quality schools academically and athletically. I look forward to competing against them.”