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Syracuse University accepts invitation to join Atlantic Coast Conference

September 18, 2011

Kevin C. Quinn
(315) 443-8338

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." 

Syracuse University Director of Athletics Daryl Gross said, "Today is a day that we will remember for years to come. 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. 

Duke University President Richard Brodhead, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents said, “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.  Both schools are committed to competing at the highest level of academics and athletics.  We welcome them as full partners in the ACC.” 

Swofford said, “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.  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.” 

Men’s Basketball Head Coach Jim Boeheim said, "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." 

Men’s Lacrosse Head Coach John Desko said, “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. 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.” 

Head Football Coach Doug Marrone said, "I am excited for the University, our athletics program and our student-athletes. 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."

Chartered in 1870 as a private, coeducational institution of higher education, Syracuse University is propelled by the bold idea of Scholarship in Action—education that is not static, but the living expression of insight that drives change. As a leading national research university of more than 19,000 full- and part-time students from all 50 states and 90 countries, it is a place where students become leaders, teachers, and collaborators and where the community is continually impacted by the energy of new ideas. 

About the Atlantic Coast Conference: Now in its 59th year of competition, the ACC has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. Since the league’s inception in 1953, ACC schools have captured 122 national championships, including 65 in women’s competition and 57 in men’s. In addition, NCAA individual titles have gone to ACC student-athletes 140 times in men’s competition and 99 times in women’s action. For more information on the Atlantic Coast Conference visit 

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