"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 in the release. Brodhead is 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," said Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford in the release. "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."
"This is an exciting day for the University of Pittsburgh. We have a long history of competing and collaborating with the distinguished universities that already are members of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and have enormous respect for both their academic strengths and their athletic accomplishments," the release quoted University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg as saying.
"We are very excited to be joining the ACC," Syracuse president and chancellor Nancy Cantor said in the release. "This is a tremendous opportunity for Syracuse, and with its outstanding academic quality and athletic excellence, the ACC is a perfect fit for us."The ACC says it extended invitations after the schools submitted letters of application to join the league. It is unclear when the move will take effect. The Big East's exit fee is $5 million, and schools wanting to leave must provide 27 months' notice.You can read more of the ACC's news release, including reaction from Pitt and Syracuse's athletic departments here./>