ACC votes to add Louisville
by USA TODAY Sports, USA TODAY
The Atlantic Coast Conference voted to add the University of Louisville for conference membership on Wednesday morning, replacing former charter member Maryland as its 14th full member.
Men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino said in a text to the Louisville Courier-Journal the move was “awesome” and he was “happy for U of L.”
The move ended what seemed like two years of angst for the Cardinals athletic programs as the conference landscape nationally began shifting. The Big 12 chose West Virginia instead of U of L last year when it expanded, but this time the shifting was in the Cards’ favor.
Fellow Big East members Connecticut and Cincinnati were also considered over the past week, according to The Associated Press, but the ACC’s presidents and chancellors only voted on U of L for expansion at this time. The school received the three-fourths vote needed for approval.
U of L will now have to negotiate its exit from the Big East. Its by-laws call for a 27-month notice, but the league’s recent defections, including West Virginia, have gotten out earlier.
The Cards will be very familiar with teams in its new league. U of L battled Florida State as members of the Metro Conference and current Big East members Syracuse and Pittsburgh will join the ACC next season. In all, seven former Big East schools including Miami, Boston College, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame have been merged into the ACC.
The ACC has not yet released an official statement on Louisville but it is expected shortly.