In ‘Power move by the ACC’ the Boston Globe constructs a must read that details a lot of interesting a insight into the developments of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s expansion in recent years.
The piece highlights Boston College’s opposition to including the University of Connecticut in the most recent round of expansion. I never thought I would be so happy about something that Boston College did related to our conference…but, allow me to offer a huge “THANK YOU” to Gene DeFilippo and the Eagles.
Enough was enough, and a master plan was devised to bring ACC basketball back to the top. The only real target was the Big East, for geographical and competitive reasons.
The first target was Syracuse, which had been on the original ACC expansion list eight years ago. The Orangemen, like BC, were disappointed when they didn’t make the final cut, passed over for Virginia Tech and Miami.
Under coach Jim Boeheim, Syracuse was clearly one of the elite basketball teams in the country and would boost the ACC’s stature in that sport.
The second target was Connecticut, which was part of the Northeast footprint the ACC wanted, and was coming off the daily double of a BCS bid in football and a championship in men’s basketball (the third for Jim Calhoun).
In addition, the women’s basketball program under Geno Auriemma had established itself as the most dominant in the sport over the past 15 years.
With growing instability in the Big East, both schools were bound to accept any offers.
While Syracuse presented no problem, UConn did – to BC, which was still fuming over what it perceived to be vitriolic comments made when BC was finally invited to join the ACC and started competing in 2005. UConn and Pittsburgh filed a lawsuit against BC, and Calhoun made comments about never playing BC again.
DeFilippo does not deny that BC opposed the inclusion of UConn.
“We didn’t want them in,’’ he said. “It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team.’’
There is a lot in the article. Enjoy!