Atlantic Coast Conference leaders got the school they wanted. Louisville was relieved to find a home amid the latest wave of realignment...
Atlantic Coast Conference leaders got the school they wanted. Louisville was relieved to find a home amid the latest wave of realignment.
The ACC announced Wednesday that its presidents and chancellors unanimously voted to add Louisville as the replacement for Maryland, which will join the Big Ten in 2014.
Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich was concerned the Cardinals would be left behind in a constantly shifting landscape.
“You always worry about that, there’s no question about it — especially when you’re sitting in our chairs,” Jurich said. “But I think when you look at what we’ve done and the body of work, I think it was very well worth it to wait because we were able to get what we wanted.
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“We feel it’s the best fit for this university.”
Louisville was a candidate to join the Big 12 last year before that league took West Virginia, though Maryland’s unexpected announcement last week created a new opportunity for both the school and the ACC.
But it wasn’t a lock for the Cardinals.
A person familiar with the situation told AP that ACC leaders also considered Connecticut and Cincinnati over the past week. The ACC’s decision was a blow for Connecticut, which had been looking for a landing spot since Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced their Big East exits.
The Cardinals will bring a tradition-rich men’s basketball program, a solid football program and a college-focused market to the ACC.
Louisville is the fourth school in 15 months and seventh in the past decade to leave the Big East for the ACC. Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced their move in September 2011 and will join the league next year, while Notre Dame said two months ago it would eventually join in all conference sports except football.
Most of Notre Dame’s non-football sports have competed in the Big East since 1995.
It’s unclear exactly when Louisville will join the ACC. Commissioner John Swofford said that would have to be worked out between the school and the Big East. He also said the league is comfortable staying at 14 full members with the addition of Louisville.
• Middle Tennessee has accepted an offer to join Conference USA and is leaving the Sun Belt, the Virginian-Pilot reported.