ACC presidents may add Boston College to its league

Saturday, October 11th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) _ Atlantic Coast Conference chancellors and presidents will hold a teleconference Sunday amid reports they are ready to invite Boston College to be the league's 12th team.

Miami and Virginia Tech were added to the nine-team conference in June and will begin play in 2004. Now it appears the ACC is ready to revisit the addition of Boston College or even Syracuse.

NCAA rules require that a conference have 12 schools to stage a lucrative league championship football game.

Boston College and Syracuse were the Big East schools in the ACC's original expansion plans, but were voted down in favor of adding the Hurricanes and Hokies.

``It's natural to think about Boston College and Syracuse because they are the ones we've already visited,'' North Carolina State chancellor Marye Anne Fox said Saturday, ``but I wouldn't say we're restricted to just those schools.''

The New York Times reported Saturday that Boston College will be extended an invitation by the ACC on Sunday. However, Fox called that report ``completely premature.''

``I haven't even decided myself which way I would vote,'' Fox said. ``There have been subtle inaccuracies (in the media) that mean a lot, like the when, and the if, and the who. All of those are undefined.''

Boston College athletic director Gene DeFilippo was in Philadelphia with the football team and said he had no information on any recent developments with ACC expansion.

``All my thoughts right now are on us being able to beat Temple,'' he said.

The ACC needs at least seven of nine votes by the chancellors and presidents to expand.

Two weeks ago, published reports said Notre Dame would be extended an invitation by the ACC. Those reports turned out to be false.

``I am a little bit surprised that things have gotten to where they are right now, so I am in a perpetual state of surprise as things move on,'' said Donn Ward, chairman of the N.C. State athletic council.

Fox said there is no set agenda for Sunday's teleconference. However, she said the ACC leadership would probably discuss the league being dropped as a defendant in a lawsuit by Big East schools over expansion.

While the ACC was dropped from the lawsuit Friday, incoming ACC member Miami is still a defendant in the suit filed by four Big East schools accusing it of conspiring with the ACC to weaken the Big East.

The ACC has petitioned the NCAA to relax the number of schools required to hold a football title game. Officials have said a final ruling from the NCAA won't come until early next year.