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Dr. Saturday

ACC issues a statement claiming league solidarity

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

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(USA Today Sports Images)

The ACC wants everyone to know that its members aren't going anywhere despite rampant speculation.

So, the conference issued a statement reiterating the solidarity among its member schools and claimed despite all of the expansion — and the loss of Maryland to the Big Ten — no one else from the conference is going anywhere.

Here's the entirety of the statement that is signed by the league's 15 presidents:

"We, the undersigned presidents of the Atlantic Coast Conference, wish to express our commitment to preserve and protect the future of our outstanding league. We want to be clear that the speculation about ACC schools in negotiations or considering alternatives to the ACC are totally false. The presidents of the ACC are united in our commitment to a strong and enduring conference. The ACC has long been a leader in intercollegiate athletics, both academically and athletically, and the constitution of our existing and future member schools will maintain the ACC's position as one of the nation's premier conferences."

Did they spit shake on this? Become blood brothers?

It's hard to believe that if another conference — say the Big 12 or the Big Ten — came calling and offering twice as much money as the ACC, that one of these teams wouldn't jump at the opportunity.

Expansion is about money. N.C. State athletic director Debbie Yow made a statement that exemplified as much:

"Maryland will be on a plane to play Wisconsin in the middle of the winter," Yow said. "Hope that money is really, really good."

Well, the Big Ten is the richest conference in the country and its new media deal is expected to pay each school $40 million annually. And the Big Ten is trying to make other ACC schools rich as well. Rumors that the conference was looking at Georgia Tech, Virginia and North Carolina have been swirling, as have rumors about the Big 12's interest in Florida State, Louisville and Clemson.

Shockingly, presidents from Florida State, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Virginia Tech initiated the solidarity decree.

But now that the ACC has done this, it needs to make a move to keep up with the rest of the country in terms of television revenue. The Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC and Big 12 have all inked massive television deals. The Big East and ACC are falling behind. It's not that the ACC product is bad — even though the ACC hasn't won a national title since Florida State beat Virginia Tech in 1999 — it's just not as attractive a product as the nation's top four leagues.

The statement did not say whether the league had made additional provisions to keep its membership together. The ACC already has a $52 million exit fee, which it's trying to enforce on Maryland. Maryland has refused to pay it and the ACC is currently suing it's former member.

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