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Report: Cincinnati hopes to join ACC

The SportsXchange

The University of Cincinnati would like to join the Atlantic Coast Conference as a replacement for the University of Maryland, ESPN.com reported.

According to the report, Cincinnati is positioning itself as a better alternative than the University of Louisville or the University of Connecticut, two remaining members of the Big East.

Maryland plans to move to the Big Ten, and the ACC is seeking a $50 million-plus exit fee from the Terrapins.

A source told ESPN.com that Cincinnati is lobbying the ACC by pointing out its academic and athletic merits, the latter of which include being one of a handful of schools that finished last season ranked in the top 25 in both football and men's basketball.

The Big East announced Tuesday that Tulane University would join the conference for all sports, and that East Carolina University would be a new football-only member. Both schools competed in Conference USA along with Cincinnati in the last decade.

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the desire to play stiffer competition than the likes of Tulane and East Carolina prompted Cincinnati to leave C-USA for the Big East seven years ago. The reconstructed Big East would include 13 football teams in 2014, nine of them former C-USA schools, according to the Enquirer.

The ESPN.com report indicated that the ACC has no timetable for selecting a team to replace Maryland.
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