When the Orange and Panthers begin competition in their new conference home hinges on negotiations with the Big East that may require mediation from Ban Ki-Moon. But it’s never too early to get acquainted.
Like all 12 current ACC members, Syracuse and Pitt rank among the top 101 in U.S. News and World Report’s best American colleges. Both football programs have national championship and Heisman Trophy pedigree.
The Orange and Panthers are national basketball powers, more successful in the last decade than all ACC programs except Duke and North Carolina. But both are below ACC standards for overall athletic success, as measured by the Directors’ Cup all-sports standings.
Their athletic department expenses and revenue are less than the ACC averages and each ran afoul of NCAA rules during the early 1990s.
Here are the details.
Undergraduate enrollment: 12,731, No. 8 among 14 ACC schools.
Rank among U.S. News and World Report’s best colleges: 62nd.
Notable alumni: Vice President Joe Biden, novelist Joyce Carol Oates, artificial heart inventor Robert Jarvik.
Athletic expenses: Syracuse reported $49.3 million for 2009-10 in documents filed with the U.S. Department of Education. Average expenses for current ACC members were $57.4 million, ranging from Florida State’s $75.2 million to Wake Forest’s $41.4 million. Georgia Tech ($47 million) and North Carolina State ($47.2 million) were the only other ACC schools with smaller budgets.
Athletic revenue: Syracuse reported $49.3 million for 2009-10, including a transfer of $1.4 million from reserves to meet expenses.
Directors’ Cup: The Orange finished 61st in 2010-11, behind nine ACC schools. The ACC was the only conference with four among the top 10 (Duke, North Carolina, Virginia and Florida State).
NCAA championships: 11 in men’s lacrosse, 2003 men’s basketball, 1959 football.
Heisman Trophy winner: Ernie Davis, 1961.
Football: The Orange finished 8-5 last year under second-year coach Doug Marrone, its first winning season since 2001. From 1987-2001, Syracuse enjoyed 15 consecutive winning years, appearing in an Orange, Sugar and two Fiesta Bowls.
Men’s basketball: A 2005 Basketball Hall of Fame inductee, Jim Boeheim has coached his alma mater for 35 seasons (856-301 record). The Orange has reached seven of the last 10 NCAA tournaments and has advanced to three consecutive Sweet 16s. Led by freshman Carmelo Anthony, Syracuse defeated Kansas for the 2003 national title.
Facilities: Opened in 1980, the Carrier Dome is home to Orange football and basketball. The venue has hosted many NCAA basketball tournaments, but truth be told, it’s seen better days. The dome seats 49,250 for football and 33,000 for basketball, making it the country’s largest on-campus basketball arena.
NCAA sanctions: Syracuse was placed on two years’ probation and banned from the 1993 men’s basketball tournament for recruiting violations, improper benefits and lack of institutional control.
Undergraduate enrollment: 16,690, sixth among the 14 ACC schools.
U.S. News and World Report rank: 58th.
Athletic expenses: Pitt reported $49.2 million for 2009-10.
Athletic revenue: Pitt reported $49.2 million for 2009-10.
Directors’ Cup: The Panthers finished 123rd in 2010-11. The lowest ACC school was No. 74 Wake Forest.
NCAA championships: Pitt won the Associated Press national football title in 1937 and ‘76.
Heisman Trophy winner: Tony Dorsett, 1976.
Football: The Panthers have received seven bowl invites in the last 10 years and in 2009 enjoyed their first 10-win season since 1981, finishing No. 15 in the AP poll. That ratcheted up expectations and a 7-5 regular season in 2010 prompted coach Dave Wannstedt’s resignation. Pitt hired Michael Haywood to replace him, only to fire him two weeks later following his arrest for domestic battery. The Panthers then turned to Tulsa’s Todd Graham.
Men’s basketball: Jamie Dixon was a Panthers assistant coach in 2003 when the school promoted him to replace Ben Howland, who had exited for UCLA. Dixon has since guided Pitt to eight NCAA tournament appearances in as many seasons. The Panthers advanced at least one round in seven of those years, to the Elite Eight in 2009.
Facilities: Pitt football shares downtown Heinz Field with the NFL’s Steelers. The 65,050-seat stadium opened in 2001 and offers picturesque views of the city. The Panthers opened a new basketball arena, the 12,508-seat Petersen Events Center, in 2002.
NCAA sanctions: Pitt received two years’ probation but no postseason ban in 1993 for basketball recruiting violations.
There you have it. Does this expansion show the ACC to be a conference of wealth and taste?
At first blush, I'd say yes. Time will tell.
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