Atlantic Coast Conference presidents and chancellors are reportedly scheduled to participate in a Wednesday morning teleconference to discuss expansion with a vote to follow that could include the addition of Louisville as the newest member according to David Glenn of ACCSports.com.
According to the report, sources have indicated that Louisville is the leading candidate to replace Maryland and could receive enough votes to receive an invitation to the league. The current conference bylaws indicate the a school would need to receive at least 75 percent of the vote for approval and reportedly Louisville would have enough votes needed.
The Cardinals are currently members of the Big East, but have been actively pursuing other conference options. Last year, they were involved in discussions with the Big 12, but the league eventually chose West Virginia instead.
The report goes on to indicate the Louisville would accept an invitation if one is offered from the ACC. Other schools that are reportedly interested in joining the ACC are Connecticut, Navy and USF. Sources have said that both UConn and Navy could garner some interest however not enough to get an official invitation.
“Given the way the conversations have gone to this point, either Louisville will be approved for an invitation (Wednesday) or nobody will be approved for an invitation,” one ACC source told Glenn. “Any other result would be a major surprise.”
A move by the ACC would just be another in a long line of conference realignment moves over the past several weeks.
Last Monday, the Big Ten offered official invitations to both Maryland and Rutgers. Both schools accepted and will join the league starting in July 2014. The Big East in return announced that Tulane and East Carolina will join their league in 2014.
The ACC needs to fill the spot left by Maryland and Louisville would fill the requirements. Although, the markets for both schools are vastly different. However, with the addition of Syracuse and Pittsburgh in 2013, adding Louisville would bring the total number of members in the league to 14. Notre Dame is joining the ACC as well, in all sports except football which could precipitate adding a 16th member down the line.
Losing Louisville would be another big blow for the Big East, which continues to try and stay relevant in the college landscape.
The league will add UCF, SMU, Houston and Memphis in all sports while also adding Boise State and San Diego State in football alone starting in 2013. The conference will add Tulane in all sports and East Carolina in a football only capacity in 2014 while Navy will join in 2015.
With the Big East still in negotiations for a new media rights deal, there has reportedly been some concern over the recent defections and whether or not the latest additions will be enough to keep the conference relevant in the ever-changing college landscape.
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