ACC makes move to head off expansion losses - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

ACC makes move to head off expansion losses

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The ACC announced a major move to head off any further losses of its members on Monday, saying the league's Council of Presidents have all signed a grant of media rights, effective immediately.

The move includes current and future ACC members, including the University of Notre Dame. While the move might sound academic, so to speak, the league is hoping to ward off pursuers in what has been a fluid conference landscape.

"This announcement further highlights the continued solidarity and commitment by our member institutions," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement "The Council of Presidents has shown tremendous leadership in insuring the ACC is extremely well-positioned with unlimited potential."

The move is intended to head off any future loss of schools after the University of Maryland stunned the ACC by announcing it is leaving for the Big Ten. Maryland leaders cited financial pressures as driving the move, but whether the Terps will have to pay the ACC an exit fee of $50 million is uncertain.

The ACC quickly moved to add the University of Louisville after Maryland announced it would leave.

The media rights deal is intended to lock in media revenues to the ACC, even if a school were to leave. The thrust of the deal is to make it more difficult for a school to leave the ACC and head off any raiding of the league by other conferences.

The Big Ten, Pac-12 and Big 12 also have established grant of rights. The Big Ten is moving to 14 teams, and some Internet reports have said the league has pursued the University of North Carolina and the University of Virginia in the ACC.

"Today's announcement should put (conference) realignment on the shelf.," UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham said in a statement. "It's time to put the focus back on celebrating the successes of our students and teams."

Duke athletics director Kevin White said, "To be sure, today's Grant of Rights announcement by the Atlantic Coast Conference is monumental as it clearly shows the unwavering long-term solidarity of the ACC member institutions."

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