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Nov 28, 2012

MAJOR REALIGNMENT: ACC picks up another soccer powerhouse

By Quinn Casteel

The University of Louisville will be the next soccer powerhouse to join the ranks of the ACC.

According to a press release (below) sent out today by the conference, the ACC’s Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to extend an official offer to the university to join for all sports. This is coming after a review of the university’s letter of application.

This is big news for the ACC, particularly in men’s soccer where as a member of the Big East Louisville was a borderline top 10 team for much of the season. The Cardinals earned the No. 10 seed in the College Cup and have defeated Winthrop 5-0 and Northwestern 2-1 to advance all the way to the Elite Eight where they will be playing No. 2 Maryland on Saturday at 5 p.m. for a chance to advance to the championship rounds in Hoover, Ala.

Coincidentally, it was the Terps’ recent move to the Big 10 which is likely the driving force behind this seemingly abrupt move. Louisville is one of the few college programs in the country with year-to-year competitiveness on par with an elite team like Maryland, and should be a worthy replacement.

The two teams met on the first weekend of the season back on Aug. 26, a game Maryland won 3-0.

No word yet on exactly when the move will take place, but since Maryland will be moving from the ACC to the Big 10 beginning in 2014, it would make since for the Cardinals to use the same timeline for their transition from the Big East.

In related news, the ACC has just filed a lawsuit to sue the University of Maryland over a $53 million exit fee, according to the Associated Press.

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ACC News Release, Nov. 28: ‘ACC Extends Formal Invitation for Membership to the University of Louisville’

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference Council of Presidents has unanimously voted to accept the University of Louisville as its newest member. The vote followed the submission of Louisville’s letter of application.

“With the addition of the University of Louisville, the ACC continues to be well positioned for the future competing at the highest level in all facets of the collegiate experience,” said the ACC Council of Presidents in a joint statement. “The ACC continues to be a vibrant conference that remains steadfast in its commitment to balancing academics and athletics.”

“The University of Louisville will be a terrific member of the Atlantic Coast Conference,” said University of North Carolina Chancellor Holden Thorp, chair of the ACC Council of Presidents. “We welcome them as full partners into the ACC.”

“With its aggressive approach to excellence in every respect, the University of Louisville will enhance our league’s culture and commitment to the cornerstones we were founded on 60 years ago,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “The University of Louisville is an outstanding addition to the Atlantic Coast Conference and I commend the Council of Presidents for continuing to position our league for the long-term future. If you look at what has been done over the last 15 months, the ACC has only gotten stronger with the additions of Louisville, Notre Dame, Pitt and Syracuse.”

“The University of Louisville is honored to join the ACC, a conference with a long history of excellence in athletics and academics,” said Dr. James Ramsey, President, University of Louisville. “The ACC will be a great home for UofL and our commitment to great academics, groundbreaking research and top-notch athletic teams.”

“When it became apparent to us that we needed to make a move, the ACC is the perfect fit for us and we are so elated to be joining this prestigious conference,” said Tom Jurich, Vice President and Director of Athletics. “Under John Swofford’s leadership, the ACC continues to prosper. We sincerely appreciate this opportunity. This will open so many more doors for us both athletically for all of our sports programs, and academically for our university. What I really like about this move is it’s terrific for our fans, with the proximity of the institutions and we never have to leave the Eastern time zone. This is a credit to everyone at the University of Louisville and our community, as we have all pulled together to position ourselves for this opportunity. It’s amazing what has happened here over the last 15 years. We appreciate so much what the BIG EAST Conference has meant to us.”

About the Atlantic Coast Conference:
The Atlantic Coast Conference is now in its 60th year of competition, the ACC has long enjoyed the reputation as one of the strongest and most competitive intercollegiate conferences in the nation. Since the league’s inception in 1953, ACC schools have captured 127 national championships, including 67 in women’s competition and 60 in men’s. In addition, NCAA individual titles have gone to ACC student-athletes 145 times in men’s competition and 104 times in women’s action.

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