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. Linden Lane
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SOUTHERN EXPOSURE

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A move that would have taken Boston College, Miami, and Syracuse from the Big East to the Atlantic Coast Conference came to an unexpected halt on June 25 when ACC university presidents issued invitations to Miami and Virginia Tech and ended six weeks of negotiations, site visits, politicking, and public speculation.

At a campus press conference on June 26, University President William P. Leahy, SJ, said that Boston College had entered into discussions with the ACC for three reasons: The ACC includes universities that are ranked among the nation's top 40 academic institutions, as is Boston College; the ACC is among the most "stable" conferences in the country; and the ACC offered a possibility of increased revenue. Leahy later told the Boston Herald that he had no regrets about looking into the ACC option. Higher education, he said, "is always filled with opportunities and changes, and you have to be able to adapt. We have to look at the future and, in light of our past traditions, respond in useful and creative ways."

Sitting beside Leahy at the press conference, athletics
director Gene DeFilippo characterized the previous weeks as "a roller coaster ride, filled with bizarre twists and turns," but noted that while the final results were surprising and disappointing, BC had begun discussions with the ACC "to better secure the future of our athletics program." That work, he said, would now continue in partnership with other Big East colleges. "We are going to work hard to make the Big East as strong as it can possibly be," he said. Asked whether BC would cancel its August 30 football opener at Alumni Stadium against the ACC's Wake Forest, DeFilippo said no, adding, with a smile, that he did hope to beat the Demon Deacons. Leaning toward his microphone, Leahy appended, "Soundly."

Ben Birnbaum

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