NEW YORK NY - DECEMBER 30: Da'Mon Merkerson #6 of the Syracuse Orange celebrates victory with team mates after defeating the Kansas State Wildcats during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on December 30 2010 in New York New York. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
The Big East Conference and Syracuse University announced today that they have reached an agreement on Syracuse's departure from the conference. Under the agreement, Syracuse agreed to a $7.5 million buyout, allowing the Orange to join the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2013.
"This closes a chapter and opens a new one filled with exciting possibilities for the Big East's future,'' Joe Bailey, the conference's interim commissioner, said in a statement. "With the recent addition of eight schools to the Big East, the future for the conference has never been brighter."
Syracuse's Director of Athletics Dr. Daryl Gross is all smiles, naturally.
"We look forward to the new academic and athletic partnership and the extraordinary competitive opportunities that membership in the ACC offers. We are excited about both our final season in the Big East and our long-term future with the ACC."
Assuming that Pitt resolves its legal battle with the conference and also pays its way out of the Big East, this means the 2012 season will be the last for the ACC under its current eight-game conference football schedule. It looks like 2013 will be the first year where the conference moves to a nine-game conference schedule in football.
Fortunately, the scheduling impact is minimal on Boston College, as BC-Syracuse are already locked into a long-term scheduling agreement that resumes in 2013. That non-conference game will simply become an inter-division game. BC's non-conference schedule for 2013 includes a road game at USC and home games against Army and Stony Brook.
For basketball, the conference is moving to an 18-game schedule starting this season without Pitt and Syracuse. With a better idea of when Syracuse (and probably Pitt too) are joining, I'd imagine we'll see a longer-term scheduling rotation put in place starting next season.
Welcome back, Syracuse. Now let us resume our hatred of the Orange.