It has been nearly 34 years since the ACC held a postseason fencing championship, but that drought is coming to an end. The conference will conduct a postseason ACC Fencing Championship that will feature both men's and women's competition beginning in February 2015.
With the addition of Notre Dame, the conference is now able to offer a championship in fencing with four varsity programs. The Fighting Irish will join Boston College, Duke and North Carolina in the ACC championship starting next season.
"I remember shortly after we joined the ACC (in 2005) and a conversation I had with Coach Miller," Boston College coach Syd Fadner said. "He said, ‘One more school. We just need one more school.' And now it has happened, and we're very excited."
Boston College, Duke and North Carolina will join up with a Notre Dame program that has won eight national championships and finished as runner-up another 14 times. There are only a handful of college fencing programs around the country and most compete as independents. The Ivy League and now the ACC are the only conferences that sponsor the sport.
In my mind, the move is significant -- not only because it gives Boston College another sport to compete in for conference titles (which, according to one dope, validates conference realignment moves) but also better aligns the Eagles athletics department with the rest of the conference. With the ACC sponsoring a fencing championship, Boston College will now sponsor just three non-ACC NCAA sports. Skiing continues to compete in the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association while men's and women's hockey competes in Hockey East. The women's rowing team competes in the Eastern Association of Women's Rowing Colleges (EAWRC) as well as the ACC.
While I don't have high hopes for ACC Skiing -- and the ACC best leave ice hockey be -- it's nice to see Boston College athletics align more closely with the rest of the conference.