Originally written November 28, 2012 on Crystal Ball Run:
On Wednesday, ACC presidents and chancellors voted to add Louisville as their 14th football school, replacing Maryland which left last week for the Big Ten. The news was first reported by ESPN.com. Here is part of the report: Louisville will join the Atlantic Coast Conference, becoming the sixth former Big East school to leave for the ACC, sources told ESPN. The ACC's presidents and chancellors voted to add the Cardinals Wednesday morning to replace Maryland, which will leave for the Big Ten in 2014. Louisville is expected to join the ACC in the same season, sources said. Big East rules require a $10 million exit fee and 27 months notice, but the Cardinals -- like several schools before them -- should be able to negotiate a higher buyout to leave before the 27-month period. The move fortified ACC in the ever-evolving college realignment shuffle, while also serving as another death blow to the Big East. First for the ACC, the conference needed to add another football playing member when Maryland made the abrupt decision to leave for the Big Ten last week, and it appears to have hit a home run with Louisville. The Cardinals are a program which has had plenty of previous success on the gridiron, including a 2006 Big East championship and Orange Bowl win and a strong 9-2 start to this season. Louisville is also strong in a number of other sports nationally, including men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and baseball. Meanwhile for the conference Louisville left, the Big East, it is another crushing blow, as the league looks to hold on for dear life in the never-ending realignment shuffle. What was once a moderately successful college football power has taken several hits in recent years, with West Virginia joining the Big XII this season and Syracuse and Pitt leaving for the ACC next year.  In addition to Louisville’s move this week, Rutgers also announced along with Maryland that they’d be leaving for the Big Ten as well. That leaves UConn, Cincinnati and South Florida as the only teams that were playing in the conference ONE YEAR AGO as members going forward. Along with them a number of schools have been added including Boise State and San Diego State as football only playing schools. The league will still maintain a strong national college basketball brand, with many competitive non-football schools including Marquette, Georgetown and Villanova. To try and stave off some the impending loss of one team (it was likely to be Louisville, but UConn was also considered), the Big East announced on Tuesday that Tulane will be added as an all-sport member going forward and East Carolina could come on for football specifically in a couple years as well. Still, this is another crushing blow for a league whose reputation- if it still has one- continues to take hits by the day. It is also an especially tough time for this news to hit, as the Big East and its new commissioner Mike Aresco are in the midst of negotiating a new television contract. For all his insight, opinion and analysis please follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres.
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