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National writers have all chimed in about Louisville’s move to the ACC. Not a surpise to Card Nation, they were glowing about UofL’s program and leadership. Looking back, the Big 12 snub last year was probably a good thing as the ACC is the perfect fit for the Cards in football and hoops. Here’s a sampling of what the national media is saying about the huge move:
*Yahoo! Sports Pat Forde’s thoughts
When Maryland’s spot in the league came open, several Big East members made clear their interest in moving to the ACC. Sources said Louisville outmaneuvered the perceived early favorite, Connecticut, in large part because of the school’s overall athletic commitment, the health of its football program and the issues Jim Calhoun left behind in the Huskies’ basketball program. Cincinnati also made a spirited 11th-hour push, sources said.
*ESPN’s Brett McMurphy on the ACC move
The ACC felt Louisville was the best choice because of its “aggressive approach” to success, including a commitment to “marquee athletics programs,” a source told ESPN. The recent additions of Louisville, Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame — which joins in all sports except football but has a scheduling partnership with the conference in that sport — make the ACC feel as though it is “in a position of strength,” the source said.
*The ACC’s official press release
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.
*SI’s Pete Thamel weighs in
The ACC chose Louisville because it had the strongest football program of any available school in addition to an elite basketball program. It also adds a new geographic market. There had been a small amount of resistance heading into the ACC’s 7 a.m. call on Wednesday because of the school’s low academic profile.
The shift is another significant move in realignment and pushes college sports closer to 16-team super conferences. A source with knowledge of the ACC’s discussions said a big reason that the ACC moved so quickly to add Louisville was that the Big 12 also had interest in the Cardinals.
*SI’s take from Mandel
In the latest episode of As the Realignment World Turns, the ACC did something fairly novel on Wednesday. It picked the school that will replace Maryland largely for one simple and antiquated reason: That school has a good football team.
Unlike Maryland and Rutgers to the Big Ten, Texas A&M to the SEC and most of the moves before those, the ACC is not adding Louisville for its ability to deliver television sets. On the contrary, Louisville is the nation’s 48th-largest television market. The two other prime contenders to join the league, Cincinnati and Connecticut (Hartford-New Haven), have larger markets.