ACC expansion will benefit NC State

N.C State chancellor Randy Woodson, left, and Athletic Director Boo Corrigan give the Wolfpack sign.

N.C State chancellor Randy Woodson, left, and Athletic Director Boo Corrigan give the Wolfpack sign.

The ACC approved on Friday the addition of California, Stanford and SMU for the 2024 season in a controversial turn of events.

For weeks, it appeared the expansion wouldn’t happen after the league lacked the 12 necessary votes needed for approval from the league’s 15 presidents and chancellors. N.C. State joined North Carolina, Clemson and Florida State in opposing the move during league conversations earlier in August.

When the final votes were taken during a call Friday morning, however, the league received enough votes for approval.

While N.C. State has yet to confirm how it voted, chancellor Randy Woodson released a statement of support following the announcement.

“The NC State brand, and historical competitiveness of our programs, is already well-recognized and established,” Woodson said. “The addition of these outstanding universities gives us even greater opportunities to build on the Wolfpack’s national presence, which in turn will generate more long-term benefits for our student-athletes, our athletic programs, and our loyal fan base.”

This comes after the University of North Carolina board of trustees released a statement Thursday night, saying a majority of the board strongly opposed expansion. The group said it admires the academic achievements of the trio, but the travel distances – notably for smaller sports – would not positively impact the experience for student-athletes, coaches, alumni and fans.

“The economics of this newly-imagined transcontinental conference do not sufficiently address the income disparity ACC members face,” the statement said. “Without ironclad assurances that the proposed expansion serves the interest of UNC-Chapel Hill, we believe it should be voted down.”

Clemson maintained its vote opposing the move, according to The State newspaper in Columbia.

Florida State announced Friday that it also voted no on adding the three new schools.

“We appreciate the efforts of (ACC) commissioner (Jim) Phillips and our conference partners,” Florida State president Richard McCullough said in a statement. “There are many complicated factors that led us to vote no. That said, we welcome these truly outstanding institutions and look forward to working with them as our new partners in the Atlantic Coast Conference.”

All three new members agreed to forgo a significant portion of the television revenue the ACC will generate through the additions. Reports indicate SMU will allegedly forgo the TV shares for nine years, while the other two will join at roughly 30% of the shares.

The remaining ACC schools would likely divide $50 million to $60 million, with the additional money put toward other conference initiatives.

In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.

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