Syracuse coach Doug Marrone expressed some excitement, but mostly deferred on the topic of SU’s acceptance into the Atlantic Coast Conference during the Big East weekly conference call.
“I’m excited for the university and our athletic program and our student athletes,” Marrone said. “Joining the Atlantic Coast Conference puts us in a strong position for the future. The ACC has strong schools academically and athletically, and I look forward to competing against them.”
But when probed further about his thoughts, Marrone punted on his analysis of the conference change until the end of the season.
“I’ve told my coaches and I’ve told my players not to comment on it,” Marrone said. “We have a tough task ahead in the season and that’s what we need to concentrate on.
“Don’t look at that as if we’re not excited about it. We’re extremely excited about it and after the season’s over, I’d be more than happy to open it up and talk about it as much as anyone wants to talk about it.”
The initial reports of Syracuse’s defection to the ACC came on Saturday prior to Syracuse’s 38-17 loss against USC. They were confirmed less than a day later, when both Syracuse and Pittsburgh announced on Sunday they were leaving the conference.
The news sent shockwaves throughout college athletics, but Marrone was clear in his message to his players.
“If we’re worried about things we can’t control, we’re in trouble,” Marrone said. “Not just conference expansion but anything else.”