Item: The new ACC era of Orange athletics is officially underway.
As the clock struck midnight in the Eastern Time Zone this Monday, neatly coinciding with the date July 1, 2013, the excitement of the reality of Syracuse adding to its vast athletic history and best-ever, program-wide rankings in all sports this past year to the 14 other members of the 60-year old ACC, is noticeably hitting home as a milestone for the university staff/athletes, Orange Nation, and trickling down to the media covering the program.
We all know of the accompanying bonus of millions more in an increased TV rights-fee payout for SU from the get-go, the prestige of joining a league that founded the concept of a basketball conference tournament long before the NCAA Tournament joined its place among the top annual sports events during the end of the UCLA dynasty (1965-1975), and before the “old” Big East took over Madison Square Garden (1983), and the step-up from a competitive standpoint to a membership that includes an array of programs that are at, or near, the top of their respective men’s/women’s sport.
Noticeable to Orange Watch since April from a media relations standpoint is the depth of information coming from the staff in Greensboro, the southern hospitality in all interaction, and the grandiose, traditional media day events for football and basketball; the former in a couple of weeks at the posh Grandover Resort just down the road from conference headquarters.
Why even this afternoon, perhaps as a hint that the league will try to get New York into a regular rotation for the basketball tournament one season soon, the conference is celebrating its expansion to 15 teams by making an appearance in, where else to make a splash, the Big Apple, or more specifically at the NASDAQ Stock Market for the closing bell ceremony just prior to 4:00 p. m. ET.
That ceremony will be preceded by a media event hosted by ESPN/NFL Network announcer Brad Nessler with Commissioner John Swofford, and conference coaches including Syracuse’s own Jim Boeheim, along with Roy Williams, Mike Brey, Frank Beamer, and Jimbo Fisher, and former Pitt star receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals.
That’s how you make a “look at us now” statement in front of plenty of eyeballs in New York on a summer Monday afternoon (both the press conference and NASDAQ ceremony will be streamed live on the ACC Digital Network at ACC.com and ESPN3).
After all the pre-season media day festivities this summer, the first actual ACC competition for SU will be men’s soccer at Virginia Tech Sept. 6, the first home event a week later when men’s soccer meets Notre Dame. The football team hosts Clemson in its conference debut Oct. 5 and basketball is to be announced before the end of the summer.
Now all’s that left to help visually reinforce the new conference home is to see the “ACC” logo (in custom orange?) on Ernie Davis Legends Field and Jim Boeheim Court.