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Expansion talks start to surface

Hurricane season may last year-round in the ACC in the near future.

Several reports last week indicated that the University of Miami(Fl.) may join the Conference in all sports. The Hurricanes are the latest college to cycle into the rumor mill of possible ACC expansion. Syracuse, Boston College and Penn State have been rumored as possible expansion members in the past. No official offers have been made to any schools to join the Conference.

"We have not made a decision about whether we want to expand or not," ACC Commissioner John Swofford said in a statement. "The thing that is important is that we thoroughly evaluate it and we will do so on a continual basis.

Adding Miami as the Conference's 10th member would have several implications for the ACC.

The city of Miami stands as one of the nation's top media markets, which would bring more exposure. Miami's athletic department boasts a number of strong programs, most notably football and baseball.

The Hurricanes would also place another Florida school in the fold and bring a genuine rival to the Conference for Florida State. The 'Canes beat the 'Noles in the College World Series 6-5 this season.

On the other hand, the ACC's Northern-most members--Maryland and Virginia--would have to travel much farther than in the current alignment. There is also some concern that a 10th member may tarnish the tradition of the ACC.

"There is a genuine interest in discussing what is best for the league, and part of that discussion is whether or not expansion would be positive," Swofford said in the statement. "Our Conference is blessed with a great deal of tradition, and our member institutions value that"