ACC commissioner says expansion will move on
RALEIGH, N.C. Atlantic Coast Conference John Swofford thinks a lawsuit aimed at disrupting the conference's expansion won't succeed because the league and schools followed proper guidelines.
''NCAA institutions are free to associate with other institutions that they deem most in harmony with their academic and athletic mission,'' Swofford said Sunday.
''The ACC has acted properly and legally throughout this process and is unaware of any conduct by Miami, Boston College or Syracuse that would violate the terms of their by-laws or that could bind them to the Big East against their will.''
The ACC last month announced plans to try to expand. Miami is the linchpin of the deal, and if the Hurricanes go, Boston College and Syracuse are expected to follow.
However, five Big East schools sued Friday to try to prevent Miami and Boston College from jumping to the ACC, accusing them of secretly taking part in an expansion plan that could ruin the Big East.
The lawsuit, filed in state Superior Court in Hartford, Conn., says Miami and Boston College professed loyalty to their conference while concocting a ''deliberate scheme to destroy the Big East.''
Syracuse was not named in the lawsuit.
One of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit Virginia Tech visited the ACC office in Greensboro on May 6 seeking a place in the expansion process, Swofford said.
Virginia Tech President Charles Steger said the visit was not an attempt to lobby the league to include the Hokies in expansion.
''I didn't ask the ACC presidents about us joining,'' Steger said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. ''I asked them if they could give me some sense of what they saw happening. ... I didn't ask them to take Virginia Tech into the ACC.''
However, Swofford disputed Steger's account in a statement he released Sunday night.
''(They) initiated a visit to our office and expressed a desire to join the Atlantic Coast Conference,'' Swofford said.
ACC presidents, who have the final say on expansion, voted to pursue Miami, Syracuse and Boston College but not the Hokies.
Martinez to return Wednesday
MILWAUKEE Pedro Martinez is slated to come off the disabled list Wednesday and start against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner, 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA in nine starts for Boston this season, has been sidelined since May 16 by a strained muscle under his right arm. He threw two simulated, 20-pitch innings in the bullpen Sunday at Miller Park and said he was ready to pitch again.
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