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ACC: Full participation required

Wire services
Published September 28, 2003

RALEIGH, N.C. - The leaders from the nine ACC schools said full participation in all sports would be required of any new member.

Chancellors and presidents discussed league guidelines for members in a conference call Saturday.

"What we talked about was the importance of affirming the principles on which this conference has been built, which are equity and full participation," said North Carolina State chancellor Marye Ann Fox. "We affirmed that equitable participation would be necessary."

The topic of inviting Notre Dame to join the league was not discussed, said Fox, a member of Notre Dame's board of trustees. ACC commissioner John Swofford has denied published reports the league is poised to add Notre Dame.

In June, Virginia Tech and Miami agreed to join the ACC next year, expanding the league to 11. The ACC has proposed reducing the minimum number of teams for a league title game to 10. An NCAA panel denied the request in a nonbinding decision, fueling speculation the league could push to add a 12th member.

The Washington Post reported Saturday the ACC is working to allow Notre Dame to join the league as a partial member, playing four or five football games against ACC opponents each season for several years before becoming a full member. John Heisler, Notre Dame's associate athletic director for media relations, said the university is not interested in aligning its football team with any conference.

BIG EAST LAWSUIT: While Big East officials are close to reshaping the conference after the defections of Miami and Virginia Tech, the legal dispute that resulted is ongoing. A Connecticut judge will hear arguments Monday from the ACC and Miami on whether to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds. The hearing will include sworn depositions from Miami athletic director Paul Dee and the ACC's Swofford.

The lawsuit, filed June6 in a Connecticut court, contends Rutgers, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Connecticut spent millions on their football programs based on presumed loyalty from schools they had been aligned with. The defendants are accused of participating in a conspiracy intended to weaken the Big East.

Before the suit can address the question of fractured loyalties, Rockville Superior Court Judge Samuel J. Sferrazza must decide if Miami and the ACC can be sued in Connecticut.

CLARETT UPDATE: Ohio State will wait until at least the spring to ask the NCAA to reinstate suspended running back Maurice Clarett.

"I think we want to see the fall and winter quarters, to see how things go," athletic director Andy Geiger said.

Clarett started his fall quarter Thursday. Winter quarter ends in late March, and spring workouts begin in early April. Clarett was suspended this season after Ohio State said he violated NCAA bylaws by receiving improper benefits and lying to investigators. Coach Jim Tressel hoped Clarett might return to practice this fall. Geiger said that was no longer an option.

CELEB IN HIS OWN RIGHT: John David Washington, son of actor Denzel, ran for a school-record 242 yards and a touchdown as Morehouse beat host Johnson C. Smith (N.C.) 39-21.

OBITUARY: Former Auburn coach Earl Brown, who helped renew the series with Alabama after a 41-year hiatus, died in Leesburg. He was 87. He also worked for Brown, Harvard, Dartmouth, Canisius and the Detroit Lions.

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