College sports fans are all too aware that the landscape is shifting as intercollegiate athletic programs, ever in search of financial stability, seek new conference affiliations.
In our own back yard, the Atlantic Coast Conference first snatched the University of Pittsburgh and Syracuse University from the Big East, a relationship that takes effect next fall. A couple of months ago, the ACC announced a deal with Notre Dame University, a football independent (perhaps THE football independent, and ranked No. 1 this season to boot) and Big East member in other sports, slated to join in all sports except football, and to play a minimum number of football games with ACC teams.
Then came word earlier this month that the University of Maryland, a charter ACC member, would become the first school to leave the conference since South Carolina in 1971, joining the Big Ten. The ACC moved swiftly to invite the University of Louisville, yet another Big East school, to take its place, a move announced yesterday.
All four new members promise to be formidable athletic competitors. But conferences are not always about sports. The ACC sponsors some academically oriented exchanges as well, and individual researchers often have ties to colleagues at other ACC schools.
So we were wondering: What non-athletic ties already exist between U.Va. and Pitt, Syracuse, Notre Dame and Louisville? We’re not talking about your cousin Bill who went to Pitt; more like research partnerships and other exchanges. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below; your idea might end up in a future UVA Today story.
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