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Littlepage does not expect changes to the ACC, Virginia

During a summer in which the conference affiliations of college athletics' most high-profile schools might shift, Virginia Athletic Director Craig Littlepage said he expects both Virginia and the ACC to remain the same.

"I think in both cases, the impact will be minimal," Littlepage said. "The University of Virginia is not looking for a different conference affiliation and furthermore, I don't think the ACC is looking to change the composition of its membership, to expand or to adjust in anyway the composition of the 12-member conference."

When asked if Virginia had been contacted by any other conference, Littlepage said he has not been contacted by representatives from other conferences and is confident that there have not been overtures to anyone else affiliated with the university.

Other ACC schools have been rumored to be sought by other conferences, such as Maryland and the Big Ten. High-ranking Maryland officials told The Post that there have been not been discussions about leaving the ACC, and Littlepage said he does not expect the ACC to lose members to other conferences.

"I don't see that happening in the short term," Littlepage said. "Who knows what the landscape will look like in 12 months or in 24 months. As it relates to this current cycle of adjustments, I don't think that the ACC generally or specific institutions will be players in the current climate."

Colorado will leave the Big 12 for the Pacific-10 and Nebraska is expected to depart the Big 12 for the Big Ten. Those two schools could be the beginning of a shift in the landscape, with the Pac -10 reportedly trying to expand to 16 teams -- a move that would cripple what remains of the Big 12.

One conference expanding to 16 teams could then lead to other conferences seeking additional teams and spread their reach to attractive television markets.

"I don't see the ACC's next play to be something that would take place in the short term," Littlepage said. "That is, if something happened this weekend with other conferences, I don't think in a week, or a month or maybe even a year, the ACC does anything. That would be my personal point of view. So, I would say anything that might constitute a change in the ACC's position is in years as opposed to days or weeks."

The moves discussed are often made with football and television revenue in mind. Littlepage emphasized that in discussions of conference expansion/changes, consideration must be paid to all the sports and the effect the changes would have on those teams and athletes.

"The thing that has to be viewed very, very carefully is the impact on other sports," Littlepage said. "Basketball, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, etc., and how those sports are impacted in terms of greater distance in travel, or potentially more time away academically and the resulting impact on the expense side, something we're all dealing with, whether we're in a BCS conference or not.

"So, I think it's something we're all going to have to be looking at very carefully. But the precise thing, the dominoes that are going to fall, not having been intimately involved in some of these discussions, I haven't gone through all of those completely, but I'm certainly aware of the general topics and some of the resulting implications of these moves that are being considered."

By Zach Berman  |  June 11, 2010; 10:47 AM ET
 
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