Yow: Scheduling changes part of expansion reality

Staff writerFebruary 3, 2012 

The loss of a guaranteed home-and-home series in men's basketball between N.C. State and North Carolina is a part of the "reality of expansion," N.C. State AD Debbie Yow said Friday.

The ACC announced its future scheduling plans for football and men's basketball on Friday and there will be more conference games in both sports, with the pending addition of Pittsburgh and Syracuse, but there will be fewer games between traditional ACC rivals.

Under the expanded 18-game basketball schedule, each school will only have one permanent partner, as opposed the three-partner model that has been used since the league expanded in 2004. State's partner will be Wake Forest and Carolina will pair up with Duke. That means State and Carolina will only play once twice a season in one of every three years.

"In a perfect world, we would play Duke and Carolina twice every year but there are no perfect solutions," Yow said Friday.

The conference football schedule will be expanded to nine games, one more than the current format, which means each school will drop a nonconference opponent.

"I think nine conference games will largely be considered to be better by our fans," Yow said. "Certainly, they would rather see us play an ACC team rather than a I-AA opponent."

The ACC still doesn't know when Pitt and Syracuse will leave the Big East. The changes for the basketball schedule take effect for the 2012-13 season, whether the league has 12 teams or 14 teams.

In football, Syracuse will join State in the Atlantic Division and Pitt will be in the Coastal with Duke and Carolina.

State and Carolina will continue to play every season in football. The change in the basketball schedule has not been received well by some of State's fans.

Yow, who was the AD at Maryland when the league added Boston College, Miami and Virginia Tech in the mid-2000s, said she was in favor of expansion then and still is now, despite the changes in the culture of the basketball schedule.

"Of course, I miss the round-robin but we needed expansion," Yow said. "We needed new markets and inventory for ESPN, just like the SEC, Pac-10 and Big Ten did."

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