Friday, June 22, 2018
Sports

ACC welcomes new members Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse to media days

GREENSBORO, N.C. — The ACC is settling into a period of stability it helped create.

Syracuse and Pittsburgh are finally here, Notre Dame is partly in, and Louisville arrives soon.

So as the league held the first of its two-day football media days Sunday, it did so with the focus squarely on the field.

"The composition of the long-term membership of the ACC has never been stronger," commissioner John Swofford said.

That's thanks to the new grant-of-rights agreement that pumped the brakes on realignment, basically locks in the current members and Louisville until 2027, and "publicly secured our position as one of the nation's premier conferences," Swofford said.

The commissioner said if Notre Dame ever chooses to place its fiercely independent football program in a league before 2026-27, "that conference by contractual agreement would be the (ACC)." He also says the basketball-centric ACC has "unlimited potential" in football. The Fighting Irish will play in the ACC in other sports.

And the league could take steps to realize that potential if its marquee programs perform up to expectations.

Florida State claimed just the ACC's second win in a BCS bowl since the 1999 season when it beat Northern Illinois in the Orange. And the players hope that victory helped answer the nagging question of whether the Seminoles, who won two national titles in the 1990s, are back.

"I don't think we ever really left," receiver Rashad Greene said. "We always came up short here or there, but it's our job to be consistent. As long as we stay consistent throughout the season and have that goal in mind, we'll do just fine."

Virginia Tech has been the preseason pick to win the Coastal Division in seven of eight years since the league split into divisions; preseason picks are announced today.

And Clemson, with 2012 ACC player of the year Tajh Boyd, knocked off LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in one of the most memorable matchups of last postseason.

If Boyd is feeling any external pressure to follow up, he certainly isn't showing it.

The first question he faced came from teammate Spencer Shuey, who talked the QB into serenading the table with a country song.

"The more you start to mature and the older you get, the more important some things are," Boyd said. "This is my fifth year (at Clemson) and it all comes down to five months. So it's all about embracing every opportunity … It's all about me just running out there trying to live for the moment and enjoying it."

Syracuse and Pitt made their first appearances at the ACC Kickoff, trading in the annual summer Rhode Island clambake that was a Big East staple for this visit to central North Carolina.

"A lot of great players, great competition; what more could you ask for?" Syracuse defensive tackle Jay Bromley said. "All around, everything's just up. Higher stakes."

This marks the only season in this configuration because Maryland is leaving next year for the Big Ten. Louisville, yet another school taken from the old Big East/new American Athletic Conference, is on track to step in for the Terrapins.

Comments
Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

Florida eliminates Texas Tech at College World Series, faces Arkansas for title-round spot

OMAHA, Neb. — JJ Schwarz hit a two-run homer and Florida built enough cushion to survive Texas Tech's six-run outburst over the seventh and eighth innings to eliminate the Red Raiders from the College World Series with a 9-6 win Thursday night....
Updated: 1 hour ago
Missed time a good mental reset for Raysí Matt Duffy

Missed time a good mental reset for Raysí Matt Duffy

ST. PETERSBURG — Missing all of 2017 might have been the absolute worst thing for Matt Duffy.Frustratingly idled as he eventually recovered and rehabbed from ongoing left heel issues, he couldn't play the game he loved, couldn't show the Rays o...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Sports on TV/radio for Friday, June 22

TODAYBaseballYankees at Rays7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMDodgers at Mets7 p.m.MLBMarlins at Rockies8:30 p.m.FSFCFLWinnipeg at Montreal7 p.m.ESPN2College baseball, World SeriesMississippi State vs. Oregon State3 p.m.ESPNArkansas vs. Florida8 p.m.ESPNHorsesRoy...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

Timeline of investigations, suspensions and allegations involving Jameis Winston

The NFL will suspend Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston three games without pay to start the regular season for violating the league's personal conduct policy. The suspension could be increased if he fails to meet certain undisclosed requirements expect...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

Jameis Winston suspension means Bucs will turn to Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB

TAMPA — The news of Jameis Winston's suspension to start this season likely means the Bucs will have veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick stepping in at quarterback for the first three games of the regular season.Fitzpatrick took over as the starter for th...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

Kevin Knox to Knicks makes NBA history locally

More than a year ago, Kevin Knox stepped across the stage at the Straz Center to receive his high school diploma.On Thursday, the former Tampa Catholic star was on basketball's biggest stage as he fulfilled his lifelong goal of making the NBA.Knox wa...
Updated: 2 hours ago
2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

2018-19 schedule unveiled: Lightning opens with five straight at home

NHL schedules all balance out at the end, but the Lightning will open 2018-19 with five straight home games and end the season with its last four on the road.The Lightning released its schedule Thursday evening for the upcoming season, with all sorts...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

Without a first-rounder, Lightning still could have busy draft weekend

The Lightning doesn't have a first-round pick in this weekend's draft, but that's not to say the weekend couldn't be busy for general manager Steve Yzerman and his front office.The Lightning sent its top draft pick to the Rangers in February as part ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Next move is simple for the Bucs: Get rid of Jameis Winston

Trade him. Waive him. Cut him.Whatever.Just get rid of him.Jameis Winston should never play another game for the Tampa Bay Bucs.Plain and simple, he's a bad guy and the Bucs should have nothing more to do with him.He already will miss the first three...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves heís up to speed on bases

Rays journal: Jake Bauers proves heís up to speed on bases

ST. PETERSBURG – Rookie 1B Jake Bauers has impressed at the plate and in the field since his June 7 promotion.Also, with his hustling on the bases."I knew he played hard; everybody said that at every level,'' manager Kevin Cash said. "I di...
Updated: 4 hours ago