Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coker: Stay in Big East

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Coker: Stay in Big East

Article excerpt

Byline: Alex Abrams, Times-Union sports writer

Larry Coker has captured the Big East title in each of his two seasons as the University of Miami coach. And he isn't convinced just yet that the Hurricanes should leave the conference before he gets a chance to win a third title during the upcoming season.

Coker, who was in Jacksonville last night to speak to the First Coast Hurricane Club, doesn't feel Miami would particularly benefit from leaving the Big East to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference next season.

"From a football standpoint, I don't know how much the ACC helps us," Coker said last night. "I think the Big East is certainly a good football conference. I think [like] this -- we play Florida State every year, anyway. So it's not like if we go to the ACC, we get an opportunity to play Florida State."

Discussions about whether Miami would leave the Big East -- which it has been apart of since 1991 -- have intensified over the last few weeks. Miami athletic director Paul Dee told the The News-Press of Fort Myers for Sunday's edition that he has talked with ACC commissioner John Swofford about the possibility of the Hurricanes joining the conference.

The Miami Herald reported in today's editions that a high-level official associated with Miami's program said the school is leaning toward joining the ACC, if a formal invitation is extended and finances and other aspects of the deal meet Miami's approval.

Seven of nine ACC schools would have to approve the expansion for it to become official.

Coker admits he'll probably have a "minor say-so" in the decision as to whether Miami will be one of a possible three Big East schools -- most likely including Syracuse and Boston College -- to leave the conference. The ACC would have 12 teams and a season-ending championship game.

But Coker thinks playing in the ACC might actually hurt the Hurricanes, as well as the nine schools already in the ACC, if the conference shuffling goes through as proposed. …

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