NCAA Conference Realignment: Miami AD Kirby Hocutt Stays Loyal to ACC

Carlos PinedaCorrespondent IJune 15, 2010

In light of current conference expansion, the Miami Hurricanes have made it clear that they are not going to leave the ACC.

UM athletic director Kirby Hocutt said the team will not look to leave the ACC if it is invited to join another conference.

"The ACC is our home," Hocutt told The Palm Beach Post . "We're with 11 other universities that share our commitment to higher education and athletic excellence. It's the right place for Miami."

The Big Ten became a 12-team league when it added Nebraska on Friday, while Colorado packed its bags and jumped to the Pac-10 earlier last week.

A week ago, it was rumored that Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott was looking to add five more teams from the Big 12, including Texas and Oklahoma, to expand to 16 teams.

The decision to expand the Pac-10 to 16 was brought to halt after the remaining members of the Big 12 decided to stay in the league, according to ESPN.

Whether the Big Ten decides to expand to 16 members in the future still remains to be seen. But a decision of that magnitude could again open up talks of the major conferences looking to add to their leagues.

Although the SEC is not looking to expand anytime soon, commissioner Mike Slive is keeping a close eye on what is occurring in the college football landscape. The SEC will not go out of its way to raid other conferences for new members, but it will listen to teams interested in joining, according to .

Texas A&M was reportedly interested in joining the league, but decided instead to stick with the 10-team Big 12.

There were initial reports that the SEC was going to add Miami and Florida State, but nothing has come out of it other than speculation.

Regardless of the rumors, Miami is poised to double the revenue it receives annually with the ACC. The league is set to receive a lucrative TV deal with ESPN, $1.86 billion over 12 years.

The big payday is something the Hurricanes sought when it decided to leave the Big East in 2003.

Miami earned nearly $5.8 million in 2001 when it won its fifth national championship. The athletic department, on the other hand, lost a little more than $1.4 million that year, according to federal reports compiled by the USA Today .

The Big East offered Miami $45 million during a five-year period—$9 million a year—to keep the Hurricanes in the league, but Miami saw the ACC as a more stable conference.

Hocutt said the league is in need of a top team that competes for the championship.

"What we in the ACC are missing is that team, at the top, competing for the national championship," Hocutt said on The Jorge Sedano Show in Miami. "Once we in the ACC get that back, then you can look at the rest of the Top 25 and see that the other four or five teams there and say this is a very, very strong football conference.

"We just need the University of Miami to get back up there in BCS contention and trust me, we—all of us—but especially the 100 young men on our team and [coach] Randy Shannon are working hard on that every day."

Hocutt said that he felt Miami is in the right place in the ACC.

"We at the University of Miami strongly believe we're in the right home in the ACC," said Hocutt. "It fits our values, and it's the right competitive conference for us. We'd be remiss if our head was in the sand and not having conversations and anticipating and talking about what options and where this all may lead us, but at this point in time, I don't think anybody truly knows what dominoes are going to continue to fall next."