BOSTON -- Boston College has accepted the Atlantic Coast Conference's invitation to join the league as its 12th member, University President William P. Leahy, S.J., announced Sunday afternoon.
"Our decision to join the Atlantic Coast Conference is based on my judgment in terms of what is in the best interest of Boston College academically, athletically and financially," Leahy said.
Clemson University President James F. Barker, chair of the Council of Presidents, announced earlier Sunday that the ACC had extended a formal invitation for membership to Boston College.
"This morning the conference's Council of Presidents reached a unanimous agreement to officially offer membership in the Atlantic Coast Conference to Boston College," said Barker. "This institution represents and shares the values for which the ACC has long been known.
"Through the ACC's first 50 years, the conference has earned a reputation for excellence in both academics and athletics. As we look to the future, we are confident that our schools, coaches and student-athletes will maintain that heritage.
"Our presidents and chancellors are very impressed with Boston College, not only with the quality and breadth of their athletic programs but also with their excellent academic success and reputation. They (will) be both an outstanding academic and athletic partner."
The following is a transcript of opening statements from Leahy and BC Director of Athletics Gene DeFilippo from Sunday afternoon's press conference.
Rev. William P. Leahy, S.J.
President, Boston College
"This morning, Boston College received an invitation to join the Atlantic Coast Conference and we have accepted it. We made this decision for reasons you have heard me speak about previously.
"First, academics. The ACC is a good fit for us because it has five top 40 national institutions, as we are. It has a balanced mix of private and public institutions. Also, the demographics within the area of the ACC will enhance our student recruiting efforts in that area in the years ahead. In addition, the ACC has a program of academic corroboration and cooperation that is attractive to us.
"The second reason is athletics. The ACC is a strong, stable conference and membership in it secures the future of our intercollegiate athletics program.
"And third, finances. The move to the ACC will generate greater revenues in the future and that is important to us as an institution.
"I also want to say that we have enjoyed our years in the BIG EAST and I certainly wish its schools continued success.
"Our decision to join the Atlantic Coast Conference is based on my judgment in terms of what is in the best interest of Boston College academically, athletically and financially."
Director of Athletics, Boston College
"As Fr. Leahy said, indeed this is a very exciting day for Boston College and our athletic department. I, too, want to echo Fr. Leahy's comments.
"We have a tremendous amount of respect for the BIG EAST Conference, its presidents, its athletic directors. We are extremely excited to be having an opportunity to compete in the future in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As Father said, this really helps to secure our future, long-term. This is a great fit for us both academically and athletically and we are very excited."