Over the past two days, both Maryland and Rutgers have officially announced they were moving their athletics programs from the ACC and Big East, respectively, to the Big Ten. As is usually the case in these types of situations, those actual moves have spawned myriad speculative ones.
UConn or Louisville to the ACC. North Carolina and Virginia to the Big Ten to create the first major superconference. Florida State to the Big 12 (again). And on and on and on it goes, with seemingly anyone with a morsel of information flinging it against the wall in the hopes that something will stick in the latest round of conference expansion.
And then there’s Jim Weaver. The Virginia Tech athletic director, normally not one to verbally shoot from the hip, preferring to keep his athletic department’s cards close to the vest, caused quite the Twitter stir late Tuesday night with comments that may or may not have been taken out of context.
During a weekly call-in show on 101.7-FM in Southwest Virginia, Weaver was asked, David Teal of the Hampton Roads Daily Press wrote, “whether he thought the SEC would contact Tech if it wanted to start its own network.”
“I really haven’t thought about it because the discussion has just come about three or four days ago,” Weaver began, before adding, “I’d like to defer my comment for right now, but there may potentially be some interest.”
Those last five words were all it took for a social media maelstrom to erupt, with some taking the comment as Weaver acknowledging Tech’s interest in discussing a move from the ACC to the SEC. On several levels the conjecture made sense as the Hokies have been connected to the SEC via the rumor mill going back to 2010 if not further.
An incredulous Weaver, though, attempted to clarify a short time later his school’s position on its conference affiliation.
“I just can’t believe people are misinterpreting what I said,” Weaver told Teal. “We’re not in discussions with anyone. We’ve always wanted to be in the Atlantic Coast Conference. We’re there, and we’re pleased to be there. …
“There’s nothing happening in regard to Virginia Tech going anywhere. I don’t know how to say it any clearer than that.”
Those denials fall in line with Weaver’s stance from this past May, and pretty much any other time the Hokies have been brought up as a candidate for SEC expansion for that matter. At least for now, it appears any Tech-to-the-SEC talk is just that, talk. And fodder for the never-sleeping rumor mill.
Should the ACC splinter and fall apart? Well, that’s another matter entirely, for Tech and everyone else in the ACC, Big East and beyond.