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Miami joins Atlantic Coast Conference

June 30, 2003 at 6:07 PM

CORAL GABLES, Fla., June 30 (UPI) -- The University of Miami (Fla.) officially accepted an invitation Monday to join the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Big East Conference guaranteed Miami $45 million over five years along with a supplement for travel costs in an effort to keep the Hurricanes, but Miami President Donna Shalala announced at a Monday afternoon news conference that the ACC was a better overall fit.

"This is the right combination overall for our sports programs," Shalala said. "The Big East schools made a series of offers that were more than fair, but we accept the invitation of the ACC with great enthusiasm."

It had been expected that Miami would accept the ACC invitation, effective in 2004.

Virginia Tech received an invitation to join the ACC along with Miami and formally accepted last Friday. Miami postponed its decision to consider conterproposals from the Big East. The school will have to pay a $1 million exit fee.

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