HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s governor confirmed on Monday that the University of Connecticut is interested in becoming part of the Atlantic Coast Conference should that league expand to 16 teams.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, speaking to reporters outside his Capitol office, said he no longer expects the ACC to act quickly after adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East earlier this month.
“I think there was expectancy built up initially that this was quickly going to be resolved,” he said. “That’s clearly not the case. The ACC has the first decision to make and that’s whether they’re going to stay at 14 teams or stay at 16. I know that there’s one team, one school that they would like to get into the ACC that would guarantee them going to 16 teams and that’s been speculated to be Notre Dame. I suspect that that’s true. I don’t know how likely that is to happen or not happen. Although, I tend to think it’s not terribly likely.”
Malloy said if Notre Dame isn’t interested the ACC must decide if there is any compelling reason to expand again.
“Beyond that, then you fall back to the Big East,” he said “The Big East then has to rebuild itself to fill the loss of the two teams that left and has to worry about its ability to compete on the major sports of basketball and football in particular, as well as how do we make that work for student athletes.”
Malloy, a Boston College alumnus, said he has had a half dozen conversations with University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst about the move, but would not say whether he has lobbied officials at his old school about supporting a bid from UConn.
“I don’t normally talk about my private conversations,” he said. “Suffice it say that I have had conversations with schools and governors.”