On Saturday, The Stride Report received notice from a trusted source that the ACC was expected to vote on the introduction of three new conference members on either Monday or Tuesday. However, that meeting was later pushed to Friday following news of an active shooter at the University of North Carolina earlier in the week.
The three new candidates to join the conference are the University of California, Stanford University and Southern Methodist University (SMU). On Friday, the ACC officially voted on (and approved) the admittance of all three schools to join the conference in 2024. Multiple major news outlets have since verified the vote.
According to our source, each new member institution needed 12 "yes" votes from the current conference members to be admitted. And as of last Saturday, only one current ACC school was "on the fence" in regards to their vote.
Update: According to Brett McMurphy of Action Network, Florida State, Clemson and North Carolina all voted, "no" in regards to adding the above three schools. It should be noted that recent rumors have suggested that Florida State, Clemson and UNC are all looking for possible exits from the ACC, although it's unclear when/if that will happen.
The ACC's introduction of Stanford, California and SMU follows the recent collapse of the PAC-12, a west coast conference that, earlier this month, underwent a mass exodus of schools following failed negotiations on a new media rights deal.
With Oregon, Washington, USC and UCLA heading to the BIG 10 and Colorado, Arizona, Utah and Arizona State heading to the BIG 12 (all in 2024), the PAC-12 was left with only Stanford, California, Washington State and Oregon State.
Southern Methodist, a school currently residing in the American Athletic Conference (AAC), is not under the same conference membership pressure of Stanford and Cal. However, according to CBS News (via sourcing from the Associated Press), the Mustangs have reportedly informed the ACC that they would be willing to forgo revenue payouts for multiple years if granted entry into the conference.
When it comes to distance running talent, the already-loaded ACC now gets even stronger by introducing Stanford to the fold. Both the Cardinal men and women have put themselves among the top-10 of the NCAA's cross country rankings for years. It has not been uncommon to see the Stanford men and/or women contending for podium spots in November.
As far as consistent conference titles are concerned, this west coast academic powerhouse may create a handful of competitive challenges on the grass for their newest east coast rivals in the years to come.