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ACC votes to extend invitations to Stanford, California and SMU to push the conference to 18 teams

UNC graduate offensive lineman Ed Montilus (63) and redshirt first-year quarterback Drake Maye (10) celebrate during the 2022 Subway ACC Football Championship Game against Clemson to begin at the Bank of America Stadium on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022. UNC fell to Clemson 39-10.

Updated Sept. 1 2:26 p.m.: UNC Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz released a statement explaining his vote against ACC expansion this morning.

"I respect the outcome of today's vote and welcome our new members to the ACC. My vote against expansion was informed from feedback I have gathered over the last several weeks from our athletic leadership, coaches, faculty athletic advisors, student-athletes and a variety of other stakeholders who care deeply about our University and the success of our outstanding athletic program. I look forward to working with all our colleagues in the ACC to ensure excellence in academics and athletics — something our conference has been long known for,"  the statement read.

Guskiewicz is the vice-chair of the ACC Board of Directors for the 2023-2024 academic year.

The ACC voted Friday morning to expand by adding three new schools: Stanford, University of California, and Southern Methodist University, according to a statement

“Throughout the evaluation process, the ACC Board of Directors, led by (University of Virginia president James Ryan), was deliberate in prioritizing the best possible athletic and academic experience for our student-athletes and in ensuring that the three universities would strengthen the league in all possible ways," ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips wrote in Friday's statement.

This expansion will bring the total number of ACC members from 15 to 18, with 17 of them participating in football full-time. Cal, Stanford and SMU will begin competition in all sponsored sports the 2024-2025 school year.

On Thursday night, just before this historic vote, UNC-Chapel Hill's Board of Trustees announced its opposition to adding western schools to the league in an email obtained by WRAL's Brian Murphy. In the email, the BOT stated that a "strong majority" of the board is against the expansion, primarily due to concerns about the extensive travel distances for in-conference play and the economic issues facing ACC members.

Among the 15 member schools, 12 votes were needed to approve the invitations. Multiple outlets, including The Athletic and ESPN, report the final vote in favor of expansion was 12-3 and that N.C. State changed its position to support the move.

This is the first time the conference has expanded since 2014, when the ACC added Louisville, and the sixth time since the conference’s founding in 1953.

Editor's Note: For more background on this developing story, direct your attention to Noah Monroe's realignment series.

@shelbymswanson | @thenoahmonroe

@dthsports |

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Shelby Swanson

Shelby Swanson is the 2023-24 sports editor at The Daily Tar Heel. She has previously served as an assistant sports editor and senior writer. Shelby is a junior pursuing a double major in media and journalism and Hispanic literatures and cultures.