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How did NC State communicate why the ACC needed to expand?

We filed some FOIAs to find out:

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Earlier this month, the ACC formally invited Cal, Stanford and SMU to join the conference, growing the league to 18 members in most sports, and abandoning any final vestiges of geographic continuity.

What made this particular decision unique wasn’t just that a conference named after the Atlantic Coast now had members in Dallas and the Bay Area, but that multiple members were very public about why they didn’t support it.

Normally, even when conference realignment decisions involve bitter fights between members, the ‘official vote’ is always unanimous, and schools clam up when nosy reporters like me start asking or filing FOIAs to see what the actual vote looked like. It is unusual for schools like Florida State and UNC to admit, even after the invites were sent, that they voted no.

The one school that reportedly “flipped” was NC State. I wanted to understand why they changed their minds, or at least what their fans and boosters were saying about the decision, so I filed an Open Records Request for presidential communications surrounding the vote.

I didn’t get anything resembling a smoking gun…but I did learn a little more about how the ACC, and specifically, NC State, wanted to communicate why it made this decision.

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