Steve Barnes

Former Syracuse Players Applaud Move

Created on Jun. 24, 2013 1:42 PM EST

Syracuse has yet to play its first game in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the Orange are getting rave reviews for making the move by some former players.

“When (the move was announced) we were at USC and a lot of people came up to me and told me my phone must be blowing up,” former Orange tight end Chris Gedney said. “The only calls I was getting were telling me we did a great job especially for stability long-term.”

Gedney, who is now Syracuse’s associate athletic director for the Orange Club, was a consensus All-American as a senior and went on to play for the Chicago Bears and the Arizona Cardinals. He is not alone in his praise for the move.

“To me the best thing is we get to go (to the ACC) with Pitt,” former Syracuse quarterback Don McPherson said. “I hate to see some of those rivalries go, but we keep Pitt and get to play Boston College, Virginia Tech and Miami like the old Big East days.

In his Big East days, McPherson won both the Maxwell and Davey O’Brian trophies and finished second in the Heisman balloting. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

The question for McPherson is will he get to see any of the games. His current job is as an analyst for the Big East Network. The conference has been rebranded as the American Athletic Conference. The Big East moniker will be used for basketball.

The move in that sport is also a benefit for the Orange.

“The ACC is a conference that produces top-10 teams consistently,” Gedney said. “Our donors are looking forward to traveling to places like Cameron Indoor (Duke), Chapel Hill and Virginia, places they haven’t been able to visit. They are very fired up.”

First things first, however.

This fall the Syracuse football team will visit N.C. State, Georgia Tech, Maryland and Florida State. Clemson, Wake Forest, Pitt and Boston College will visit the Carrier Dome.

The Orange opens the season Aug. 31 against Penn State in East Rutherford, N.J.

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