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Posted October 14, 2011

The Idea Of An ACC Pod System Makes Coach K Want To 'Vomit'

Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski came out in favor of the ACC expanding further but cautioned Wednesday against splitting up an expanded ACC too much.

Last month, the ACC announced it is adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse from the Big East, although their date of entry has not yet been declared. That would bring conference membership to 14 schools.

"It seems to me that if you're going to go to 14 (schools), you should go to 16," Krzyzewski said at his preseason-opening news conference. "And anytime I hear the word 'pod,' it makes me vomit."

ACC commissioner John Swofford hasn't ruled out the idea of expanding to 16 schools, and Notre Dame, Texas, Connecticut and Rutgers all have been mentioned in reports as possibilities.

One of the formats that's been the subject of speculation for a 16-school conference is the creation of four mini-divisions, or "pods" of four schools each. Schools in each pod would play one another once each football season, plus home and away during basketball season.

That would allow the North Carolina "Big Four" schools of Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and Wake Forest to maintain their rivalries. Krzyzewski doesn't like that idea.

He said it wouldn't help national recruiting.

"I think that's one of the worst business models there could possibly be," Krzyzewski said. "I just break out in a rash when I hear it. You've got to be kidding me. A pod.

"'Well, what did you this year?'

"'We won our pod.'

"What's the trophy for that?"

Instead, Krzyzewski advocates a split into two divisions. He said that would create scheduling formats for basketball that would expand from the current 16 ACC games to 19 in the case of a 14-team conference, and 18 ACC games for a 16-team conference.

He also was asked about negative comments his friend, Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim, made about joining the ACC. Boeheim predicted that the ACC tournament would stay mostly in the South but also would occasionally be held in New York City, where the Big East tournament currently is played annually.

"It's a great place for a tournament," Boeheim told an audience in Birmingham, Ala. "Where would you want to go to a tournament for five days? Let's see: Greensboro, North Carolina, or New York City? Jeez. Let me think about that one and get back to you."

Krzyzewski said Boeheim was reacting to a big change for his program but said Syracuse officials are happy to be in the ACC.

"He just needs his coffee early in the morning," Krzyzewski said. "He's all right. He's not a glass-half-full guy."

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