SBD/October 12, 2011/Colleges

Boston College AD DeFilippo Apologizes For Blaming ESPN For ACC Expansion

Boston College AD Gene DeFilippo yesterday “issued an apology to ACC presidents and athletic directors” two days after he was quoted saying ESPN "told us what to do" in relation to the ACC’s expansion plans, according to Mark Blaudschun of the BOSTON GLOBE. The comments were made “in response to a question regarding the ACC’s latest expansion" in a story in Sunday's Globe. DeFilippo in a statement yesterday said, “I would like to apologize for any negative effects caused by my recent interview with a Boston Globe reporter. I spoke inappropriately and erroneously regarding ESPN’s role in conference expansion.” He added, “I regret any misunderstandings or negative fallout my actions may have caused’’ (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/12). DeFilippo in the Sunday article said, "We always keep our television partners close to us. You don't get extra money for basketball. It's 85 percent football money. TV -- ESPN -- is the one who told us what to do. This was football; it had nothing to do with basketball." DeFilippo also said in the story that BC “worked to keep UConn from being invited to the ACC.” He said on Sunday, "We didn't want them in. It was a matter of turf. We wanted to be the New England team" (AP, 10/11). DeFilippo acknowledged that he “still had ‘ill feelings’ toward UConn in the wake of a lawsuit tied to BC’s 2003 departure from the Big East” (, 10/11).

TWITTER REAX: DeFilippo's apology drew a variety of columnists on Twitter yesterday.'s Dennis Dodd wrote, "Possible to unring a bell?" The N.Y. Times' Pete Thamel wrote, "it was inappropriate to express personal feelings that might have been construed as the position of BC or the ACC." Former college basketball coach Tom Penders: "What kind of clown is BC's AD? He's now leaking that ESPN influenced ACC's expansion plans. Hey Gene Difillipo,BC is 1-5 in FB & Bball down!" VMW Communications Owner Vince Wladika: “Should Big East sue ESPN for 'tampering'? Is that why BC AD now claims what he said about ESPN’s involvement was 'erroneous'?” The Hartford Courant's Paul Doyle wrote, "DeFilippo Comments About ACC Might Help UConn After All."

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