Amid the news on Wednesday about new ACC scheduling formats, one little tidbit was tucked away at the bottom of the press release. The ACC has decided that any school currently being sanctioned by the NCAA with a postseason ban would also be ineligible to claim a division title.
This decision means that even if UNC were to finish first in the Coastal Division, the Tar Heels would not be able to receive any trophy or claim a division championship. Last March, UNC was sanctioned by the NCAA for nine violations committed in the football program. Part of those sanctions was a postseason ban for the 2012 season which meant UNC could not go to a bowl game or play in the ACC Championship. Those sanctions only pertained to postseason play and did not address division titles which is not really within the purview of the NCAA. At that stage it is a conference-by-conference decision on how to handle such things.
In the Big Ten, Ohio State and Penn State are still eligible for a division title despite both being banned from the conference title game. The ACC has decided to go a different route which makes a lot of sense from a practical standpoint. If UNC should finish first you would then it creates a scenario where a team(whoever finishes 2nd) is in the conference title game but not technically the division champion. In that respect barring a banned team from being recognized as a division champion simply keeps things nice and tidy.
It will likely end up being moot though given the state of the Coastal Division and the fact UNC's other two ACC games are NC State and Maryland, it is possible the Heels could end up in first.