Colleges

Commish: Changes burnish ACC's reputation

Posted March 13

— ACC Commissioner John Swofford’s excitement about the expanded ACC Tournament was apparent Wednesday in a wide-ranging interview with Adam Gold and Joe Ovies on 99.9 FM ESPN Radio. Swofford touched on the new fans, teams and rivalries which, with conference expansion, add to the historically strong basketball reputation of the ACC.

“We have a lot of good basketball players, and the fans in the (Greensboro) Coliseum seem to have a great time in here,” said Swofford. “It’s a unique moment in the history of the tournament because we start on Wednesday and have a concert between two games.”

Swofford pointed out that fans of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse were new to the experience.

“The transition for Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh has gone really well for the schools and for the league as well,” Swofford said. “There are some new rivalries established, and the basketball has been outstanding.”

He looked ahead to a probable Duke-Syracuse rematch in the ACC Tournament semifinals, noting that the teams’ two meetings during the regular season were the two top-rated college basketball games on ESPN. Duke played in four of the top five rated games and an ACC team was involved in eight of the top 10.

“You want to see that kind of numbers from a television standpoint. It really says a lot about the national interest in this league,” Swofford said. “We are fortunate to have a lot of terrific programs with great tradition and history.”

Those new rivalries create a welcome challenge in planning the ACC schedule, he said.

“We are trying to put a schedule together to make every game interesting without beating the players up,” Swofford said. “The only way to do that is to find a balance between the business side of the schedule and the competitive side of the schedule.”

“We have a lot of great teams in the conference, but I’m sure that the new teams are going to leave their mark too,” he said. “We have an opportunity for numerous quality games next year, because we have the strongest competition in college basketball.”

Greensboro gets competition for ACC showcase

Conference leaders are also looking at the future of the tournament as a way to maximize exposure. After five straight years in Greensboro, the games will be played in Washington, D.C., in 2016. After that, the location is yet to be determined.

“We will continue some kind of rotation in the future,” said Swofford. “We have a different footprint now, so moving to the north, like New York, is probably in the future. They have amazing facilities there, but it depends on their availabilities.”

Swofford said it’s a good time for the ACC to take a step back and evaluate some things. The new members give the league a lot of new opportunities.

“Moving the championship game back to Saturday night would be back to the future for the ACC,” said Swofford. “We moved to Sunday afternoon in the 80s for television reasons, but time changes, and now Saturday is a better TV moment.”

“We will make decisions that are in our long-term best interests in making this league the best in this country,” said Swofford. “I remember when I watched the ACC in class when I was younger, and I came to this tournament for the first time as a college student,” said Swofford. “I never lost my love for this tournament and I enjoy it every time just as everybody else.”

Football changes

Swofford and ACC leaders are also taking advantage of a transitional moment to anticipate changes to the football schedule.

They recently announced a deal to keep the ACC Football Championship in Charlotte for the next 6 years.

The ACC is moving to seek an exception to the NCAA rule that requires a conference to have 12 teams and two divisions to hold a football title game. The ACC would prefer to set their own standard of whether and how to feed a football championship game.

“We’ll see if they accept it,” Swofford said. “It doesn’t mean we would change our system, but we would have a chance to decide our own schedule.”

Five major conferences nationwide are also negotiating with the NCAA to get more autonomy related to student-athlete welfare, Swofford said.

“We don’t want to pay athletes because that would be a disaster,” said Swofford. “We just want to do more for the athletes like giving them better medical care or give their parents the opportunity to come to championship games.”

35 Comments

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  • Matthew Eisley Mar 14, 9:20 a.m.

    If the "new ACC" is so great as Swofford declares, then why did they hang the black curtains in... View More

    — Posted by cjw6105

    Those were just the prelims, aka The Les Robinson Invitational. Doubt there will be curtains today.

    Go Pack, Devils, Heels, and Cavs.

  • cjw6105 Mar 13, 10:25 p.m.

    If the "new ACC" is so great as Swofford declares, then why did they hang the black curtains in the Coliseum and sell the first two days' tickets as general admission tickets?

    He's full of it.

  • heelsforever Mar 13, 9:24 p.m.

    So UNC alum Swofford is already looking forward to "the Duke-Syracuse rematch", the article... View More

    — Posted by PackFan1983

    Exactly. Especially true when you consider Syracuse beat State last time on questionable calls.... View More

    — Posted by InTheNo

    If it were not for those cheating refs NCSU would be undefeated all time in all sports.

  • heelsforever Mar 13, 9:19 p.m.

    And another thing, there's only ONE reason there's a circus going on at UNC right now over their... View More

    — Posted by InTheNo

    Skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip, skip...

  • heelsforever Mar 13, 9:13 p.m.

    After Lville joins, the league will have 16 teams. Why would anyone be looking to add a 17th?

    — Posted by 903 Hail Providence

    Uh, no. Maryland is leaving for the B1G.

  • douglascarey Mar 13, 6:50 p.m.

    Syracuse needs a baseball team.

  • HeadsUp Mar 13, 6:01 p.m.

    Swofford has destroyed the conference, and especially the tournament. I don't know why even hold... View More

    — Posted by packguy

    How do you evaluate his actual alternatives?

  • packguy Mar 13, 4:48 p.m.

    Swofford has destroyed the conference, and especially the tournament. I don't know why even hold it any more. I used to go almost every year; now I no longer even want to go.

  • Toddler10-21 Mar 13, 2:45 p.m.

    RAA0013 sounds like you like the homecourt adavantage for the area schools. The Iron Duke's and Ram's Club have plenty of cash to travel. MSG be packed! Triple the cost? What about Cuse, Ville, BC, and Pitt fans? You are only thinking of your team.

  • HeadsUp Mar 13, 2:45 p.m.

    Swofford destroyed this tournament when he replaced UVA Fan #2000 with BC Fan #1000. There are... View More

    — Posted by dmccall

    The alternative to ACC expansion was eventual ACC collapse. Heck, I miss the old eight-school ACC. But it's history, just like the old Southern Conference before it.

    The defection of Maryland to the Big XX shows how vulnerable the ACC has been to decline. When the Twerps fled, other ACC members worried who would be next. FSU? Clemson? NCSU? Ga. Tech?

    The only way for the ACC to survive is to be as strong as possible. That takes TV money. Which requires selective expansion.

    I agree with SaysWho that adding Penn State would be a smart move. But I doubt it's possible. They probably wouldn't want to move, and Swofford isn't exactly bold.

    But he has done what he had to do to keep the ACC healthy, which is his job.

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
Final
SFG 11
KAN 4
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
 
Final
WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
Final
RICE 41
UNT 21
Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
Final
BUF 14
CMICH 20
Final
MARS 35
FATL 16
Final
PITT 28
GT 56
Final
SMISS 20
LATU 31
Final
MSU 35
MICH 11
Final
KENT 31
MSST 45
Final
STAN 38
ORST 14
Final
TCU 82
TTU 27
Final
OKST 10
WVU 34
Final
WKENT 66
ODU 51
Final
UTST 34
UNLV 20
Final
MIZZ 24
VANDY 14
Final
UCF 34
TEMPL 14
Final
WASU 37
ARZ 59
Final
CLEM 16
SYR 6
Final
LAMON 18
TXST 22
Final
TXSANANTO 0
UTEP 34
Final
COLST 45
WYO 31
Final
LSU 10
MISS 7
Final
TENN 20
ALA 34
Final
AUB 42
SCAR 35
Final
PSU 24
OSU 31
Final
UTAH 24
USC 21
Final
WASH 10
ARST 24
Final
HAW 18
NEV 26
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
Final
TOR 1
BOS 4
Final
NYI 7
DAL 5
Final
PHI 4
DET 2
Final
OTT 2
NJD 3
Final
MON 3
NYR 1
Final
STL 3
CHI 2
Final
NAS 0
PIT 3
Final
MIN 7
TAM 2
Final
ARI 2
FLA 1
Final
CAL 1
WAS 3
3:00pm Today
WIN
COL
 
4:00pm Today
LOS
CLB
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHI
OTT
 
8:00pm Tonight
ANA
SJS
 
9:30pm Tonight
VAN
WAS
 
9:30am Today
ATL
DET
1:00pm Today
CIN
BAL
1:00pm Today
NYJ
BUF
1:00pm Today
NEP
CHI
1:00pm Today
TEN
HOU
1:00pm Today
JAC
MIA
1:00pm Today
TAM
MIN
1:00pm Today
CAR
SEA
1:00pm Today
KAN
STL
4:05pm Today
ARI
PHI
4:25pm Today
PIT
IND
4:25pm Today
CLE
OAK
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
GBP
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14