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
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Half
DUKE 50
FUR 22
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
NCSU
RICH
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
CAR
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
BRK
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
POR
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
DET
LAC
7:30pm Tonight
DAL
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
MIL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
SAC
8:00pm Tonight
OKC
UTA
8:30pm Tonight
SAN
IND
9:00pm Tonight
PHO
DEN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MEM
Final
UNC 66
BUT 74
Final
FRES 64
MAR 68
Final
CHAT 61
RMU 46
Final
EMICH 68
ROCH 35
 
Final
MRGST 51
LIB 50
 
Final
HAMP 60
AMER 64
 
Final
BEL 78
DEN 57
Final
UMASS 79
NE 54
Final
JMU 79
SHU 72
 
Final
KNST 84
SAMF 71
 
Final
ECU 73
HAW 75
Final
CHAM 60
MIZZ 74
Final
CCAR 61
LAMON 48
Final
OKLA 75
UCLA 65
Final
ELON 65
UNF 72
 
2nd
UWMIL 64
ORU 67
 
2nd
WCU 53
CHIST 46
 
Half
DUKE 50
FUR 22
 
Half
BYU 35
PURD 40
 
6:00pm Tonight
EVAN
USF
7:00pm Tonight
COL
GTDNS
 
7:00pm Tonight
VERM
BRY
 
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OSU
CAMP
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CORN
CAN
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LOU
CLST
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UCF
DAVID
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IONA
DELST
 
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OU
UGST
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TOWS
GOUCHER
 
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ND
GRAM
 
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YALE
LAF
 
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GWU
LONG
 
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VT
UMO
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WAKE
MNTER
 
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NAVY
PSUHARRIS
 
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NCSU
RICH
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MINN
STJ
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JVU
TRINBAPT
 
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YOUNG
UMKC
 
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UAB
WISC
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PITT
KYST
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WVU
VMI
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DEP
LEH
 
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UNT
MVSU
 
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MARS
MORE
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TCU
RAD
 
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SELA
TENT
 
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SMU
TXSOU
 
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UTAH
TXPA
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LMU
UCR
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SCAR
UNCA
 
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SD
WAYNEST
 
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UWGB
FLGC
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IOWA
NILL
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ORST
AUB
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MONT
CARROLLMT
 
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SUTAH
EKENT
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NMST
FAM
 
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WYO
STET
 
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EWASH
NKENTUCKY
 
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IDST
WLVRN
 
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GEOR
UF
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GONZ
UGA
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NIOWA
NW
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SDST
ARZ
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CAL
CPSL
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UCD
UTST
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NDAK
ALAST
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CSNO
PORST
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AKAN
PAC
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OKST
TULSA
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
WAS
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BUF
WIN
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FLA
CAR
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TAM
NYR
7:30pm Tonight
DET
PHI
7:30pm Tonight
PIT
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIN
LOS
9:00pm Tonight
COL
CHI
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
CAL