Bud Elliott and Mark Ennis of SB Nation will bring live updates from ACC commissioner John Swofford during his press conference. His address began at 12:30.
12: 30 -- The conference has begun.
Swofford is recapping the events of realignment and praising the future membership of the conference once Louisville joins in 2014. Swofford pointed out that the conference will continue to discuss and research the possibility of an ACC Network as, by 2030, 55% of the American population will live in the ACC footprint. Additionally, it already has the largest footprint right now.
Swofford, turning to the 2013 season, points out that the ACC plays the toughest non-conference schedule in the conference. 11 games vs. teams that finished last season ranked in the AP Top 25 and nine games against teams that finished in the AP top 10.
Swofford also points out that the ACC Championship has been successful in Charlotte, having sold out 2 of the 3 times it has been there (the exception being last year's bizarre matchup with Georgia Tech because of North Carolina and Miami being ineligible for the postseason).
Swofford says should Notre Dame decide to join a conference, it is contractually bound through 2027 to join the ACC. He also states that the ACC would enthusiastically welcome Notre Dame should they decide to do so.
The league is having discussions to have "traditional games" to end the season. For some it would be the existing non-conference opponent they face now, and for others it could be a conference game.
Swofford states that each "evolvement" of the ACC's expansion plan has ultimately worked out well for the league. Even with issues from the outside in getting Virginia Tech and Miami into the league, or in moving to 14 and adding Notre Dame, it has benefitted everyone. Said that the agreement to play five games against ACC opponents was essential to Notre Dame joining and would not have been invited without that agreement.
There has been discussion about reworking divisions and there is every time that the conference adds a new member. However, once the discussions conclude, the league members end up agreeing that the current structure is best.
Swofford states that he took away from the NCAA Infractions hearing that Miami's leadership handled it extremely well. He states that he hopes the decision will come before the season starts and he will be disappointed if it doesn't.
Swofford states that despite the known issues with the BCS, it has also helped turn college football into a national sport from a regional sport. The controversy will not disappear with the new college football playoff but it will lessen.
Asked about the SEC proposal to offer players expense money, Swofford said they have not discussed that particular model. But, the more general idea of enhancing the financial well-being of the athletes in some way is on the conference's radar and will continue to be. He also said that from a legal and moral perspective, it's difficult to come up with a payment program that only rewards one or two sports. "I'm not for paying players. That's not what college athletics is about. But I am in favor of enhancing scholarships."
Swofford states that there isn't much of an update on the possibility of launching an ACC network. Says the news on it will not be regularly coming from the ACC. He suspects the investigation process for the SEC took three years and he suspects the ACC's process will take a similar amount of time.
Regarding the future college football playoff, Swofford says he supports the selection committee idea and would like to see them have some guiding criteria so that people understand the decisions made. He also states that transparency was vital.