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ACC Football Kickoff 2012: Summary Of Commissioner Swofford's Address

Commissioner John Swofford just addressed the media with his opening statement and Q&A session. Here is a recap of the major points.

  • Swofford is fully behind the new postseason playoff plan. He says that the ACC has as much access to the playoff system as anyone else. He believes the Orange Bowl agreement is good for the ACC.
  • Asked how confident he was in Florida State and Clemson sticking with the ACC, Swofford responded with a one-word answer: "Totally."
  • Swofford was reluctant to weigh in on the NCAA punishments for Penn State.
  • The ACC needs to win more of its high-profile games, including BCS contests. Swofford is confident that the league will improve in this area.
  • The league is quite pleased with the attendance for the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C. The league has had two consecutive sellouts and is expecting two more in 2013 and 2014.
  • Swofford indicated that it is important for the conference to change with the times and be more proactive in promoting itself and communicating with its schools in the realm of conference expansion.
  • The ACC will not be helping Syracuse or Pitt pay their conference exit fees to the Big East.
  • Swofford would not comment on the ongoing scandal and NCAA investigations with the Miami Hurricanes, but indicated that, from an image standpoint, it is something that a conference never wants.
  • Swofford indicated that the ACC is totally focused on making 14 teams work (beginning in 2013), that Pitt and Syracuse fit the academic and athletic profile of the existing 12 ACC schools, and that the ACC is not focused on moving to 16 teams. He further cited geography and graduation rates.
  • Swofford believes Notre Dame is committed to its independence.
  • The nine-game conference schedule will be the norm going forward, unless the athletic directors vote to revisit the issue. The nine-game format was preferred by a supermajority in the latst discussion. Swofford acknowledged that the schools with traditional non-conference rivals (Clemson-South Carolina, Georgia Tech-Georgia and Florida State-Florida) will have more of a challenge in scheduling other non-conference games than the other 11 league members. Swofford indicated that it is important to play the conference members as much as possible with the new expanded format.