Atlantic Coast Conference Operation Basketball

Wednesday October 26, 2016

John Swofford


THE MODERATOR: It's my pleasure to introduce the Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference, John Swofford.

JOHN SWOFFORD: Thank you. It's great to see all of you. This is the 20th year that I've done this, and I think looking around the room, it may be the 20th year that some of you have done this as well. And that's a good thing. It's better than the alternative, but really appreciate you being here, and it's good to have you here in an exciting time of the year with all the sports overlapping, and in this case, particularly the beginning of what we believe will be another in a long line of outstanding ACC basketball.

Speaking of the league and what it's become over the years, what it has stood for over the years, I spent a little time with Bobby Cremins last night, and I see Dave Odom here as well, and a number of you who have covered this league for such a long time. Bobby in so many ways -- and, Bobby, I hope you don't mind me talking about you. This is totally ad lib. So I'm off script. So Amy is really concerned as is my wife, Nora.

But with that said, and, Bobby, I was just thinking about this last night, because I think it kind of says so much about the league, and what it has been, and what it is, and what you represent. In a few minutes I'm going to talk a little bit about our history and the tremendous successes the league has had over the years, and I'm going to talk about officiating a little bit. I'm going to talk about the ACC Tournament a little bit and all of those things remind me of Bobby. Because here's a guy from New York, where we're going to have our tournament this year that played in the ACC on great teams, not good teams, great teams. The first ACC Tournament that I personally ever had the chance to attend in person was here in Charlotte, and Bobby Cremins played in it. So I saw him play in the first tournament. I was not going to mention that part of it.

Then one of my -- one of two, probably, great mentors in my life from a professional standpoint as well as a personal standpoint was Homer Rice. And Homer Rice, Homer Rice is the best athletic director that I've ever been around. He hired Bobby Cremins from Appalachian State, and I'll never forget when Georgia Tech came into the league, and this just shows you how things can change and what can happen in our league in basketball. Georgia Tech didn't win a game their first year in the ACC in basketball. And not long after that, Bobby Cremins came to Georgia Tech, and we see what happened at that point in time.

I mentioned officiating, and I've got to tell you a couple of stories. I think they're true. Fred Barakat told me one time, and Fred's at a game in Atlanta, afternoon game, Saturday afternoon game, and Georgia Tech won. And Bobby and Fred go to dinner afterwards there in Atlanta near the Georgia Tech campus. They're having dinner. And the three officials that were doing the game came over and spoke to Fred, spoke to Bobby, and they left. Bobby looked at Fred and he said, now, who were those guys?

That kind of segues into something Gene Corrigan told me. Gene told me a lot of things when I took this job and he stepped out of it. He said one of them was Bobby Cremins, he was the best. He had one technical foul in -- I think it was 17 years as a head coach? 19 years as a head coach at Georgia Tech. And commissioners really like coaches who don't get technical fouls. We much prefer that. And Gene said the next day the official that made the call actually called him, Gene, in the conference office and said that he needed to apologize to Bobby; that he had a bad night and had rabbit ears and he just shouldn't have made the call.

But when you think of all that together as a player or coach from New York, in a tournament or going back to New York for the first time, people like Bobby Cremins and Dave Odom, maybe next year I'll tell stories on Dave, but the kind of people that have made this league what it is today.

But, again, welcome. We appreciate the coverage that you give our league. As I said, I know you're very excited this time of year. We're very excited this time of year. Our league has had a lot of successes, and I'm going to refer to this behind me some today. And hopefully you can see it.

But before I even touch on that, I wanted to congratulate Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim. They just finished up, as you well know, with winning three Gold Medals in the Olympics with three different teams. That's just remarkable. I'm very proud that those two are a part of the Atlantic Coast Conference, very proud of them when they go out. That's not an ACC success, per se, but it's certainly an extension of our league, because that's just a remarkable run. Sometimes you win so much, and in the case of our national basketball team, that can be said. But some people don't fully appreciate it. And believe me, I do, and I think anybody who understands and knows basketball does. But I did want to mention that right at the the beginning of talking about our successes.

Our league is in a really good place in a lot of different ways. Starting with the competitive success that we've had. Football, we'll mention that sport just for a few minutes here. Currently, we have two teams in the Top 5. Five teams in the Top 25. The best non-conference record at this point of any conference in the country. The second best record against Power Five conferences, and maybe most importantly, I think, is that this is a continuation of the last three years.

And I think we've made a lot of progress over that period of time from a national standpoint and our relevance on the national stage in that sport.

Now, we're only halfway through the season, and it's really how you finish. We've been fortunate enough to finish very, very well the last three or four years, and you're well acquainted with that. But for our football to get to the point where it's measured somewhat equally with our basketball, you have to do it and do it and do it again and keep doing it, because that's what has separated ACC basketball from all the other conferences, in my opinion.

Hopefully we're building something with football collectively as a conference where we can do the same thing, and I feel really, really good about that.

Basketball, now, going into the league, and I know we haven't played the game yet, so this is really meaningless, but it's better than not being there, because it shows a lot of respect for our teams as the season starts, leads all leagues with three teams in the Top 10, five in the Top 25 of the Coaches Poll going into the league. That would be a great place to be at the end of the year as well, and certainly we have a chance to do that.

Last year in the Olympic sports, five national titles, seven national runner-ups, and 13 individual national titles. And to me, the real takeaway there is the fact that we were in 12 National Championship games. That's an opportunity to win 12 National Championships. We didn't do it, but if you don't have the opportunity, you're not going to do it at all. And to have that many of our teams in the National Championship of their respective sport is pretty unbelievable.

You folks are kind enough every year to listen to me talk about academics, so I'm going to do it again just briefly, and I appreciate it when you hear it, I appreciate it when you write it, because that balance of academic and athletic success is a hallmark of our league.

You can see the numbers up here. I went through these, I think, during the summer in July when we were here in Charlotte for the football kickoff and the channel announcement.

But it really is a great credit to our schools. It's a great credit to our athletes. It's a great credit to our coaches. Really what this is ultimately all about is preparing our players for life after sports. Whether it's immediately after they leave our programs or whether it's after their pro career.

Phil Ford's here, and I had the pleasure of knowing Phil very, very well for a long, long time. Even those who have such a successful pro career, whether it's the NBA in this case or the NFL or Major League Baseball, relative to a normal lifespan, that doesn't last forever. So if we're not doing our jobs in preparing them to leave our programs and universities and make successes of their lives beyond their sports experience, then we're not doing our jobs. But I think we are. I think our schools are.

Now, the last time I was in front of you, and I just mentioned that, it was a very happy occasion for our league when we announced the ACC Network, which will go linear in 2019, and we expect to do more than 1300 events at that point, and actually I think that number's going to be a lot more than that, probably. ACC Extra started this August and is off the ground with flying colors. We expected to do over 400 events. We have done those. 600 was targeted for the year. As I said, we're already up around the 400 number. So we may actually double what we anticipated in the first year in terms of live events for our sports on ACC Extra. So that's off to just a terrific start.

We're pleased about continuing our relationship with Raycom Sports and the FOX regional networks at this point in time. They've been great partners and they continue to be. The ACC Digital Network continues to be outstanding and has superb growth with that. So what we've created, I think, is really a great opportunity, and it positions this league extraordinarily well for the future. I know you've heard me say that a number of times. But somebody asked me earlier today about the progression of things. And there is a very obvious progression there. If we and some of our ADs and our schools ultimately hadn't had the vision to start expanding in what we believed was going to be an expanding and changing landscape in college athletics back in the early 2000s, if that discussion hadn't started then and people didn't have the wherewithal, the courage, the energy, the willingness to carry that vision to fruition, we wouldn't have had the opportunity to do what we've just done with ESPN and the tremendous position that that puts us in for the long-term. Obviously, the grant of media rights, when you take that all the way out to 2036, there are a lot of things you can do if you have that. But if you don't have that, and you don't have the geographic footprint that we have, with the population base and the television sets, you don't have that announcement that we had this past summer in terms of our long-term arrangement with ESPN and what that means to this league. So I couldn't be more pleased about that. I couldn't be more pleased about the progress that it has made to this point in time, and I fully expect -- we were just in New York last week for an updated meeting with our friends in terms of developing strategies going forward as we work toward the linear launch. So everything's really positive in that regard.

Let's talk about ACC basketball, which is really why we're here. And I want to start by welcoming two new coaches that hopefully you have met, and if you haven't, you will while you're here. Josh Pastner and Kevin Stallings at Georgia Tech and Pitt respectively.

You know, when you look at our coaches, and, again, sometimes when you're around these people you just get used to it, and sometimes I think we need to take a step back and look at the quality of the group of coaches that league has, because to me it's an amazing group and a remarkable group.

There are six active coaches in the basketball -- Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame. Four of them are in this league, as you're well aware. Our coaches have just under 7,000 career wins, 10 national titles among them, 333 NCAA Tournament victories, 89 Sweet Sixteen appearances, 33 trips, 33, to the Final Four, and 20 title game appearances. And from my chair, the Commissioner's chair, when you have that kind of quality and experience and proven talent in your league it's really a good feeling.

Also, last June, and I'm excited about this because I think it's going to be good, not only for the ACC, but for college basketball, we announced an expanded basketball officiating alliance, where we added the Big East, and it's very much a partnership with the Big East, also including the A-10 and the Colonial Athletic conference who we have been associated with in past years.

Bryan Kersey has now taken over for John Clougherty in that capacity in our league. And John -- or Bryan will be working with John Cahill of the Big East, who is also a former official on the floor. Did a lot of Big East games, did a lot of ACC games. And he's been in that role with the Big East for a while now.

This should really be beneficial to us in terms of enhanced training, development, recruitment, retention as well as feedback. And using some of the new technology that we now have available and that we in our office are using to a really heightened level in football with our football officiating, and we're going to bump that up this year with this new alliance in basketball as well.

It also gives us an opportunity regionally on the East Coast and then slightly with the schools' memberships that flow into the Midwest of it to hopefully cut down on some of the travel that our officials have had to do. I know it's something that we've all talked about periodically at times, and how do you help that? How do you reduce that? We feel like one way is this cooperation that we will have and this alliance so that we can work together in scheduling officials, giving them the opportunity to, A, stay on the East Coast and probably in the same time zone, and also not travel as far. We think it's going to be a tremendous plus for all four of the conferences, and particularly the ACC and the Big East.

Bryan, the last time that we made a change with our Coordinator of Basketball Officiating, obviously John Clougherty was ready to come off the floor and move into this position. And what a success that was. So I followed the same pattern this time around. And I think we'll get the same outstanding result because Bryan is probably a little premature coming off the floor, to be honest with you, because he could still be doing that, but this is something he really wanted to do and he understood that the timing next time may not work if he didn't do it this time. But he's got that family background in officiating, he's got the tremendous background with our league and with the NCAA. I think he's going to be outstanding.

Paul Brazeau from our conference and Stu Jackson with the Big East worked very closely with val Ackerman and me to help put this together as well as, of course, Bryan and John. So we're excited about it. I think hopefully it will be something. I don't know how much you'll see it on the floor, necessarily, but behind the scenes, we think this is going to be a real plus for our league and all four leagues and for college basketball.

Bryan and John Cahill are both here today. They are currently in a meeting with our coaches, but they will be around and available to you, and I would encourage you to spend time with both of them. Danny Gavitt, who does such a great job with the NCAA, is also here today in the same coaches meeting, and Danny will be around some as well.

Now, moving on in terms of our league, and I've already touched on this some, but the strength of our league, I think, is indisputable, both historically and presently. And I think the numbers that you see here really tell the story.

You look at 16 NCAA National Championships, 601 wins among the 15 current members of this conference, the all-time winningest conference in NCAA Tournament history, seven NCAA titles in the past 16 years. And to put that in perspective, that's more than twice as many as any other league. 36 NCAA Tournament wins in the last two seasons, which is more than any other two conferences combined.

Last year set an NCAA single season tournament record with 19 wins in the tournament. No conference had ever done that before. You know, I don't bring all that out as a brag. That's not what's intended. I bring it out in appreciation, really. Because it's something that we don't take for granted. And sometimes when you win as much as people in this league have won in basketball for as long as they have won, you kind of get a little jaded, maybe, as to, well, they're supposed to do that. Well, in this game "supposed to" just doesn't happen. It has to be done over and over and over again. And, you know, I hope you appreciate covering it. I certainly think that you do. I can guarantee I appreciate watching it, and I appreciate what it means to this conference, because it really is remarkable and I don't want to ever forget that, and I hope our fans don't, and I don't think they do.

Now moving on to the tournament. We were really pleased with Washington. The feedback we got from fans throughout the league was that that was a win. For fans, for our teams, we got great feedback from our teams. We thought it went extraordinarily well there. We think it was the best tournament we've had in the D.C. area. I think the fact that we're playing our semifinals on Friday night and our championship game on Saturday night is a real plus for fans as well as the tournament itself. So we're pleased to be back to that. That's something we did a long time ago, and then went to the Saturday afternoon, Sunday afternoon format. That was successful. But it sure feels good to be back to the Friday night, Saturday night situation.

This year, of course, we're going up to Barclays in Brooklyn, New York City. First time our league has ever been there. We'll be there for two years. I was up there last week in addition to the ESPN continuing discussions. We brought in our ticket managers and our development directors that will be dealing with the ticketing for the tournament itself. We wanted them to see the arena and to understand how it was laid out, and how we're distributing the tickets. I think they were extremely pleased with it. We'll have our Council of Presidents meeting in Brooklyn during the tournament. It's why most of you have probably been in it, but for those of you who have not, it's without question one of the best basketball venues in the country and certainly in one of the greatest cities in the world. The media capital of the world. I think it will be an exceptional experience for the teams. I think it will be an exceptional experience for our fans. Different, yes. Do I think it will be good? I think it will be outstanding. But it will be different for people because it's a first. And, you know, whether you're staying in Manhattan or you're staying in Brooklyn or wherever you may be staying in the area, it will be a little different getting to and from the arena, but the arena is well positioned. It's New York City. We just think it's going to be outstanding. A lot of surrounding attractions.

One thing we've found in Washington with that Friday night, Saturday night format, people can do a lot of things on Friday and Saturday, and there is certainly plenty to do in New York City.

I told one of our coaches this last night, and they weren't aware of it. One of the things about our tournament, some of you probably know this, some of you may not, but six different teams, six different schools have won the ACC Basketball Championship in our tournament over the last six years, and, man, does that say something about the depth of this league year-in and year-out. A really healthy thing for our league, and yet their teams, obviously that didn't win the tournament during that time that went on to win National Championships or play for National Championships.

So, again, just a lot of great things going on with the Atlantic Coast Conference Basketball Tournament that we think is just going to continue and continue.

Couple things I wanted to mention briefly to touch on. Last year we talked about a number of things. I mentioned the possibility of more conference games. As you now know, we will be going to 20 conference games in '19. Some of our coaches think that's a little over the top in terms of toughness, but that's what this league is all about. If you're going to play in this league, you're going to have to play tough games.

When we talked about this, we talked about the business side of it. We talked about the television side of it. We talked about the competitive side of it in terms of the NCAA Tournament particularly. And the business side of it is a no-brainer. The television side of it's a no-brainer. In terms of what's best for the league overall from a competitive standpoint, from how many teams we can get in the NCAA Tournament. We were really fortunate because we had four former chairs of the NCAA Men's Basketball Committee around the table with us. All four of them felt like you really couldn't measure that without doing it. But all four of them believed that it would actually enhance us with the Men's Basketball Committee in terms of the number of teams that the ACC would have in the NCAA Tournament. I would hope that would be the case based on the criteria that we're given in terms of teams in the tournament, and considering the strength of our league. That should help us even more, not that we -- in most years, we've done well and felt like we've been treated fairly. But on the other hand we don't want to make decisions that are detrimental to that. We want to make decisions that enhance that. We believe that this will do that. So looking forward to that. I think it's something the fans will welcome, I hope it's something you'll welcome, and I hope it's something players will welcome, because they like to play against good teams and good competition.

We talked about a more player friendly process for the NBA draft, for those that have eligibility left. That took place. Several of our coaches were involved in helping to make that happen through the NABC and the NBA. And we've had a year to live with that, and I don't think there is any question that it does enhance that process from the players' perspective. I think it makes it a little more difficult from the coaches' perspective, but we knew that going in. So I think people generally were pleased with how that went this year and we see that moving forward.

I know I've had several meetings with Adam Silver who is a Duke graduate, by the way, so he's got a touch to the ACC and a great guy and great leader. I think if he had his druthers, there would be a two-year window there from where you couldn't come into the NBA after leaving high school. But that's really in the hands of the Players Association and the agreement between The Players Association and the NBA, and agents impact that a great deal, so I don't know if we'll win, if we'll see anything changing there. But I do think the process in the spring was a positive one.

We also talked about widening of the lane. We talked about having quarters instead of halves. We talked about six fouls instead of five. All of those are in the two-year Rules Committee cycle, so we'll need to -- this is not a year that changes, but those discussions are still going on, and we'll see if any of that evolves over the next year or so.

NCAA autonomy. An awfully lot of attention given to that, if you will, during its first year when we were able to put through the full cost of attendance in terms of the scholarship. We pushed hard for that. I think it was the right thing to do. Probably should have been done sooner rather than what it was. But I think an excellent enhancement. We've been able to put in better protection for student-athletes retaining their scholarships. Their concussion protocols that have been put into place that certainly are helpful. The next real item on the agenda is time demands, and you'll see more and more about that over the next few months as we go into the January convention and the legislation that may move forward in regard to that.

But I think the biggest thing is we need to continue to modernize the model, if you will. But keep it tethered to education because if we ever lose that connection and balance between our sports and the educational component, then we've lost a model that is unique to the United States. There's not another such model in the world, and I think it's an important part of our culture.

The other thing I would just mention is the student-athlete involvement in our government structure. That's been a real plus having student-athletes representing various sports in our meetings. It's now prevalent at the NCAA level as well as the ACC level, and I can tell you at a conference level, it's been really, really healthy.

A lot of times I think we, as administrators and coaches, think we know what's best for the athletes and we think we know what they think. Well, one thing I've learned the last couple of years is we don't necessarily know what they think or what they want because it's been surprising in some of our conversations what they've had to say in representing their colleagues, whether it be about how much they practice or how many games they play. They want to play and they want to practice, and sometimes we thought you'd want to play fewer games and we thought you'd want to not have to practice as much. That's notes inially the case. It's interesting to see how it's different sometimes from sport to sport. But the input has been outstanding, and I think that's a real plus.

So I guess I would end with what I started, in a sense, and that is we're in a really good place as a league. I think we're probably stronger than we've ever been since I've been a part of this league in one form or another, and that's now been over 40 years. I think we're well positioned for both the short-term and the long-term in terms of this league's future.

So let me open it up for any questions that you may have.

Q. You were able to reschedule a lot of championships kind of on the fly this year. Where do you stand for scheduling sites of future championships?
JOHN SWOFFORD: We're going to have to sort of wait and see how things evolve in the state of North Carolina. I wouldn't see the position of the league changing in our Council of Presidents. But hopefully we'll be back to a point where we'll be able to bring championships at neutral sites back to the state. This is a great state, and it's unfortunate -- I've lived most of my life here -- it's unfortunate the situation exists right now that has led us to where we are. So we'll just have to see how that evolves. We normally, in most of our sports, determine our championships in May at our spring meeting. So there is some time between now and then. I know everybody in our league will be keeping their eye on that.

I will say in terms of moving those championships, the understanding, first of all, of those venues that we were leaving in North Carolina was phenomenal. They have been absolutely terrific in every single instance. With something like that, you don't necessarily know. I mean, that's what, knowing these people, I would have expected, but you don't know. And we're very grateful as a league for that.

Number two, the cooperation we've gotten from those places where we're now going has been phenomenal as well. The venues here at North Carolina haven't done anything that would make us want to have left in and of themselves. Been outstanding to work with. We've built tremendous momentum on our championship game here in Charlotte in football, and obviously that was the most immediate thing we had to address.

Hopefully there will be an opportunity to come back.

Orlando, while I'm talking about the football championship, you know, this is a great example, I think. You talk about relationships and business is business, et cetera, et cetera, but if you don't have relationships, you can really have some problems when things aren't hunky-dory and everything's not going well.

We have a great relationship with the people in Orlando, the Florida Citrus Sports people. Fortunately they have a stadium that's been renovated, a terrific stadium, terrific spot to go for fans as well as teams. And it was available. Because of the relationship that's there and has been built over the years, they were ready to bring us down and work with us to make it work. So we're very fortunate there in that respect.

Really, we had the same kind of situations with our other championships. Probably the most challenging was women's basketball. We've had a great home for our women's basketball tournament at Greensboro for many, many years. Hard to imagine anybody doing it better than the people in Greensboro do it.

And women's basketball, that's a long time, the timeframe, and it being in March, and we were in September, there are not a lot of facilities that are open for that period of time that can give you basically Monday to Sunday, because obviously they book these places. I think where we ended up will work really well for us at Coastal Carolina, an excellent facility. Basically in Myrtle Beach, which is where our teams will be staying. So that's worked out well. But that was probably the most challenging one because of the timeframe.

The golf, we were able to stay in the McConnell family, John McConnell that owns the two courses where we were playing in North Carolina, so that worked out really well, and they were tremendously cooperative. So you can just go right down the line.

It was a fire drill for us. Really proud of my staff and the job that they did with it in a very short period of time. So you'd rather not have the situation that we have from a practical standpoint, but I think we dealt with it very effectively and in a way that our athletes' experiences at these championships will be at a very high quality, without question. And that was most important to us.

Q. Following up on Pat's question. Can you provide any detail to the process that went into making the decision to move the championships? And how difficult of a decision did it turn out to be?
JOHN SWOFFORD: Well, it's a hard decision, there is no question about that. That's not a fun decision to make, particularly when you're affecting venues and people you've worked with that have done a really, really good job and are not the reason that you're making the decision. Lot of discussion in the league that went on for months and months and months, and hopes that something would change that would -- we held as long as we possibly could in hopes that there would be some change. At times there was some encouragement that there would be, but then it never happened. The NBA made its decision, the NCAA made its decision, so it wasn't -- it came out in our regularly scheduled Council of Presidents meeting, which was at Clemson. And Jim Cleamons is just a tremendous chair of our Council of Presidents right now.

But that wasn't a singular conversation. We'd had those conversations back in May. We had conversations with a number of people here in North Carolina. That was just a culmination of conversations leading up to it, and there was a time to make a decision that we had hoped at that time would not come. But it was a very, very thorough discussion, and I thought the Council of Presidents vetted it extraordinarily well and in a very, very thoughtful manner.

The decision is really, I think, fundamentally consistent with what the league did with the Confederate flag in South Carolina during that period as well.

Q. It's been a few years now since Notre Dame joined the league, sort of, and a lot has changed. There is some expansion talk again nationally. Do you anticipate -- has anything changed with Notre Dame and its football program with all that's changed with the league from the channel to the granting rights? Are you closer now to bringing Notre Dame into the fold? Has the conversation changed in any way?
JOHN SWOFFORD: No, it really hasn't. Will it change some day? I don't know. We'll just have to see how the world plays out, I suppose. I think the relationship with Notre Dame has been a win-win, good for them, good for the ACC, in tangible ways as well as intangible ways. But I don't think Notre Dame's posture has changed any in terms of their desire to join in football at this given point in time.

I know a lot of people -- and I've seen it written sometimes that we took Notre Dame on the belief that they would join. We did protect ourselves, and if Notre Dame -- through our agreement with Notre Dame, if they join a conference now through 2036, contractually it will be the Atlantic Coast Conference. Whether that time comes or not, I don't know. Notre Dame cherishes their independence in football, their history with that. They think it continues to serve them best. We accepted that premise when we brought them into the league, and at this point in time, I don't think it has changed. So there are no discussions going on in relation to that. I'd be happy to have those discussions if we reach a point in time where there's reason to. But nothing to report to you on that at this point.

Q. Commissioner, the Big Ten was granted permission to use replay review for calls within the restricted arc. Would you like to see an expansion of replay review in that area or any other, perhaps, beyond the final two minutes?
JOHN SWOFFORD: You're talking about basketball?

Q. Yes, sir.
JOHN SWOFFORD: Okay. I don't know. I think it's something we need to keep an eye on. I think with the technology we have today, you always want to be -- if you can improve the game and improve officiating of the game, I think we should look at it. I'm glad there is an experiment going on with that. It will be interesting to see how those -- how people in Big Ten in this case feel about it.

So I think you'd find us open minded to just about anything that has the potential to improve ourselves and our officiating programs, whatever the sport. There are a lot of questions that come along with that type thing. How much does it slow down the flow of the game? How does it affect fans? How does it affect the length of the game? What does the technology cost to implement whatever it might be, all of those things come into play. But I think that's one reason that the NCAA allows the experimentation. I think that's a healthy thing.

Q. Louisville last week released the NCAA's notice of allegations to them. I guess there's been some North Carolina response to NCAA. I don't know. All these things are in process. But is there any update you'd give us or thoughts in response to the ACC on these?
JOHN SWOFFORD: No, there is no update I can give you. We don't comment on those things while they're in process, and they are in process. So there is really nothing I can add to what the institutions have been able to make available as well as the NCAA to the public. Anytime you have NCAA situations, if you're in my chair, you want to get them corrected and you want them over with sooner rather than later.

We've talked about this before. Sometimes the NCAA processes go extremely slowly. I think all of us involved with the NCAA believe we must find a better way to expedite those kind of things, but do it in a fair and the right kind of way. But hopefully both these situations will be behind the two institutions as soon as possible.

You know, you don't want those situations. It's not healthy for anybody. If there's anything that keeps me awake at night, it's those kinds of situations.

Q. What has been your response from fans as it relates to pulling the ACC out of North Carolina because of HB2, and has there been any discussion since you've been in North Carolina about HB2 and the ACC returning to Charlotte back in 2019?
JOHN SWOFFORD: Well, certainly the door is open if things change for us to come back to particularly those venues where we had multi-year arrangements going forward. And those multi-year arrangements were not over. So, again, we'll have to see how that plays out.

Fan response has been sort of a lot of support and a lot of disappointment. I don't know that I'd put a percentage on one or the other. But it's been both. It's been mixed, as we anticipated it would be.

Q. In the last couple years you've had three of your programs undergoing the NCAA investigations, and in at least two of those with Louisville and Syracuse, the schools have imposed penalties on themselves before the NCAA imposed any penalties. Are you in favor of that? Would you like to see schools stop doing self-imposed penalties and leave that in the hands of the NCAA?
JOHN SWOFFORD: No, not necessarily. I think it varies as to whether that's a good idea or not a good idea. But I do think institutions -- in my opinion, I think the institutions should have that prerogative to do that.

Q. Why?
JOHN SWOFFORD: Why? Because it's their program. They should know themselves better than anybody, and I think if programs are willing to step up and do the right thing after evaluating the situation, then I think she they should have the opportunity to do that. That doesn't always mean that the NCAA ultimately is going to agree with it, obviously. They might have done less, they might have done more. But sometimes I think that's why it's tough to do that.

Q. You mentioned that in conversation with Adam Silver you thought that if he had his druthers it would be a two-year window with college, the NBA and the Players Union are reportedly close to a CBA extension that would keep the one-and-done rule. Does that disappoint you that that rule, that system would stay intact in the next CBA?
JOHN SWOFFORD: Does that disappoint me? Yeah, it would disappoint me. Not that I have a different anticipation, because, you know, what I suggest that I would like to see and what I think Adam would like to see, I didn't mean to suggest that I thought that would happen. But, yeah, it would disappoint me.

But, you know, I also believe, David, if that's what it is, then people are free to build their program in any way they want, utilizing the rules. And obviously different programs kind of go about that in very different ways. I think we've learned that both ways can be successful competitively. I think it's really important for the institutions that have players that are likely to be there only for a year to make certain that they are, indeed, students while they're there that year, and that's up to the institutions. So I think that's an important part of it.

In a perfect world, and if I were king instead of commissioner, I'd probably have it where you, like the baseball rule, can come out of high school and go straight to the NBA. But if you don't, you have three years from that to do whatever you want to do. But mostly go to college and play for three years and then go.

I understand the argument on the other side of that, but I come from a collegiate perspective, and it certainly works well for baseball. In a way you have a very similar football rule. Very different sport. I don't know too many people that can walk out of high school and go to the NFL.

But ultimately you fight for what you'd like to see happen, and when it goes a different way, you embrace what that way is and do your best within those parameters.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
Rev #1 by #170 at 2016-10-26 18:03:00 GMT

ASAP sports

tech 129