Today ACC commissioner John Swofford appeared on our 3HL radio show on 104.5 in Nashville and strongly rejected the idea that Florida State, Clemson, or Miami may be considering a move to the Big 12. Asked whether he was surprised by comments from TCU AD Chris del Conte this morning that the Big 12 “now has schools like Florida State, Clemson, and Miami (that) are trying to get in,”, Swofford replied: “Yes, it would (surprise him.) I base that on talking to their presidents and their AD’s who have told me that there have been absolutely no contact or conversation with the Big 12. The Big 12 commissioner told me the same thing yesterday. So, yes I find those comments, (chuckling) just one more rumor.”
You can listen to the entire interview here.
Swofford also said he would be disappointed if any universities were not being straightforward with him, “Yeah, we’ve got a league in which, you know, people sit in a room and talk very forthrightly with each other. There’s a lot of respect within the room, there is a lot of trust within the room, and on this particular subject, and by the subject I mean conference affiliation, I think we’ve all learned, or should have over the last two or three years that there are an awful lot of things put out there that have no foundation or basis of truth and often times are irresponsible in being out there in the first place. That is part of the world we live in unfortunately. Consequently what I pay attention to, and what we pay attention to in this league are what is said from our presidents and their AD’s and quite honestly I have talked to each of those presidents within the last 48 hours and that’s not at all what I’m hearing from our schools.”
Further elaborating on the future of the conference, Swofford said, “I feel very good about our league and its solidarity and where we’re headed.”
Swofford also provided the clearest indication yet that his conference will not support the top four teams in the upcoming playoff.
Swofford endorsed the Delany plan:
“I think there’s a hybrid there that can work and would be the preference of most of our schools and that’s to take the highest rated conference champions that would have to be in, say, the top six or so and then an at large berth That doesn’t mean if it gets down to it that we couldn’t support a 1, 2, 3, 4, but most of the people in our league have the preference of putting an interest in winning conference championships.”
Asked whether he has any more empathy for Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe’s position this year given the ACC’s location in the center of the conference realignment storm this year, Swofford replied, “I had a lot of empathy at the time; quite honestly I don’t need any of this for me to have empathy with other commissioners.”
Again, you can listen to the entire interview here.
(Props to interns @abblen and @jholt29 for transcribing the interview that opened the 3HL show today.)