Video: John Swofford Chats With Jeff Fischel on the New, 15-Team ACC

Tons of opinions going around regarding the now-expanded 15-team ACC, but the best source may be conference commissioner John Swofford. ACC Digital Network host Jeff Fischel spent some time with the commissioner today to get his thoughts on today’s additions of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, the league’s grant of rights, and more…

A few notes:

  • Commissioner Swofford mentions how well all of the ACC’s schools fit together, and I couldn’t agree more. In fact, out of all the realignment additions that have occurred and will occur from 2010 through 2015, these additions seem like the most natural of all. We’ll check back on that concept in a year when Louisville joins and Maryland leaves, but as of right now, tough to look at these additions as anything but a natural extension of the league’s common culture.
  • Swofford doesn’t know where the “ninja” nickname came from. Which is exactly how a ninja would answer that question.
  • Grant of rights, plus the natural expansion mentioned above, equals a pretty strong league. Come 2014, the ACC will be one of maybe two power conferences without an outlier/odd fit (the other being the Pac-12). The SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 all have at least one addition that’s not like the rest, and I’m curious to see the repercussions of that over time.
  • ACC Network coming soon? Still nothing of note here. Worried we’re looking at 2016 at best, which is a shame, considering how well integrated ESPN and the ACC are already.
  • ACC Tournament in New York City is “up to the member schools.” I can count at least five who’d be for it (the five most northern ones), plus the most southern institutions, too. I’d think the North Carolina schools are the only ones truly on the fence, but the prospect of playing in front of so many New York recruits may be too much for Duke and North Carolina to resist.
  • Fischel brought up a short retirement question. I guess it’s not that strange to ask Swofford that question — he’s been doing this for quite some time. Just haven’t really heard it brought up until now. This may be a long way out, but curious if the league leaves the UNC/Duke/Virginia power structure with its next commissioner selection. Something to watch out for.

Anything you found interesting from Swofford’s comments? Bring them up below.

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2 thoughts on “Video: John Swofford Chats With Jeff Fischel on the New, 15-Team ACC

  1. RE: Swofford’s eventual retirement – I’d be SHOCKED if the ACC replaces him with an alumnus from a member school. In fact, I look for them to follow the Pac-12 lead and hire a Harvard man.

    • Not a bad thought. Though maybe at some schools’ insistence, they end up going with a former TV exec (Bilas)? I know the Southern schools hate the way the ACC negotiates contracts under Swofford. That would probably be a change (though it wouldn’t change the UVa/UNC/Duke axis of power at all.

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