We are streaming ACC’s Operation Basketball from Charlotte live in this link that you should check out if you have some time.
The Commissioner of the ACC just finished his time at the podium and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to read the writing on the wall — John Swofford is bad for business, and if the Presidents and Athletics Directors of the Atlantic Coast Conference don’t act soon then they are going to pay a steep price.
Instead of a joyous day of promoting all of the great things that Atlantic Coast Conference has to offer, Swofford has clearly become a lightening rod and toxic presence as the face of the conference. On a day that designed to PROMOTE THE ACC, there was not one single positive question about the ACC from an historically friendly media. Not one.
After an obvious question about the additional penalties the ACC levied on Clemson in 1982 behind the leadership of Swofford when he was Athletics Director at North Carolina, the press conference was shut down and there wasn’t anything else to discuss.
Do you think this is what Notre Dame and Louisville were expecting when they signed up for the ACC? How do you think this sits with folks like Rick Pitino? Hey coach, welcome to the ACC! Haven’t you heard that you have stepped into Basketball Heaven where we eat, drink, breathe, live this stuff? Hall of Fame Legend or not…nobody really cares to talk about Louisville basketball while John Swofford is standing in front of us. We’ll get to you one day.
If you didn’t see or hear it, Swofford stuttered and verbally stumbled as he tried to explain some things using verbiage in his descriptions that just was not natural. In short, he looked and sounded guilty as shit.
As I am typing this I just received the following email from a friend:
Dean can’t be interrogated. Swoffy can. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that those two created the monster, and everyone down the line allowed it to continue and flourish.
It’s borderline criminal for the other ACC member institutions to remain silent about this clown.
This is now a serious problem for the Atlantic Coast Conference. UNC-Cess Pool and John Swofford’s role and presence (‘He’s a Tar Heel’) is now an obvious distraction. He needs to step down for the good of the conference and its member institutions. I remember being irate in 1997 when Les Robinson (then NC State AD) voted along with all of the other schools to elect Swofford as commissioner of the ACC; and I never understood how the member institutions thought it was a good idea to elect someone with so much bias for a fellow conference program.
it was a huge mistake then, and perhaps the rest of the league will wake up and realize what kind of a mistake it is now.
Post-Script: Pack Pride has a transcript from today’s press conference available here.
In the wake of last week’s North Carolina report, I presume you’ve read it, were there red flags there that as you look back on your tenure as athletic director, that you could have or should have seen?
David, I don’t think so. I think if you look at that report there, in my last few years there, there were some, in terms of numbers, very relatively minimal, independent study classes and AFAM, but that really took off in about 2000. So it never came up while I was there as an issue from any source. If it had, obviously, we would have addressed that with the appropriate people. But it never arose as any issue at all.
While you were the athletic director there, you created separation between academic support and the athletic department. Why did you do that, and again, in hindsight, was the distance created not great enough, and if so, why do you think that distance created was not great enough?
Well, I don’t know– you know, there are two things you have to look at, one, the system and what’s systemic, and the other is, you know. You can have the best structures and setup in the world with anything. But if you have some individuals who choose to, you know, do something outside of the mission, so to speak, or in a different way, then that can undermine that. ,P> I asked that we move our academic counseling program for athletes out of athletics and into the college of arts and sciences, not because I saw any particular problems with it. It just philosophically was and still is something that I believe in, because I think there needs to be a certain separation of church and state, if you will, when it comes to academics. And I think that’s the appropriate way to, you know, to help make that happen.
Obviously you’ve gotta– you need to connect the two, and you need to understand what student athletes go through and their time demands, but they also need to be free to major in what they want to major in and to have as many opportunities as is possible that universities present while they try to compete at the highest level. And you know, I just always felt that a separation there is just philosophically and fundamentally healthy. Different schools do it different ways. You know, that’s simply a personal view that I have.