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Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Swinney explains position against Big 12

By Andrea Adelson

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It takes a whole heck of a lot for a coach to respond to widespread rumor and innuendo.

Do you know when Clemson coach Dabo Swinney reached his breaking point? When rumors about an impending Big 12 move started to overtake everything related to the Tigers. So Swinney decided to speak out last month before his high school football camp, saying a move from the ACC to the Big 12 "would be the worst thing we could do as a football program."

Swinney was asked at ACC media day why he decided to address the speculation with such a strongly worded statement.

“What I said was exactly what I believe,” Swinney said. “It made no sense to me at all. To be honest with you, I don’t respond to everything that somebody starts blogging about because a lot of it is it’s here today and two days later it’s something different. But that situation took on a life of its own, and it became a real distraction, especially when there was no reality involved at all. But people were putting things out like it was fact and this was done and on and on. It was really a distraction for us as a program, our recruiting, our coaches, and so forth.

"I don’t believe that makes sense at all for us. That’s why I said what I said. And that’s just my opinion because if they tell me we’re going to go play in Alaska, then that’s where we’re going. I just work there, but I certainly have an opinion as the leader of the football program."

Commissioner John Swofford also was asked about Clemson during his state of the league address Sunday, specifically about why he made a special trip to visit with the school's board of trustees earlier this month. It was the first time in 15 years he has been asked to visit with a full board.

Swofford was asked how confident he was that everybody was on board with the ACC.

"In a word: Totally," he said. "I had a great visit with Clemson. They're terrific people. I gave you my answer in one word."