Thursday, May 24, 2012
AD confident in ND's fit in playoff
By Matt Fortuna
A big thanks to colleague Andrea Adelson, who passed along Jack Swarbrick's Wednesday conversation with reporters. Swarbrick, as you probably read Wednesday, shot down the idea of Notre Dame moving its Olympic sports to the Big 12.
The Irish's athletic director reiterated that he talks frequently with Texas AD DeLoss Dodds, who had told CBSSports.com a day earlier that he had had conversations with Notre Dame about moving its Olympic sports to the Big 12. Swarbrick said that he talks to fellow ADs all of the time, calling it the nature of the business.
Asked Wednesday what kind of a salesman Dodds is, Swarbrick said: "DeLoss is good at everything DeLoss does."
Perhaps more pressing given the upcoming BCS meetings in less than a month, Swarbrick said that he was confident that every school -- not just Notre Dame -- would have access to the likely four-team playoff once details become finalized.
"I remain comfortable at this point. I haven't heard any conference champion proposals that wouldn't allow us if we finished in the top four to be one of those teams," Swarbrick said. "There have been all kinds of models for us -- some are three conference champions and an at-large. There are a lot of permutations of it. None of them that have been discussed would preclude us from earning our way in."
Swarbrick added that there hasn't been much discussion as it relates to potential tie-ins with other bowls, saying that the focus has been on the potential four-team playoff.
Notre Dame's football independence and its program's history make the school's status within the context of BCS changes and conference realignment unique, and Swarbrick stressed that a number of factors have dictated and will continue to dictate Notre Dame's and other schools' moves.
"There are a lot of uniquenesses," Swarbrick said. "I work for a pretty remarkable president [Rev. John Jenkins] who has the authority of a CEO, so I can seek his counsel and work through these issues, but it's a real luxury to have somebody that good to work with. There’s such a rush to think, for example, this is economic. Clearly there have been some economic decisions, but if you look at all the moves, there’s a certain percentage of them that don’t have an economic base to them. But it does other things for the school. For some it’s a cultural fit, for some it’s academic issues, for some it’s competitive issues, for some it’s branding issues. These decisions tend to be pretty multifaceted."