Wednesday, May 16, 2012
ACC head touches on Florida St.
By Andrea Adelson
AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- ACC commissioner John Swofford was unconcerned Wednesday about the recent speculation swirling around Florida State and its future in the conference.
Amid questions about whether the Seminoles have an interest in listening to the Big 12, Swofford said at the conclusion of the league's spring meetings that he has had several positive discussions with Florida State president Eric Barron.
Florida State has had to issue several statements reiterating its commitment to the ACC, and Barron wrote an extensive memo detailing several points both for and against making a move.
Athletic director Randy Spetman declined comment Tuesday and Wednesday. Earlier in the week, coach Jimbo Fisher said: "We're in the ACC and that's where we're at. I'm not a decision-maker."
"Florida State's been an excellent member of the ACC," Swofford said during a media briefing Wednesday. "We're looking now at a league that is currently 12, soon to be 14 in nine contiguous states that covers the entire Eastern seaboard that has just extraordinary potential. We've got 14 valuable members and Florida State is certainly one of them.
"It has been, and I would anticipate that it will continue to be, a very beneficial relationship to both parties, which is what it should be."
When asked whether he had concerns about Florida State potentially leaving, Swofford said: "I don't deal in hypotheticals; I deal with what's tangible. It's what we're doing as a league with the current 12-, soon to be 14-membership league, and we're moving ahead on the basis of that full membership."
The drama began this past weekend, when board of trustees chairman Andy Haggard said in a published interview he was unhappy with the new TV deal the ACC received.
But Haggard was misinformed on several points and since has backed off his initial comments. Fisher did not help matters when he told The Orlando Sentinel on May 12 that Florida State had to do what was in the best interest of the program.
Fisher tried to back away from those comments at the ACC spring meetings. Meanwhile, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds told The Austin American-Statesman that there had been no conversations between Florida State and the Big 12.
"It's just part of the landscape in today's world," Swofford said.
"You have to take into account a lot of things are said on this subject. You read a lot, you hear a lot that is inaccurate and unfounded information."
Swofford also shared the conference's view on how the league would like to see a future four-team playoff work. The preference is for conference champions to be strongly considered, and to have the bowl games used as sites for the playoff. The league also would like to keep the BCS structure for teams that do not make a playoff.
"Hopefully, we'll reach that point and people will have enough flexibility in what they can represent to come to a consensus with something that can work," Swofford said. "It will be challenging.
Getting to that concept was challenging, but getting to the particulars of that concept and the methodology of that concept will be even more challenging, in my opinion."
Once Pitt and Syracuse join the league, the men's and women's basketball tournaments will feature all 14 member schools. Tournament play would begin on a Wednesday, with seed Nos. 11 through 14.