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ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
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CardinalJim Offline
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Post: #41
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-25-2020 08:10 PM)GTFletch Wrote:  John Swofford: The man who saved the ACC
by Mark Bradley AJC

John Swofford will retire as ACC commissioner in June 2021. Had he not been the league’s commissioner these past 23 years, there mightn’t be an ACC. The league remains – 14 ½ strong. The ACC Network premiered last summer. That will be Swofford’s legacy, and it’s a shining one. Not to put too fine a point on it, but he saved the ACC.


Link
https://www.ajc.com/blog/mark-bradley/jo...B2S3Ra0LI/

Well he saved this version of The ACC anyway. 03-talktothehand
06-26-2020 04:58 AM
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quo vadis Offline
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Post: #42
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-25-2020 02:36 PM)GoldenWarrior11 Wrote:  
(06-25-2020 02:09 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(06-25-2020 12:41 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  
(06-25-2020 12:04 PM)DFW HOYA Wrote:  Swofford conspired with ESPN to run the Big East into the ground (twice) and for what? The ACC is oversized and outside of Clemson football, underperforming.


Tin foil hattery aside, welcome to the world of 80% of revenue coming from football. Georgetown could win 10 back to back men's basketball titles and still make less money than Florida State will in their worst football season.

Yes, Swofford's great insight, and why the ACC is a P5 conference today, was realizing almost 20 years ago now that long run, there was only room for one power-level football conference on the Atlantic seaboard, and it would either be the ACC or Big East. And he took the necessary steps to ensure it was the ACC by launching raids on the Big East. When the first one in 2003 failed to deliver the knockout blow, he bided his time and struck again in 2011, this time successfully.

Big East stupidly did not realize this, so pursued a policy of "peaceful coexistence" with the ACC, and that's why its football wing is now the AAC - ironically, just as good as the ACC was on the football field last year, but getting paid about 1/15 as much for it.

Agreed, Quo. However, I will add that the ACC had also acquired one of the original Big East's biggest source of conflict for many years - and that is the creation/establishment of separate factions within the league. For the time being, the payouts, CFP/bowl access and continued strength in men's basketball will keep the ship on navigation and conceal any cracks within the hull. However, in time (and in event of further realignment down the road), it is possible we will see these two camps compete against one another again (whether that is football-first/basketball-first schools, Private/Public, North/South, Tobacco Road/Everyone, etc.).

Yes, the ACC is a three-headed hydra with a northern wing, a southern wing, and a mid-Atlantic core. Or divide it up by football vs basketball focus if you like as well, either way there are clear cultural and geographic divisions, and it is all bound together by the Golden Ticket of P5 status.

But ... what else could Swofford - and before him the commissioner who irrevocably changed the ACC by inviting FSU - do? To maintain "power" status in the Bowl Alliance and forward era, you had to bring football value to the table. That meant adding schools that don't necessarily fit the core ACC basketball first culture and "tobacco road" geography. It's not like there were schools like Notre Dame and Michigan and LSU sitting there in the Carolina/Virginia foothills waiting to be invited to the ACC.

So I'm not sure the ACC could be any better off than it is now.
06-26-2020 08:14 AM
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quo vadis Offline
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Post: #43
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-25-2020 03:11 PM)Wahoowa84 Wrote:  
(06-25-2020 02:46 PM)Statefan Wrote:  What's ironic is one of the things Swofford is blamed for (VT to the ACC and leaving Syracuse high and dry) was orchestrated behind his back between UVa, UNC, and Duke.

VT to the ACC turned out as one of the best expansion decisions. It put a football first school, that has cultural and geographic fit, into the conference.

Exactly. Whether Swofford and the ACC backed in to adding VT via Virginia state politics or not, it has turned out to be a fantastic decision. VT has turned out to fit in the ACC in every way.
06-26-2020 08:20 AM
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bill dazzle Offline
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Post: #44
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
Maybe I'm being an ACC homer but I like ALL the university additions Swofford has made (though some better than others). For example, with family ties to Louisville and Pitt ... I strongly enjoy having them in a league with UNC and NCST.

Having said that, I would like for the ACC to add UConn or West Virginia to go to 16 for hoops and two clean eight-team divisions. I suppose that's the "OCD" in me.
06-26-2020 09:09 AM
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MidknightWhiskey Offline
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Post: #45
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
It'll be interesting to see if they continue expansion. I think at 14 with the issues we're seeing how long it takes traditional rivals in conference to play each other there could be a push for it to go to the pod system. Adding West Virginia and UCF fills in area's of the ACC's footprint that currently aren't there, gain additional content for the ACCn, going to the pod system allows the ACC to keep classic rivalries prevalent, adding 2 football first programs will help strengthen the ACC's football profile.

Northeast Pod: BC, Cuse, Pitt, WV
Mid Atlantic Pod: Virginia, VT, Louisville, Clemson
Tobacco Row Pod: UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest
Sunshine Pod: FSU, Miami, GT, UCF

Clemson having to jump over the NC schools so they can have their own pod is the only geographic hiccup.
06-26-2020 11:35 AM
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Post: #46
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 11:35 AM)MidknightWhiskey Wrote:  It'll be interesting to see if they continue expansion. I think at 14 with the issues we're seeing how long it takes traditional rivals in conference to play each other there could be a push for it to go to the pod system. Adding West Virginia and UCF fills in area's of the ACC's footprint that currently aren't there, gain additional content for the ACCn, going to the pod system allows the ACC to keep classic rivalries prevalent, adding 2 football first programs will help strengthen the ACC's football profile.

Northeast Pod: BC, Cuse, Pitt, WV
Mid Atlantic Pod: Virginia, VT, Louisville, Clemson
Tobacco Row Pod: UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest
Sunshine Pod: FSU, Miami, GT, UCF

Clemson having to jump over the NC schools so they can have their own pod is the only geographic hiccup.
FSU and Miami would never let UCF in, as much as we would like for that to happen.
06-26-2020 12:35 PM
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Post: #47
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 11:35 AM)MidknightWhiskey Wrote:  It'll be interesting to see if they continue expansion. I think at 14 with the issues we're seeing how long it takes traditional rivals in conference to play each other there could be a push for it to go to the pod system. Adding West Virginia and UCF fills in area's of the ACC's footprint that currently aren't there, gain additional content for the ACCn, going to the pod system allows the ACC to keep classic rivalries prevalent, adding 2 football first programs will help strengthen the ACC's football profile.

Northeast Pod: BC, Cuse, Pitt, WV
Mid Atlantic Pod: Virginia, VT, Louisville, Clemson
Tobacco Row Pod: UNC, NC State, Duke, Wake Forest
Sunshine Pod: FSU, Miami, GT, UCF

Clemson having to jump over the NC schools so they can have their own pod is the only geographic hiccup.

You can do pods at 14. No need to go to 16. You can play 3 teams every year and the other 10 every other year with an 8 game schedule.
06-26-2020 12:55 PM
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Post: #48
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
WVU is academic anathema to the ACC. You can't even get all the football firsts in the ACC to vote for WVU right now. It would require nothing less than mission change for WVU on the academic side and a total overhaul of acceptable fan behavior to get WVU in. Based on current organization, the day WVU gets into the ACC is the day the ACC becomes the new AAC and the AAC becomes to the next Big East. Either that or WVU is part of some league like megaconference where they are tucked into a geographic division that isolates them the teams out of region and in that case the definition of conference has shifted anyway. Your "conference" becomes a league bargaining on behalf of all members and your division or pod holds the importance scheduling wise that your conference use to.

UCF under the current organization would lower the average TV payout per team. It adds no new states to the ACCN and no real new markets given that Miami/FSU combined had adequate market penetration in the I-4 corridor. In the not too distant future when the TV math changes UCF may look more attractive particularly if it allows reorganization into more geographically cohesive structures. UCF has the alumni base courtesy of their "China method" regarding enrollment to quickly raise large sums of money which they would probably be able to do with a P5 move. But just to put a real world quantification on it.... the UCF athletic department is still probably over $500m behind P5 athletic departments just in facilities. Spectrum Stadium is among the nicest G5 stadiums. It's comparable in the ACC to ........ Duke. Spectrum Stadium has a little higher capacity but Wallace Wade has a way better luxury box and bigger jumbotron. Just making Spectrum Stadium a solid P5 level stadium is a solid $200m renovation. By the time we talk about basketball and then non-revenue sports and support facilities .... $500m seems highly plausible and maybe on the conservative side. $500m is what Minnesota paid just for the new TD Bank Stadium. How did Jurich get Louisville from C-USA to the ACC? Money baby. LOTS of it. Truckloads of it. Louisville announced (IIRC) $100m academic investment when joining the ACC. That came after Louisville did 3-4 major football stadium overhauls or changes along with sponsorship rights to the venue. That "how is this possible?" deal with the Yum Center. But also a spending spree on non-revenue sports too. Go look at their soccer stadium. That's nicer that most HS football stadiums. Spend spend spend spend. Louisville wrote the checks to catch up which allowed them to play at a higher level which then made then more attractive than everybody else which then got them into a P5 conference where now they have financial inertia on their side.

So to the UCF fans who constantly have those ACC wet dreams .... do you have a cool $1b laying around that you'd be willing to dump into facilities like you were a rapper filming a music video in a strip club?
06-26-2020 01:23 PM
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quo vadis Offline
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Post: #49
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 01:23 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  How did Jurich get Louisville from C-USA to the ACC? Money baby. LOTS of it. Truckloads of it.

Not only that, but even with the truckloads of money that the YUM Center deal and their boosters provided, Louisville was still the sixth and last Big East team to get a rescue to a P5. They didn't leave on the last train out, by the time they were picked up the last train had seemingly already left, and inexplicably someone ordered a special diesel to go back and scoop them up from G5 purgatory. They scored that saving goal deep in stoppage time.

IOW's, a big dollop of luck in addition to a big dollop of money. That might be hard for any current G to duplicate.
(This post was last modified: 06-26-2020 08:07 PM by quo vadis.)
06-26-2020 08:07 PM
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esayem Offline
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Post: #50
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 08:07 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 01:23 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  How did Jurich get Louisville from C-USA to the ACC? Money baby. LOTS of it. Truckloads of it.

Not only that, but even with the truckloads of money that the YUM Center deal and their boosters provided, Louisville was still the sixth and last Big East team to get a rescue to a P5. They didn't leave on the last train out, by the time they were picked up the last train had seemingly already left, and inexplicably someone ordered a special diesel to go back and scoop them up from G5 purgatory. They scored that saving goal deep in stoppage time.

IOW's, a big dollop of luck in addition to a big dollop of money. That might be hard for any current G to duplicate.

So it seems Rutgers was in the same category.
06-26-2020 08:34 PM
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Statefan Offline
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Post: #51
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 08:34 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 08:07 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 01:23 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  How did Jurich get Louisville from C-USA to the ACC? Money baby. LOTS of it. Truckloads of it.

Not only that, but even with the truckloads of money that the YUM Center deal and their boosters provided, Louisville was still the sixth and last Big East team to get a rescue to a P5. They didn't leave on the last train out, by the time they were picked up the last train had seemingly already left, and inexplicably someone ordered a special diesel to go back and scoop them up from G5 purgatory. They scored that saving goal deep in stoppage time.

IOW's, a big dollop of luck in addition to a big dollop of money. That might be hard for any current G to duplicate.

So it seems Rutgers was in the same category.

Louisville worked to save itself. Rutgers got lucky because of a TV market that made cable TV money for the B10 Network. They have the largest subsidy from the schools budget to play football in the P-5.
06-26-2020 09:00 PM
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quo vadis Offline
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Post: #52
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 08:34 PM)esayem Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 08:07 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 01:23 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  How did Jurich get Louisville from C-USA to the ACC? Money baby. LOTS of it. Truckloads of it.

Not only that, but even with the truckloads of money that the YUM Center deal and their boosters provided, Louisville was still the sixth and last Big East team to get a rescue to a P5. They didn't leave on the last train out, by the time they were picked up the last train had seemingly already left, and inexplicably someone ordered a special diesel to go back and scoop them up from G5 purgatory. They scored that saving goal deep in stoppage time.

IOW's, a big dollop of luck in addition to a big dollop of money. That might be hard for any current G to duplicate.

So it seems Rutgers was in the same category.

Rutgers was very lucky, but even they got scooped up before Louisville.
06-26-2020 09:07 PM
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Post: #53
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 08:07 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 01:23 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  How did Jurich get Louisville from C-USA to the ACC? Money baby. LOTS of it. Truckloads of it.

Not only that, but even with the truckloads of money that the YUM Center deal and their boosters provided, Louisville was still the sixth and last Big East team to get a rescue to a P5. They didn't leave on the last train out, by the time they were picked up the last train had seemingly already left, and inexplicably someone ordered a special diesel to go back and scoop them up from G5 purgatory. They scored that saving goal deep in stoppage time.

IOW's, a big dollop of luck in addition to a big dollop of money. That might be hard for any current G to duplicate.

But it certainly wasn't academics and it certainly wasn't "behavior." Pitino and Petrino? If somehow the Big 12 had taken Lousiville, WVU would now be in the ACC.
06-26-2020 09:33 PM
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Post: #54
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 08:07 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  Louisville was still the sixth and last Big East team to get a rescue to a P5.

This.

The music stopped, anyone without a seat is eliminated from the game.
06-26-2020 09:39 PM
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RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-25-2020 02:09 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  Big East stupidly did not realize this, so pursued a policy of "peaceful coexistence" with the ACC, and that's why its football wing is now the AAC - ironically, just as good as the ACC was on the football field last year, but getting paid about 1/15 as much for it.

There's more to it than stupidity, though ... given its structure, pursuing the strengthening of it's football wing risked defection of its basketball wing, and so it was caught in a classic "PC Jr" problem where the forward looking strategy is sabotaged by the protection of the current market stronghold.
06-26-2020 09:53 PM
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RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
I think Swofford would be better remembered had he sold his membership on East Coast unity in 2004 and instead of leaving Big East football to die a slow and painful death, pushed his 9 members to add the 7 full Big East schools (no Temple) for a 16 team super league.

North: BC, Cuse, Rutgers, Pitt, M’land, WVU, VT, Miami
South: UVA, UNC, NC St, Duke, WF, Clemson, GT, FSU
06-26-2020 10:22 PM
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RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 10:22 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I think Swofford would be better remembered had he sold his membership on East Coast unity in 2004 and instead of leaving Big East football to die a slow and painful death, pushed his 9 members to add the 7 full Big East schools (no Temple) for a 16 team super league.

North: BC, Cuse, Rutgers, Pitt, M’land, WVU, VT, Miami
South: UVA, UNC, NC St, Duke, WF, Clemson, GT, FSU

I can't argue with that. For one, that's a really strong league in a lot of respects. Secondly, it would have demonstrated vision rather than desperation.

There was too much hemming and hawing over what Big East products were helpful. Too much snobbery.

Let's not also forget that some of the missteps along the way created a situation where a founding member in Maryland felt the need to leave. Contrast that with your idea and had it been completed early enough then who knows, perhaps both Notre Dame and Penn State would have been attracted to the ACC?

I suppose it could have been worse for the ACC, but the league was pretty close to collapse before they signed their GOR. I see no reason to think Swofford as anything more than a fairly inept example of middle-management. ESPN mostly told him what to do and he didn't do a great job of leading the schools under him.
06-26-2020 10:39 PM
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Post: #58
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 10:39 PM)AllTideUp Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 10:22 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I think Swofford would be better remembered had he sold his membership on East Coast unity in 2004 and instead of leaving Big East football to die a slow and painful death, pushed his 9 members to add the 7 full Big East schools (no Temple) for a 16 team super league.

North: BC, Cuse, Rutgers, Pitt, M’land, WVU, VT, Miami
South: UVA, UNC, NC St, Duke, WF, Clemson, GT, FSU

I can't argue with that. For one, that's a really strong league in a lot of respects. Secondly, it would have demonstrated vision rather than desperation.

There was too much hemming and hawing over what Big East products were helpful. Too much snobbery.

Let's not also forget that some of the missteps along the way created a situation where a founding member in Maryland felt the need to leave. Contrast that with your idea and had it been completed early enough then who knows, perhaps both Notre Dame and Penn State would have been attracted to the ACC?

I suppose it could have been worse for the ACC, but the league was pretty close to collapse before they signed their GOR. I see no reason to think Swofford as anything more than a fairly inept example of middle-management. ESPN mostly told him what to do and he didn't do a great job of leading the schools under him.
Both statements above are all wrong. From its founding, the ACC had only two schools that really emphasized football...Clemson and Maryland. Duke had taken football seriously historically, but by the 1950s their focus had shifted to basketball and Olympic sports. Over time, even Maryland transitioned to much more of a basketball-first school (thanks largely to great success by Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams). Basketball preeminence was an addictive drug that gave the ACC the best media rights payouts into the 1990s. The challenge for ACC commissioners for decades has been to focus more support for football.

By the time Swofford became commissioner, the ship had sailed on Penn State (it was already in the BIG) and his predecessors had solidified football by adding Georgia Tech and FSU.

“East Coast unity” nor “ESPN told him” where hardly Swafford’s vision nor approach. Swofford had to transform the ACC into a football first conference. I would argue that when Maryland unexpectedly left and Louisville was chosen over UConn, Swafford’s legacy was confirmed.

Swafford’s weakness has been his lack of skill in negotiating for better payouts...basically, leveraging his assets for financial stability. College athletics has become a big business and Swofford was very conservative in adapting to the changing landscape.

It’s crazy to blame him for not getting Penn State or Notre Dame (he also didn’t get Ohio State nor UGA...but maybe they weren’t in play). It’s naive to suggest that he just followed ESPN’s guidance (the ACC has made horrible TV deals...including propping up Raycom to the detriment of ESPN and financial payouts).
06-27-2020 06:18 AM
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Post: #59
RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 10:22 PM)Fighting Muskie Wrote:  I think Swofford would be better remembered had he sold his membership on East Coast unity in 2004 and instead of leaving Big East football to die a slow and painful death, pushed his 9 members to add the 7 full Big East schools (no Temple) for a 16 team super league.

North: BC, Cuse, Rutgers, Pitt, M’land, WVU, VT, Miami
South: UVA, UNC, NC St, Duke, WF, Clemson, GT, FSU

Yes, this would've been stronger, more stable in many ways, and possibly more appealing to Maryland, maybe even Penn State. Mostly because this leaves Penn State forever on an island in the Big Ten...
06-27-2020 06:48 AM
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RE: ACC Commissioner John Swofford to retire
(06-26-2020 09:33 PM)bullet Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 08:07 PM)quo vadis Wrote:  
(06-26-2020 01:23 PM)georgia_tech_swagger Wrote:  How did Jurich get Louisville from C-USA to the ACC? Money baby. LOTS of it. Truckloads of it.

Not only that, but even with the truckloads of money that the YUM Center deal and their boosters provided, Louisville was still the sixth and last Big East team to get a rescue to a P5. They didn't leave on the last train out, by the time they were picked up the last train had seemingly already left, and inexplicably someone ordered a special diesel to go back and scoop them up from G5 purgatory. They scored that saving goal deep in stoppage time.

IOW's, a big dollop of luck in addition to a big dollop of money. That might be hard for any current G to duplicate.

But it certainly wasn't academics and it certainly wasn't "behavior." Pitino and Petrino? If somehow the Big 12 had taken Lousiville, WVU would now be in the ACC.

I don't know about that. It's one thing for the ACC academic schools (UNC, Duke) to accept Louisville, it's another for them to accept West Virginia. West Virginia didn't have the "truckloads of money" Louisville had. Boston College was blocking UConn? You don't think Pitt wouldn't have tried to block West Virginia? West Virginia adds areas to the Big 12 they don't add. West Virginia adds nothing geographically to the ACC they don't already have.
06-27-2020 07:10 AM
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