Sunday, July 25, 2010

Swofford confident in ACC's future

GREENSBORO - After a summer of wild speculation followed by some expansion in other conferences, ACC commissioner John Swofford on Sunday said he is comfortable with the ACC’s strength going forward.

The big changes have Colorado and Utah joining the Pac-10, and Nebraska entering the Big Ten to give each of those conferences 12 members. But for a time, it appeared the Big 12 was in danger of collapsing.

There were reports that the SEC might try to pry some combination of Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech and Miami away from the ACC to form a 16-team superconference. There also was talk that the Big Ten might be interested in Maryland.

Those moves never came to pass, and the ACC remains at 12 members.

"At the presidential level of this league there continues to be a strong commitment to each other, a strong commitment to the ACC," Swofford said at the beginning of the ACC Media Kickoff. "There's a belief that 12 is the right number for us, but a willingness if the world changes around to take a look at what the changes mean and what keeps the Atlantic Coast Conference strategically as one of the most prominent conferences in America."

Swofford said that the ACC's recent contract negotiations, which resulted in a pact with ESPN worth a reported $155 million over 12 years, have the conference in good position for the future.

"It was a very important negotiation for us that had something to do with how solid we are as a conference," Swofford said.

Ken Tysiac