Sunday, July 24, 2011

Swofford calls for athletics reform

PINEHURST - In the most serious address to the media of his 15-year tenure, ACC commissioner John Swofford called today for reforms to a college athletic infrastructure that he said has lost the confidence of the public.

At the ACC football kickoff media event, Swofford told reporters in his yearly address that:
  • NCAA rules and enforcement need to focus more on serious offenses, particularly involving third parties, and less on minor transgressions such as phone calls and text messages.
  • Enforcement of NCAA rules needs to have consistent punishments from case to case and must take place expediently.
  • Athletes’ scholarships should cover the full cost of attendance, rather than just tuition, room, board and books.
  • The NCAA needs to consider having scholarships operate as multi-year deals rather than one-year agreements.
“Tweaking is not enough for what we need to do for the future of college athletics,” Swofford said in calling for progressive adjustment of college athletics.

Swofford’s speech came after a 12-month period in which, college athletics and football in particular have come under fire for rules violations that have in many cases involved the influence of third parties.

Last week, SEC commissioner Mike Slive campaigned for many of the same issues Swofford is proposing.
In the ACC, Georgia Tech recently forfeited its 2009 conference championship and North Carolina last month received a notice from the NCAA detailing allegations of nine major rules violations.

Although Swofford acknowledged that some conferences with schools with smaller budgets might get left behind by some of his proposed reforms, he nonetheless said the reforms are critical.

He said college athletics is at a “tipping point” where the money involved is so significant. Swofford said the explosion in interest and revenue are good, but he said that when the stakes go up, quality and integrity can suffer.

“We’ve got to slow down, back up, re-evaluate and find better ways to do things and not sit here trying to act like everything is hunky-dory and everything is good and not acknowledge that we’ve got some challenges out there,” Swofford said.

Ken Tysiac


Anonymous said...

Copycat Swofford, late to the party as usual, trying to imitate Slive. Pathetic.