SBD/May 17, 2013/Colleges

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  • John Swofford Says ACC Hopes To "Protect" Member Schools Financially

    ACC Commissioner John Swofford at the end of the conference’s spring meetings on Thursday said that he “wanted to ‘protect’ his member schools from experiencing the types of financial loses that FSU saw in December,” according to Coley Harvey of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. FSU in December “lost about $440,000 in ticket expenses” after its win over Georgia Tech in the ACC football Championship Game in Charlotte. Swofford said, "We want to protect the schools better going forward on the ticketing side of things because there's going to be plenty of revenue. The net effect of postseason football, our championship game and our bowl games is going to be very much on the high side from a financial standpoint." Warchant.com found that Georgia Tech is “projecting losses of more than $375,000 due to tickets their athletics offices also couldn't sell.” Like FSU, those losses are “separate from ticket expense reimbursements that were doled out by the ACC.” The conference “gave FSU $144,895 for the Seminoles' 4,000 unsold tickets.” Swofford: "Just philosophically, looking forward, a team -- particularly in a championship game -- shouldn’t be put in a position where they lose money, financially." Harvey notes this was the “first time in three tries that the ACC had a ticket issue at the championship game in Charlotte,” as the conference in ’10 and ’11 “sold out the event” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/17). In Tallahassee, Ira Schoffel notes FSU “wasn’t the first ACC team to face this predicament, but the loss was so great that the conference leaders had to take notice.” Swofford “wouldn’t speculate on what the new ticket requirement might be, but he said it could be in place by this season” (TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, 5/17).

    MOVING FORWARD: Swofford said that, “despite the lack of tangible results from these meetings, the conference brass made significant progress in determining everything from future bowl lineups to the long-term site of the men's conference basketball tournament.” Swofford: "There's just a lot of positives going on throughout the entire meetings, and I think a lot of excitement from this group looking ahead in terms of what the possibilities are." In Pittsburgh, Sam Werner notes there was a “sharp contrast” to the meetings last spring that “were dominated by the specter of conference realignment” (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 5/17). In Atlanta, Mark Bradley wrote, “Old-line ACCers are afraid the conference tournament will fly away to Manhattan and never return. That’s not going to happen.” The ACC HQs are in Greensboro, N.C., and the “heart of the ACC, even in its new double-strength manifestation, will remain in North Carolina.” Still, it is “all but certain that some ACC tournaments will be played in Madison Square Garden.” But some time “doesn’t mean every time, or for all time” (AJC.com, 5/16).

    YEA OR NAY: ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson noted ACC coaches are “in favor of having the coaches' poll be a part of the criteria used by the selection committee to determine the four teams in the College Football Playoff.” Duke coach David Cutcliffe, serving as league coaches' chair, on Wednesday said that his group “also is in favor of having every single coach have a vote in the poll and complete transparency in the voting.” They also “favor doing away with a preseason poll and releasing their first poll at some point during the season -- much in the way the BCS standings are released” (ESPN.com, 5/15).

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