John Swofford: Clemson committed to ACC, Notre Dame committed to independence
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford told reporters at the ACC Kickoff on Sunday that after visiting with Clemson President James Barker and the Clemson trustees he feels Clemson is “totally” committed to the ACC.
Swofford visited Clemson on Thursday and Friday.
The ACC has dealt with a torrent of speculation surrounding its viability and Barker invited Swofford to campus last week to speak about the league’s television contract, conference expansion and the league’s health.
“It was very positive,” Swofford said. “It was just more about questions, education, better understanding how we do things, what we saw in the future ... making sure we as a league can be as good as we can be.”
Some Florida State power brokers - including the trustees chair and football coach Jimbo Fisher - suggested earlier this offseason that the Seminoles look at what the Big 12 has to offer. Speculation also tied Clemson to Big 12 rumors based on a richer TV deal.
But Barker consistently stated Clemson is committed to the ACC and Swofford said Sunday that he has never been concerned about the viability of the ACC and believes Barker’s commitment is not just lip service.
Swofford was also asked if he thinks Notre Dame will someday be a member of the ACC.
“(Notre Dame) is very committed to independence. Whether that changes down the road, we’ll have to wait and see,” Swofford said.
Swofford declined to answer whether reports of ACC presidents meeting with Notre Dame officials earlier this month were true.
What likely will not change is the looming nine-game ACC football schedule that compelled Clemson to end its series with Ole Miss and Oklahoma State.
Swofford said to his knowledge the majority of athletic directors still support the nine-game schedule.