Here is the second of a two-part interview with ACC commissioner John Swofford, looking back at the 2013 season and ahead to this year:
Were you disappointed at all to see both Charlie Strong and Teddy Bridgewater, the two Louisville stars, not coming back next year?
JS: That’s all part of college athletics. As much as we would’ve loved to have both of them as part of Louisville’s first season in the ACC, we invited the university and a quality program to join us. I think they will be an excellent addition from a football standpoint, as well as an overall program standpoint.
What was your take on the hiring of Petrino, since it was a little bit controversial, given his background?
JS: He obviously is an excellent football coach. I don’t know Bobby personally. I have a lot of respect for and confidence in Tom Jurich and Jim Ramsey, and obviously the people at Louisville know Bobby from his previous tenure there and felt he was the right person for the University of Louisville to continue the upwards trajectory of that football program.
Financially, what did this bowl season do for the ACC?
JS: It was very good. Anytime you have the additional BCS game, it helps. It’s another $6.5 million. Some people report it’s another $20-some million, which it’s not. It was a good year, financially, from that standpoint, and next year will be better for not only the ACC, but all of us in terms of the financial part of the postseason.
When do you expect a resolution to the lawsuit with Maryland?
JS: I don’t know. We have to see how that plays out in the legal system. I couldn’t predict an end to it.
They’re officially out July 1, right?
JS: June 30. Maryland is out June 30, Louisville is in July 1.
Anything new with the possibility of an ACC channel?
JS: No, just continuing discussions about it. We had some good discussions in Pasadena, in fact. Had some time with John Skipper, so those discussions continue going forward, and we’re keeping an eye on the SEC’s efforts in their upcoming launch, which I think will be successful.
How good did it feel to be ACC commissioner last Tuesday morning?
JS: Really good. Any year you can wake up at the end of the bowl season and have a national champion and an additional BCS bowl win, it’s a good year.