Swofford: "The ACC Has Never Been Stronger"

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- ACC commissioner John Swofford said Sunday at the ACC Kickoff in Greensboro that after expansion and the league's new grant of rights deal, the conference has never been stronger.

"We've secured our position as one of the nation's premier conferences."

"The composition of the long-term membership of the ACC has never been stronger."

"Within our footprint, the ACC will now have the most television households and the highest population of any conference footprint from a national standpoint."

"It is also projected that by 2030, 55% of the United State population will lie within the ACC footprint."

"As it relates to an ACC channel, we'll continue to evaluate whether it makes sense for our conference."

"We'll continue to have discussions with ESPN to make sure ACC content will be available anytime, any place, anywhere."

"It's going to be exciting watching the competition."

"It's fair to say this is the strongest collection of basketball programs that has ever been assembled in one conference."

"Academically, the new membership only bolsters our league's credentials."

"In football specifically, it's important to note that our programs, collectively, have led all FBS conferences in APR each year that it has been calculated by the NCAA and seven of the last eight years in graduation rates."

"Every ACC football game will be available nationwide on one platform or another."

"I think bringing Notre Dame in is the right thing to do at this point in time. It was a unanimous decision by our institutions."

"I think Notre Dame was a great addition and if they ever do decide that they are going to join a conference in football, through the 2026-2027 year, that conference, by contractual agreements, would be the Atlantic Coast Conference."

"If they make the decision to join during that time they would be welcomed with open arms."

"Syracuse has always been, from the time we started talking about expansion, a part of that discussion and remained so for all the right reasons."

"When the opportunity to bring Louisville in came, it just made all the sense in the world to us. Louisville has just had an incredible athletic year that very few programs, if any, have had in a single year."

"I think we're as strong as we've ever been as a conference and tremendously well-positioned for the long-term future."

"Every time we add somebody [divisions are] discussed. There's been a natural reason to discuss it with some regularity... each time our schools end up at basically the same place that they've started."

"Any league that is 14 as we are, that's one of the things you lose, you don't see each other quite as often."

"For us, the benefits far outweigh that fact."

"I thought the University of Miami and their leadership handled it [very] well. I would hope that whatever is coming from the NCAA will come before the season starts. I'll be very disappointed if that's not the case."

"The BCS, for all its issues and problems, I think it's been good for college football. The growth of the game during the existence of the BCS has been phenomenal. I'm not saying it's because of the BCS, but it's turned the sport in a lot of ways from a regional sport to a national sport."

"Maryland has been an excellent member of this league since 1953 and their coaches and athletes in playing their last year in this league deserve the very best from the ACC."

"Litigation I'm not going to speak to. Our lawyers will handle that going forward... I'd say so far so good."

"I spent some time with the Clemson board last summer, so they invited me back. When one of my bosses invite me to be somewhere I try to be there."

"The whole idea of trying to enhance the financial well-being of student-athletes that are on scholarship is on our radar. We've been talking about this nationally for several years now without finding something that agrees with enough people that works."

"Some of it I think has been processed, I'm not sure if in the early going of those discussions enough people were engaged in that process."

"I don't think that's what college athletics is about, but I am for looking very diligently at a way to enhance the scholarship itself, whether that's need-based, based on a simple stipend that once existed, or some other way to approach it."

"I don't think anybody really knows where [the O'Bannon lawsuit] will end up. That's more for the NCAA to speak to at this time."

"There will be some parameters and criteria involved that the committee will work with them."

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