ACC Commissioner John Swofford announced that the upcoming academic year would be his last at the helm of the conference.
Today is a day of celebration among most fans across the ACC. If you live outside of Tobacco Road, you are ecstatic to see Swofford announce his retirement. UNC and Duke specifically will be unhappy to see their hero and savior step down, but no one else will be.
There is not much that Swofford has not bungled during his time overseeing the ACC.
Conference expansion, which he gets a lot of credit for, turned out to be an absolute disaster from a football standpoint. Adding Boston College and Syracuse never provided the ACC with TV audience that they were expecting or hoping for and anyone who knew anything about those football programs knew that. Swofford didn’t.
ACC Network among many issues under John Swofford
His handling of the ACC Network was a complete disaster. At the time of the launch last fall, only two of the five largest cable networks carried the network and even now, Comcast still does not. Swofford never demanded that the ACC Network get the same type of treatment that the SEC network nor Longhorn Network received and it shows.
There have been too many Tobacco Road scandals under Swofford, all of which he turned his back on. If it was not for both FSU and Clemson football over the last decade, the ACC, in general, would be in a lot of trouble and even with their success, they didn’t reach their potential audience because of his inability to act on behalf of the conference as a whole.
Whoever takes over for him starting in 2021, she or he needs to understand football is king and has to believe in the product that the ACC has – something that Swofford never has.
The next ACC Commissioner also needs to have a marketing background and really understand social media marketing. Clemson athletics is the best in the world at social media marketing and they have understood for a long time how to reach future student-athletes. This is something the conference needs to understand moving forward and start to create marketing content that appeals to athletes from coast to coast.
While I am sure there are some sad people across the conference today that their meal ticket is retiring, there are a lot more people that are happy to see him go.