July 24, 2011
By: Brandon Mellor, Seminoles.com Senior Writer
PINEHURST, NC — The afternoon on day one started with Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John D. Swofford’s address to the media. Swofford stood in front of a podium surrounded by the individual helmets of each league school and began the event by reminding the many media members in attendance that this month marks the 20th anniversary of Florida State’s entrance into the ACC.
Swofford then touched on the compliance issues with several schools throughout the country.
“I think winning is really important,” Swofford said. “But if you have to cheat to win you really haven’t won, have you you?”
The talk of compliance then shifted to the topic of scholarships. Southeastern Conference Commisioner MIke Slive recently said at his league’s media days that he was in favor of extending one-year scholarships.
Swofford agreed and said that he would be in favor of two- or four-year renewable scholarships for all sports. But he also acknowledged that there would be some obstacles to overcome and many factors to consider before making such a controversial decision that would likely be opposed by coaches because it reduces roster flexibility.
“We need to discuss it and see what’s fair for today’s student-athlete,” Swofford said.
FSU will be playing in arguably the most hyped non-conference contest of the 2011 college football season when Oklahoma comes to Tallahassee in September. Swofford then talked about the importance of non-conference success for all of the ACC programs.
“We need to win more of our high-profile games that are non-conference,” Swofford said, before pointing out the tremendous opportunities the ACC teams have this year to do just that.
“We have 23 games against teams that played in bowls last year,” he added. “We play four of the top 16 in last year’s final poll.”
After Swofford spoke with the media, the rest of the day was devoted to speaking with the two student-athlete representatives from each ACC member school. Both Brandon Jenkins and EJ Manuel were part of that group and the two Seminoles did nothing short of impress while speaking with print, TV and radio media.
Seminoles.com will be posting lots of content of these interviews and I will have a future story highlighting the key talking points from each of the student-athletes.