The ACC recently held its spring meetings in Florida, and on Thursday commissioner John Swofford spoke to the media about a few of the topics discussed. One of the big topics--for years now--was a potential ACC Network established in conjunction with ESPN.
But as time has gone on, with the rise of streaming services, the odds of an ACC Network becoming reality have lessened. Even ESPN has been hurting lately, with significant losses to its subscriber base. So another network endeavor at this point? Well...
John Swofford: "We have continued to have very significant discussions. Spent a significant amount of time (on ACC Network)" but no new news— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 12, 2016
John Swofford on report that ESPN must pay ACC $45 million if ACC Network not in place by July: "I’m not going to comment on that"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 12, 2016
So, yeah, not a lot doin' here. The ACC got to the table too late on this one, it seems. Meanwhile the Big Ten and SEC are printing a whole lot of money with their networks. (The Pac-12, not so much.)
In some actual news, Swofford announced that the ACC is moving to a "collaborative" replay review process for the 2016 football season and beyond. So instead of individual replay crews at each ACC venue, they'll have one team working from Greensboro.
ACC will use a replay command center in 2016 season. Every season, every game.— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) May 12, 2016
"Collaborative replay" is the term ACC is using in replay change. Not "centralized." Will be 1-4 people back in Greensboro watching.— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) May 12, 2016
Collaborative replay staff will be able to handle eight games simultaneously.— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) May 12, 2016
Several professional sports leagues (NHL, MLB, NFL) have gone to this model.
Swoff on college football satellite camps:
Swofford said ACC will allow members to do camps: "We still think it's a bad idea. But we're not going to put our people at a disadvantage."— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) May 12, 2016
A satellite camp, if you are not familiar, is basically an exploited loophole in the NCAA rulebook. Here's an explainer from last April, by ESPN's Mitch Sherman:
Satellite camps simply allow college coaches to travel long distances to work as guests at camps hosted by other institutions. For instance, Penn State coaches last year were invited to attend camps at Stetson and Georgia State as instructors. Michigan is making stops this year at high schools and small colleges in the South, California and Detroit. Nebraska plans to take its staff to a camp at Georgia State in June.
This has been a controversial development for obvious recruiting-based reasons. The SEC at one point helped to get them banned, but that ban was rescinded shortly thereafter.
NC State is participating in two satellite camps this June: one at Florida Atlantic, and the other at Georgia State.
And finally, the odious issue of North Carolina's House Bill 2, a stupid piece of legislation pushed through by stupid and shitty humans that has cost the state millions of dollars while delivering a big steaming heap of national embarrassment.
The ACC produced a tepid statement on the legislation, and that's about it for now.
Swofford on if the ACC is going to put pressure on politicians over the NC law: "No, not really. We're going to do what we think is best."— Craig Meyer (@CraigMeyerPG) May 12, 2016
No discussion about pulling ACC currently contracted championships/events out of N.C. due to HB2, Swofford says.— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) May 12, 2016
So the ACC, at least for now, is unlikely to threaten to pull out any of its scheduled events from North Carolina.
(My apologies for gettin' some politics all up in the sports.)