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July 24, 2011
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Pinehurst, N.C. (theACC.com) - The 2011 ACC Football Kickoff started today at the Pinehurst Resort in Pinehurst, N.C. The 36-hour event launched with the ACC Commissioner's Football Forum.
To start things off, ACC Commissioner John Swofford commented on the final NACDA standings for the 2010-2011 season, noting that the ACC was the only conference to have four schools to finish in the Top 10 and one of only three conferences with all of its member schools in the Top 75. He also noted that 51 ACC athletic teams finished in the Top 10 nationally of their respective sports.
Swofford remarked the incredible academic success of the ACC member institutions as every school earned at least one NCAA Academic Performance Public Recognition Award. He stated the continued improvement with regards to the average APR scores for all ACC teams and how 194 of the 255 total ACC teams (76%) recorded scores of over 970. He also noted that ACC head football coaches lead the nation in their composite APR.
In addition to Atlantic Coast Conference news, Swofford shared his views as they relate to the national landscape of college athletics. He touched on cost of attendance, national compliance issues, commercialism and the value of athletics to universities.
The football comments began by Swofford summarizing the success of last season in the final USA Today Coaches and Associated Press Polls, where the ACC posted four teams in each (Virginia Tech, Florida State, Maryland, North Carolina State), as well as the success of Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game in Charlotte and the ACC sending nine teams to bowl games. The ACC is the second leading conference since 2005 in bowl game appearances with 50.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Swofford welcomed two new coaches to the conference in Maryland’s Randy Edsall and Miami’s Al Golden. He noted the tremendous nonconference schedule as ACC teams will play 10 games against teams projected by ESPN.com to be in the preseason Top 25 and 23 games against bowl teams from last season. He stated that the 7th Annual Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game will be played again in Charlotte on Dec. 3 at 8:00 p.m. on ESPN.
Swofford addressed the ACC and ESPN 12-year multimedia rights agreement that took effect on July 1 which will provide unprecedented branding opportunities, more than double the television revenue to ACC institutions and provide more regional and national ACC content than any point in our history as close to 5,000 events will be aired during the course of the contract.
Another focus was the digital media platforms that are being finalized in an effort to provide ACC fans with expanded coverage of ACC content 24/7 through mobile platforms including applications for the iPhone, iPad and Android and an enhanced video platform on theACC.com, allowing it to operate more effectively across all fans portals and devices. The ACC Video Vault will also showcase football and be available at the beginning of the season.
Swofford emphasized that every ACC-controlled football game will be broadcast as part of the ACC and ESPN agreement. The ACC will play in five Thursday night primetime games as well as one on Labor Day Monday. There will be no more than 15 games broadcast exclusively on ESPN3.com and there will no longer be any contractual limitations to the over the air syndication territory. The over the air syndicated games will be branded as the ACC Network and are guaranteed at least 14 games this year with new start times of 12:30 p.m. There will also be 14 games via cable syndication with our regional partners in FOX Sports South and FOX Sports Florida. ACC Blitz, a new 30-minute pregame show will air prior to every ACC Network game.
The ACC Football Kickoff is held annually and showcases both student-athletes and coaches as the starting point for a new football season.