John Swofford confirmed that the conference is on track to launch the ACC Network, with ESPN in 2019.
“We are approaching the one year countdown” to launch, the commissioner said in his annual address to launch ACC Kickoff. He also unveiled the new network’s logo and brand.
Swofford also commented on some of the other issues facing the conference, including the Rice Report’s recommendations for changes to college basketball.
“I do think the vast majority of it, if not all of it, will be adopted. And I think it needs to be adopted,” Swofford said. “That doesn’t mean that I agree with every piece of it, but I think what we need to do right now with college basketball is to show a commitment to adopting those concepts. And they’ll be more than concepts when they’re adopted in August.”
He also commented on the penalties Louisville basketball received from the NCAA, including the vacating of the 2013 NCAA title.
“I’ve never been a real fan of vacating championships, quite honestly, in general, because it’s a little hard to act like, okay, that game never happened, because it did happen, and somebody won and somebody lost,” he said.
ACC coordinator of football officials Doug Hennigan discussed rules changes for the upcoming season:
On kickoffs, if a player signals for a fair catch–and that player makes the catch–inside the 25, the ball will be placed at the 25.
There is also a crackdown on blocks below the waist. All low blocks must be made from the front, except for offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage. Crack-back blocks will also be illegal.
There are also changes to help speed up the game. The 40-second playclock will now start immediately after kickoffs and touchdowns.
Players committing uniform violations will have to leave the field until they are in compliance with the rules.
One change with the potential for chaos: With less than a minute remaining in a half or the game, if a replay ruling determines that the clock shouldn’t have been stopped, (for instance, a pass was ruled complete instead of incomplete) there will be a 10-second runoff.
Duke media availability:
The Blue Devils hope to get back safety Jeremy McDuffie, who tore an ACL last November. His rehab is finished, and he’s participating in drills again.
“He’s a warrior. He’s ready to go,” said linebacker Joe Giles-Harris. “We’re glad to have him back. He’s a big time player for us, and I’m excited to see him back on the field with us. It’s been exciting.”
“He has worked diligently coming off that surgery,” coach David Cutcliffe said. “I can’t say enough about our people in physical therapy and the people in our training room. But he’s got to put the work in. He’s explosive right now. He looks really good. He’s healthy. I had a conversation with him yesterday, and I think he appreciates what he’s got in front of him more than ever because of what was taken away from him a year ago.”