The ACC can recover from the Miami Duke officiating mess and the apparent ACC Network Delay PR hits. Here’s how.


It’s been a rough week for the ACC. From the apparent ACC Network delay to the officiating controversy at the end of Miami Duke game.  That’s a lot of bad PR for the conference in a very short period of time. I’ve always thought the ACC struggled with PR, so I’m going to help them out. Here’s how the ACC can turn an ugly week into something positive.

1. Root like heck that Clemson makes the playoff. Florida State is also acceptable, but their path is much more difficult. Nothing makes you forget bad conference PR, like a team contending for the college football national title.

Ok that’s nice, but let’s stick with what the ACC can control.

2. I’m going to start with the officiating. The ACC in their official statement suspended the officiating crew from the Miami\Duke for 2 games, and John Swofford had this to say.

“The quality of our officiating program is of the highest importance to the league and its schools, and the last play of the game was not handled appropriately,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. “Officiating is an extraordinarily difficult job but our players, coaches, programs and fans deserve the best that can be offered. We will continue to strive to meet that standard.”

Not bad, but not good enough. National media were making calls for the game result to be reversed, Miami to forfeit the game, and/or the crew to be banned for life. All pretty much ridiculous. Here is what the ACC can do. Take the lead in officiating reform at the conference and national level.

College football has a problem, because there is bad officiating across the country. Replay almost seems useless. It wasn’t just the final play, replay couldn’t find a conclusive goal-line angle on the previous drive when Duke scored a TD.

The ACC has an annual officiating clinic. In the next one, the ACC needs more transparency. A plan released to public should reveal how improvements are going to be made. Take this plan national. I would like to see unified standards at the Power 5 level for officiating and replays.

The ACC likes to work in the dark. Those days are gone. We need to know how improvements are going to be made. You’re going to see this theme of transparency again when I discuss the ACC Network.

3. @DavidTeelDP has already recommend John Swofford make some definitive statements regarding the ACC Network. Teel is correct,  Sorry Mr. Swofford we were all patient with your secretive ACC Network negotiations, and frankly it blew up in the ACC’s face.

It’s time for transparency on this topic as well. While not every fact will be known about an ACC Network, it is past time now to reveal where things truly stand. If network isn’t coming what is the plan?

We don’t need the Ninja Swofford we need an in your face Samurai Swofford, that touts a plan that will reassure member schools and fans that there is a plan in place for future revenue generation. The ACC needs to stay ahead of the narrative that ACC schools are getting restless. Undoubtedly this narrative will form if the conference stays quiet on the matter.

Transparency in officiating and Transparency on the ACC Network. Two messes in less than a week. Here’s your chance ACC be proactive in these situations rather than reactive. People are patient, and can accept mistakes if they know there is a plan to correct them.

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