CHARLOTTE – Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Johns Swofford is concerned about the integrity of college basketball after hearing all the news that has come out of New York during the College Basketball Corruption Trial in New York.
Swofford says the NCAA cannot ignore what has been said in the trail or the testimonies that have been given.
“I don’t think that what has come up can be ignored in any way, shape or form,” he said Wednesday during the ACC Basketball Operation event at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte. “So, yes, I think there does need to be some action and I’m sure there will be.
“I think it’s premature to know exactly what that will be. We’re in a transition, obviously, at the NCAA, in terms of how major cases will be addressed and how — I don’t know how the NCAA, for instance, Luke, will use court testimony in terms of its processes.”
Swofford believes the corruption trial puts an interesting and healthy test in front of the NCAA, especially with the transition and new approach the sport is trying to take from the Rice Commission.
“I think that’s probably a good thing,” he said.
Clemson head coach Brad Brownell was very outspoken a few weeks back at his media golf outing and felt the FBI Investigation into the sport and the corruption trial has not changed things in the sport. Several other coaches have agreed with him and said the game still needs to be cleaned up.
However, other coaches said they were dumbfounded and surprised at some of the comments and that’s not the world they’re familiar with.
Swofford feels there is a silver lining to all of this. It fully exposes a subculture that diminishes college basketball and raises the awareness of it, heightens the sensitivity to it and the need to dig deeper into it.
“Find out what it is and correct it as best as we can correct it,” he said. “You can change systems, change processes all you want. And you need to. And obviously we are collectively in college basketball doing that maybe in a way that it’s never been done before coming out of the Rice Commission. And I think that’s really appropriate.
“But, what I don’t think we’re all talking enough about is individual integrity and accountability. You can have the best rules and everything and the best system and the best process. And if people still don’t understand you play by the rules, then it seems to me that’s where you have to attack it because ultimately it gets down to individuals making deceivious decisions, bad decisions, inappropriate decisions, that undermine those that are in the game that do it well and do it the right way and do it with within the rules.”