GoJackets.com – What was the agenda for the ACC meeting?
DRad – “We didn’t formally discuss the FSU matter but there was a lot of informal discussion. We talked about assimilating 2 more teams into the basketball tournament and we talked about the football schedule. John updated us on the bowl championship series and some NCAA changes as it relates to issues like academic redshirts. We also meet with the football coaches and the men’s and women’s basketball coaches to address their questions.”
GoJackets.com – Did the football coaches air their feels about the playoff system?
DRad – “The coaches are not a unanimous group. It was very clear they wanted access to that championship. They were on the bandwagon for conference champions to qualify.”
GoJackets.com – What is an academic redshirt?
DRad – “It doesn’t happen until 2016. If a student athlete doesn’t make a certain GPA or SAT score, they can take an academic redshirt to assimilate into college.”
GoJackets.com – What are your thoughts on the new contract with ESPN?
DRad – “I’m pleased with it. June of 2012 will be the end of the first year of the contract. That was a 12 year contract. This is a 15 year contract for all 14 teams. The 4 million dollar figure comes from the average dollar per school. The incremental increase over the next 3 years is somewhere in the neighborhood of a million to a million five for each existing school. The ACC looked at it the right way. Our partner had no need to renegotiate the contract but with the increased inventory with the new schools they wanted to look into the contract and make an adjustment. The new contract has 2 look-ins after year 5 and year 10 of the contract. There could be escalators at those times.”
Gojackets.com – How does this affect your budget?
DRad – “We had understood where this contract might go. We took a piece of this into our 5 year budget. There is no effect in this year’s budget. In next year’s budget, we’ll get a small bump. As we move out with our 5 year projection, we’ll see a nice bump.”
GoJackets.com – How will the 9 game schedule affect us?
DRad – “Clemson will still be the permanent crossover. We will then rotate through the others. The final schedules are ticketed for the October meetings as we’re not sure if Pitt and Syracuse will come into the conference in 2013. They’ve both filed lawsuits. We anticipate those will be settled and we’ll have Pitt and Syracuse in the league."
GoJackets.com – What is your sense about how the current teams feel about playing in the ACC?
DRad – “After the meeting there was solidarity among the AD’s. We want to make the ACC the best conference we can make it. FSU is very happy with the ACC. While they have been the spotlight, they are solid as are the other members of the league. The presidents have put in place a significant fee to leave the league because they were solid about staying in the ACC. We left there no more divided than when we came there.”
GoJackets.com – Does the conference continue to explore adding new members?
DRad – “The conference continues to maintain an expansion committee but it’s in a dormant stage right now. If there was anything of substance, they would pull the committee back together if they feel there are schools with interest that would be a fit for the conference.”
GoJackets.com – How would the dynamics of Notre Dame going to a conference affect the ACC?
DRad – “It depends on which conference they go to. While a lot of folks would chatter about that, I’m not sure how valid that is. They have time left on their TV contract. Having access to a conference playoff system may be a stimulus. I have not heard that they are looking at one conference more than another. There’s pros and cons for every conference.”
GoJackets.com – Is there anything that would cause you to look at another conference?
DRad – “No.”
GoJackets.com – How are the ticket sales for football?
DRad – “We’re tracking in the same general area as we had in previous years. The addition of Rick Thorpe is bringing some new interest and energy to marketing those tickets. We hope the fans understand that we lowered the price. We’ve done the same thing with the McCamish Pavilion. We have to make sure we gather enough revenue. Our football ticket sales are solid. Next week will be just for the Golden Jacket people to find their place in McCamish. The season ticket holders will begin their selection Wednesday May 30th. We’ve made it as easy as we can and as interactive as we can. There is not going to be a bad seat in the house.”
GoJackets.com – Are they on schedule to complete the Pavilion?
DRad – “Yes.”
GoJackets.com – Now that the demolition of the tennis center has begun, what is the schedule for completion?
DRad – “The schedule is to move in by January of 2013. They’ve started the demolition and they’re doing the preliminary work they need to do. The work they’ve done will allow them to be on schedule.”
GoJackets.com – Will there be any changes to the game day experience this football season?
DRad – “The spring game taught us a lot. The fact that we could have an external band for the people to enjoy will be something we’ll continue to try and tweak. This will be under Rick Thorpe.”