CRAWFORD | ACC's Swofford talks U of L hoops lawsuit
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Speaking to reporters at the annual Atlantic Coast Conference Football Kickoff event in Charlotte, N.C., commissioner John Swofford responded to a question about five former University of Louisville basketball players suing the NCAA to get their 2013 national title back.
Saying he wasn’t familiar with their suit in detail, Swofford did call the suit “interesting.”
“That's kind of a no-win for me to weigh in on that,” he said. “. . . I've never seen that before, so it is certainly creative. And I do understand players that had nothing to do with the problem being negatively impacted by association. I get that. I don't know if the lawsuit is the solution to that.”
Nonetheless, Swofford said, “I’ve never been a real fan of vacating championships,” because it strains credulity to ask people to believe that something that everyone watched never happened.
“It did happen, and somebody won and somebody lost,” Swofford said. “You know, if somebody won dishonorably, I'm all for pursuing that, but I'm not sure that taking down a banner really helps anything a whole lot. I'm sure there are those who would disagree with me on that, but there's certain aspects of the suit that sort of touch on some things that I felt in the past in terms of finding the individuals who caused the problem and dealing with those individuals as opposed to an entire university and ultimately players and coaches who had nothing to do with the problem to begin with.”
Swofford said he’s long been in favor of renovating the entire NCAA punishment process.
“Just in terms of NCAA sanctions, the whole idea of so negatively impacting an entire university or an entire team with penalties, and oftentimes it's after the fact with players that didn't even have anything to do with it and coaches that didn't have anything to do with it -- I've said for years, surely we can find a better way,” Swofford said. “And if there is more concentration on the individuals involved when it can be proven, that's where I think it should be.”
The ACC’s annual football media day began Wednesday in Charlotte. WDRB’s Rick Bozich and Tom Lane will be at the event for the Atlantic Division teams, including Louisville, on Thursday.
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