While it didn’t have quite the publicity that last week’s SEC Media Days did, having been broadcast in its entirety on ESPNU, the ACC‘s version did begin on Sunday in Greensboro, NC. Seen throughout the day on the ACC Digital Network, we were all treated to two, well-spoken members of each program fielding questions from the football-hungry media to fuel the slightly football-hungrier fans. There were well-known names such as Clemson‘s Tajh Boyd and Virginia Tech‘s Logan Thomas, while at the same time many were introduced to lesser-known athletes such as Virginia‘s Morgan Moses and NC State‘s Dontae Johnson.
But that is exactly what this event is for. It introduces us to some young athletes that we can keep and eye on going forward, while at the same time give us a bit of insight on progress and outlook for the players that are already household names.
All of the representatives of each team, in my opinion, did a fantastic job with their media responsibilities today. Whether it was Duke QB Anthony Boone giving everyone a laugh by notifying us all that head coach David Cutcliffe really likes his “swagger” or Boyd committing the ultimate act of college football blasphemy by saying that he isn’t afraid of South Carolina‘s resident freak-of-nature Jadeveon Clowney, they all gave us just enough to quench our undying thirst for the college football season to finally begin.
Of all though, I was very impressed with Miami‘s player reps, QB Stephen Morris and DL Shayon Green. Both were very studious young men up at the podium, but they may have had the toughest job of anyone today.
While a lot is expected of the Hurricanes on the field this year with 19 starters returning, we all knew that the inevitable off-the-field question would unnecessarily be thrown their way. I say unnecessarily because I was never a huge proponent of questions surrounding a scandal such as the Nevin Shapiro one the ‘Canes are currently fighting being thrown on the laps of players. To me, those should be saved for head coach Al Golden during tomorrow’s sessions.
Nevertheless, the questions were handled well by both players, with Morris even admitting that the announcement of the sanctions played a huge part in their poor performance last season against Boston College.
Of all the positives today, however, there was one negative that caught my eye. And, it wasn’t even something that was directly spoken from Commissioner John Swofford in his proverbial “State of the ACC” address to start the day. Rather, it was the order in which he spoke those words.
Before the sport of football was even mentioned, Swofford made it a point to tout the tremendous academic record of the conference as well as how they are shaping up to have possibly the most powerful basketball conference on the nation.
Wait, did you catch that? Yes, he mentioned the sport of basketball before we were even treated to any football conversation. For those like me that did catch it, he didn’t exactly do anything to silence his critics who are firm believers that this recent expansion was nothing more than a basketball move. If he had snuck in some hardwood talk later on in his address, that would have been perfectly relevant. But to mention it before anything football related was a bad move by our beloved commish.
All-in-all today was an exciting first day with the players and tomorrow it will be the coaches turn.
I know, personally, that I will be happy if I can just her new BC head coach Steve Addazio say “Be A Dude!” just once.
Jack is the ACC College Football Writer for Rant Sports. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackJ14RS