Swofford, ACC should get more involved with domestic violence issues

ACC commissioner John Swofford makes remarks during the ACC NCAA college football kickoff in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP photo)

ACC commissioner John Swofford makes remarks during the ACC NCAA college football kickoff in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP photo)

ACC commissioner John Swofford makes remarks during the ACC NCAA college football kickoff in Pinehurst, N.C. (AP photo)

Despite the backdrop of two incidents of alleged domestic violence against women by Florida State football players, ACC commissioner John Swofford said Monday he didn’t feel the need to act like “Big Brother” and will continue to allow each school to handle cases individually.

“The league traditionally does not get involved in suspensions not related to athletics,” Swofford said Monday.

The league might want to consider opening its eyes and widening its views on some things. The SEC recently passed a rule that prohibits member schools from accepting a transfer with a history of domestic violence. It’s an unfortunate needed step in today’s world.

Florida State had two players arrested and charged with battery against women on consecutive days last month. Running back Dalvin Cook allegedly punched a woman in the face several times on a bar on June 23 and has been suspended indefinitely, pending an investigation. Cooks denies the charges. Quarterback De’Andre Johnson punched a woman in a Tallahassee club and also been charged. He was kicked off the team. One obvious difference in the two cases: There was surveillance video of the incident and it went viral on the internet.

This comes after former Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston was frequently in the news for the wrong reasons, including an alleged sexual assault incident. The Tallahassee police department never filed charges.

Swofford said the ACC remains comfortable allowing schools to police themselves in these situations. “We’ve got a lot of confidence in our presidents and athletic directors that they will deal with our situations individually. … Where our conference steps in is not in off-the-field issues. Those are issues out of context with the ACC policy.  Our institutions have very appropriate mechanisms on their own campuses to address those situation. If I felt that weren’t the case, I’d pick up the phone and have a conversation.”

The recent incidents at Florida State prompted president John Thrasher to address the team’s players about conduct. Swofford said following Monday’s news conference that he believes Thrasher has taken the right steps to remedy the situation.

“I called president Thrasher — I actually talked to him as he was riding over to address the team,” Swofford said. “I thought his statement was very good, very strong … and I told president Thrasher I appreciate the leadership that you’re showing and applaud you talking directly to the team.

“It’s not what you want to read from any of your schools. Young people are going to make some mistakes and you hope they’re not of the magnitude that has huge ramifications for them or their program. But when these situations take place, what’s important to me and this league is that the institutions deal with them when they happen.”

When asked if he concerned because FSU is such high-profile conference member, Swofford said, “It’s going to be concerning for me wherever that occurs. Whether it’s a high-profile program or one with a little lower profile, it’s not what you want.”

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40 comments
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Zapp
Zapp

Swofford is a left over commissioner who protects basketball in North Carolina.  The next commissioner should have no ties to anything there.  Only then will the ACC become a true competitive conference in football.  Last year it was FSU and GATech as the only competitive teams in the conference.  It seems on any year, there are only two teams with top 15 potential in the league.  Hopefully in the near future, there will be four or five.

GTBob
GTBob

@Zapp The ACC is already a truly competitive conference in football. 2 top 10 teams. 4 top 25 teams. OOC wins over Ohio St, USC, Miss St, UGA, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St and Florida. The notion that the ACC is not competitive is complete hogwash that the mindless zombies keep trotting out there no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary

Birmingham__Jacket
Birmingham__Jacket

@Zapp

Well said.  Get rid of the Carolina teams and the ACC is a decent conference.  But all those guys in various shades of Blue care about is basketball; which is why GT should have gone to the B1G when we had a chance.  Outside a couple of random years here and there, the ACC is a terrible football conference.

GTBob
GTBob

@Birmingham__Jacket Whatever you say bigmac. You could easily look at the Big 10 and say the exact same thing about Purdue, Illinois, and Indiana.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

"The SEC recently passed a rule that prohibits member schools from accepting a transfer with a history of domestic violence."


Isn't the rule actually a prohibition on accepting a transfer from another member institution a player with a history of domestic abuse?   It's not actually a blanket prohibition, if I understand the rule correctly.

Likewise
Likewise

Slow day at the news desk.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

I agree.  ACC, (Athens-Clarke County, that is), should get more involved in domestic violence issues.  Jonathon Taylor was simply following the trail that Sanders commings blazed at uga.  Only difference was that Commings, even though he was charged, was allowed to remain with the team.  

leefrommeeks
leefrommeeks

This is funny that an SEC,UGA, writer would be complaining about anything to do with the law. North Carolina should join SEC they would be right at home.

colt07
colt07

@leefrommeeks I agree. Schultz should just keep to making his inane comments about the Braves and Falcons and let the adults comment on issues of significance. Learn what domestic violence is before commenting on it!

Cornmeal
Cornmeal

Neither of these cases is domestic violence domestic violence is one where they have had a relationship not strangers at a bar also lets not convict the one without some investigation like the duke lacrosse team

flagarantfoul
flagarantfoul

@Cornmeal Correct. Not DV. There was an investigation. Cook was arrested. 

Fsu won't kick him off because there was no video! That's what it's come to in athletics. Same thing at oklahoma. But a dumb kid sings some racist song and he's expelled but you beat a woman and play football and you miss some games. Nice.

TheCarnivore
TheCarnivore

That is the job of the NCAA, not the SEC.  If you are going to give scholarships to these animals, you better be ready for some consequences.

AtlantaTruth
AtlantaTruth

Who cares what the SEC does ?    Stay out of the ACC's business.    Law enforcement and courts handle these crimes.  It's quite simple.    Move on.

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ImaNitwit
ImaNitwit

I am in favor of domestic violence. Most chicks enjoy a slap or two every now and then. Keeps em in their place....the kitchen and bedroom.

kenstallings
kenstallings

I thought law enforcement was the role of police and courts.  I remember that domestic violence is a crime, and can be either a felony or a misdemeanor.  Yep, just confirmed that is the case.  So, why then would a college sports conference get involved?  


I find the focus of the media in America today quite outrageous.  Things that don't matter get elevated to important.  The focus on how serious we take domestic violence belongs entirely with the criminal justice system.

poorboy
poorboy

@kenstallings  The media doesn't have anything else to do but slant the story to fit their drivel.  It's what they do.  Then it gets perpetuated as "ironic" truth. Organizations like the ACC and SEC want to remain relevant. So, they "make a statement"...what ever.  It's easy to hate domestic violence.  Truth is, this is a matter of law for the police and court system.  If a student athlete offends, kick him off the program.  It's that simple. 

emily16
emily16

I think Schultz is barking up the wrong tree. Neither of these incidents should be considered Domestic Violence if you look up the legal definition of Domestic Violence which is posted below. The guy at UGA last year was Domestic Violence. I'm a SEC fan so calm down SEC people.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence is a violent confrontation between family or household members involving physical harm, sexual assault, or fear of physical harm. Family or household members include spouses / former spouses, those in (or formerly in) a dating relationship, adults related by blood or marriage, and those who have a biological or legal parent-child relationship.

Tech1986
Tech1986

Is this the same guy who has not pressed the issue with UNC and the academic scandal? As long as he's in charge UNC is in the clear. And I know it's and NCAA investigation, but he can do more.

PaulinNH
PaulinNH

@Tech1986 

Yep - that's the guy.  Almost makes you wonder where he was AD before becoming commish

MaybeMaybeNot
MaybeMaybeNot

Jeff, it seems as if the "new rule" from the SEC has prompted you to sorta compare the conferences, as the SEC takes action against this and the ACC does not.  


Can you give a specific example of an ACC player kicked off of an ACC school for domestic violence and another ACC school accepted that player as a transfer?  It happened in the SEC not just with domestic violence, but every UGA player who got in trouble with the law ends up at either LSU, Alabama, or Auburn. 


Again, name ACC players who have bounced from one ACC program to another after getting in trouble with the law. The SEC needed a new rule because, well, without one, things were getting out of hand.  

twelveofthirteen
twelveofthirteen

Should FSU really be in the ACC anyway? Off the field issues do not match up to the rest of the conference but neither does their on the field play and results.

MoCool
MoCool

the backup QB gets kicked off the team--the starting RB will get suspended a couple of games---jimbo's using the bowden model!! it works!!!

The_Real_KJ
The_Real_KJ

@ClubShack Exactly; had Rapeis been a 3rd stringer rather than the key to a national championship run, there's no way in hell he would have lasted through vandalism, theft, etc.

GTBob
GTBob

@ClubShack The guy was their QB of the future. Imagine UGA kicking Jacob Eason off the team next year.

GeorgeStein
GeorgeStein

More centralized management is not what this issue needs.

jschultz
jschultz moderator

Well, I know ACC has done at least one less thing than SEC.

GTBob
GTBob

@jschultz I don't think any other conference has done it because none of them feel the need to. Can you give some examples of problems the ACC has had with players being dismissed because of domestic violence and then transferring to other ACC schools? If the ACC created this rule it would be solely for PR purposes, not because there is any apparent need.

AugustaJacket
AugustaJacket

@jschultz They have done a LOT less than the SEC, which is why they don't need to regulate the way the SEC does.  There's a reason why the Fulmer Cup challengers every year are predominantly SEC institutions...

GTBob
GTBob

Those two young men at FSU committed crimes. One has been kicked off the team, the other has been suspended indefinitely pending further information. What exactly would you like for the ACC to do on top of that?

flagarantfoul
flagarantfoul

@GTBob Why is one guy allowed to stay and another kicked off the team? Especially when the police report details a more violent incident than the qb one. The reason is Cook is the star RB. SO they will do everything to keep him on the team. It's a joke how he was admitting at first what happened and then got with an attorney and the players then all denied it.

GTBob
GTBob

@flagarantfoul The one who got kicked off the team had a video of him slugging a girl on the internet. We have no idea what facts are available in the Dalvin Cook case.

Bogan
Bogan

John Swofford is one of the most capable and best AD's college sports has ever known.