League officials from the Atlantic Coast Conference are in Amelia Island, F.L. now through May 12 for meetings to discuss many hot topics in college sports. Kicking off the meetings was ACC Commissioner John Swofford, who spoke publicly Monday with ACC Digital Network's Jeff Fischel about the various topics that will be covered in the meetings.
The biggest item that Swofford discussed was the passing of a controversial bill in North Carolina. The state recently passed House Bill 2 (HB2), which mandates that transgender individuals must use public restrooms that correspond to the sex listed on their birth certificate. The bill has become relevant in sport due institutions such as the NCAA and NBA stating their intentions to avoid hosting events in the state, because of the discriminatory nature its language. The ACC, which is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., released a statement after the bill was signed to affirm their commitment to equality and diversity.
When asked about HB2, Swofford stated that the executive committee of the ACC held a conference call about the issue on May 6, and that the topic will be discussed at the Florida meetings this week. He drew reference to the NCAA's position on the subject and said that he believes most of the conference is in line with that position. However, Swofford was hesitant to directly link the bill to the selection of conference championship locations. When asked if the bill will affect championship sites, many of which are frequently in North Carolina, Swofford said "I don't know the answer to that yet necessarily." Swofford mentioned that the "fairness, inclusiveness, and non-discriminatory practices" at a venue or city will be taken into account when the league considers sites for events.
Another item that Swofford addressed was the league's future on television. Swofford got right to the point, stating that those discussions will continue to be behind closed doors for now and he asked fans to remain patient while those talks occur. ACC Network talks have been heating up of late, pushing the conversation to the top of league supporters' minds amidst a lengthy offseason.
In regards to the potential conference realignment in the Big 12, Swofford stated that he doesn't see this affecting other power five conferences, and affirmed that the ACC has no plans to change members currently.
Other issues that will be discussed throughout the week include student-athlete focused matters such as safety concerns and time-demanding schedules, satellite camps, and the College Football Playoff. Plenty more to come this week.