John Swofford is the lame duck Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner.
What we didn't anticipate is that he would be an invisible one.
But that is what is happening this week as a pair of ACC schools, Florida State and Clemson, are involved in a public off-the field feud about the postponement of last week's Clemson at FSU football game.
The gist of the dispute is as follows.
Last Monday, a back-up offensive lineman from Clemson showed symptoms of COVID-19. He was excused from practice and then tested regularly for the remainder of the week—all of which came back negative.
Before the Tigers left for their game at FSU on Friday, the players were again tested, including the back-up offensive lineman, who then flew to FSU with his teammates.
On Saturday morning, results revealed that the offensive lineman had tested positive. Clemson officials immediately sent the player back to Clemson and were prepared to play the game against FSU, which was scheduled to start at noon.
Not so fast said FSU medical officials, who were worried about infecting not only other Clemson players, but FSU players.
We can't play the game--at least not this weekend.
Clemson, which has been idle since its loss to Notre Dame and had spent $300,000 in travel costs was irate, especially Coach Dabo Swinney who went on a rant that went far beyond COVID-19 issues.
Swinney basically said that FSU's decision had little do with COVID-issues.
He had a chance to back off each of the next three days and didn't.
Instead, he amped up the attack on FSU even further.
Which leaves the ACC and outgoing commissioner Swofford with an additional problem beyond keeping the regular season going.
Thus far, there have only been the noise of crickets coming from the ACC offices.
Which is and should be unacceptable to the membership.
So let's make it easy.
This is what the ACC office should do ASAP.
Call Clemson and tell Swinney to SHUT UP.
Tell FSU officials the same thing.
No more comments about the game, with any future comments directed to the ACC office.
Make the announcement that the game WILL be played on Dec. 12 at FSU. Compensation to Clemson for the additional trip to FSU will be worked out at a later date.
What happened at FSU last weekend was unfortunate. Both sides made valid arguments, which deserved consideration.
But any public sniping was not acceptable and would not be tolerated, with the penalty of massive fines for any future public discussion.
This college football season has been difficult enough for everyone involved.
It requires patience and understanding.
It also requires leadership, which has been sadly missing from the ACC office in this matter.