FSU mulls ACC exit due to profits circulation

  • Andrea Adelson, ESPN

    • Senior WriterAug 2, 2023, 04:31 PM ET Close ACC press reporter.
    • Signed up with ESPN.com in 2010.
    • Graduate of the University of Florida.TALLAHASSEE, Fla.– Florida State President

      Richard McCullough informed his board of trustees during a meeting Wednesday that the university would need to”very seriously”think about leaving the ACC unless there is a transformation to the conference’s income distribution model.McCullough addressed the board to offer an upgrade on where Florida State stands after a

      year spent checking out alternatives about what the future keeps in the wake of conference adjustment and big money television agreements in the Big 10 and SEC. The relocations remain in line to put ACC schools$30 million behind per year from a TV profits circulation standpoint.The ACC recently altered its revenue circulation design to reward success on the field in football and basketball. However Florida State has likewise pushed for altering the model to reward programs that create greater tv revenue and marketability, areas where FSU thinks it has a benefit.” Our goal would be to continue to stay in the ACC, but remaining in the ACC under the current circumstance is difficult for us to figure out how we remain competitive unless there were a major modification in the profits circulation within the conference,”McCullough said.”That has actually not taken place. Those discussions are continuous at all times.Editor’s Picks

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    “FSU assists to drive worth and will drive worth for any partner, however we have spent a year trying to understand how we may fix the problem. There are no simple repairs to this challenge, but a group people have actually invested literally a year. We have actually checked out every possible choice that you can picture. The issue at hand is what can we do to allow ourselves to be competitive in football and get what I think is the earnings we should have?

    “This continues to be a really tough concern. There’s a lot going on in the world of conference adjustment. My existing evaluation of the situation after extremely deep analysis is I believe FSU will need to at some time think about really seriously leaving the ACC unless there were a transformation to the revenue distribution.”

    McCullough echoed those thoughts in a separate interview with ESPN before the meeting started. “I’m not that positive that we’ll have the ability to stay,” he said in that interview.

    “At some point, we’re going to need to do something,” McCullough said. “I’m not that positive that we’ll be able to remain. I simply do not know that. It might happen, however something drastically various is going to need to happen. All options remain on the table.”

    The ACC ranks 3rd in profits behind the Big 10 and SEC, and those projections are not expected to alter with a recently expanded Big 12. The conference likewise has a tv agreement with ESPN that runs through 2036.

    To leave the league, Florida State would have to pay a $120 million exit charge and go to court to challenge the existing grant of rights, which offers the ACC media rights for its member schools through the length of the contract.No school has

    gone to court yet to challenge the grant of rights, which exists in every Power 5 conference. Florida State, in addition to other schools in the ACC, has studied the agreement language in the grant of rights for more a year.In an interview with ESPN earlier Wednesday, Florida State athletic director Michael Alford stated, “We have a fantastic understanding of what chances there remain in that file. How that file might hold us back, but likewise what the opportunities are. So this is going to be a conversation. We’ll keep getting legal guidance. Our legal group has a good understanding of that file.”

    When requested for a timeline on when Florida State might act, McCullough informed ESPN that falling $30 million behind annually is “not a sustainable position for us. The timing for us to do something radical is not known, but it’s not 2036.”

    The ACC decreased to comment Wednesday on Florida State. Just last week during the ACC Football Kickoff event, league commissioner Jim Phillips stated, “I’m well aware of the narrative and stories surrounding the ACC and our members as well as the frustrations of some of our schools on our financials. However these are not new. The bottom line is our conference is strong and I’m very bullish about our future together.”

    Much might be riding on the success of the Florida State football group, which won 10 games in 2022 for the very first time in six years. The Seminoles last won a championship game in 2013, but due to the fact that its brand name, marketability and scores remain high within the conference, the school believes it is worthy of to be paid on par with those in the SEC and Big Ten.After McCullough made his remarks to the board, the trustees agreed that Florida State had to act prior to the existing ACC agreement with ESPN ends. But there was no conversation about what the school would need to do to act.Former Florida State quarterback Drew Weatherford, who serves on the board, said,”Do we wish to play games moving forward, or do we wish to compete? I’ve considered this a lot as an ex-player, as now board of trustee member, and the simple reality is the cost of dipping into the greatest level is exceeding the ACC’s capability to contend on a regular basis.”Trustee Justin Roth put it this way:”Remaining in this conference for the next 13 years and attempting to wait on that perfect alignment of the stars is the equivalent of a death by 1,000 cuts and each cut is a $30 million cut over the next 13 years.”

    Board chair Peter Collins, who told Warchant.com on Tuesday the grant of rights “will not be the document that keeps us from doing something about it,” informed trustees they would hear again from Alford and McCullough soon on a strategy progressing.

    “We have actually got to fight for ourselves,” Collins informed the board. “When the space gets that big, it’s insurmountable.”

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