State of ACC and adjustment: What’s next for Florida State
Andrea Adelson, ESPN
- Elder WriterAug 16, 2023, 10:00 AM ET Close ACC press reporter.
- Joined ESPN.com in 2010.
- Graduate of the University of Florida.ACC PRESIDENTS HAD
a meeting set up last Wednesday that had the prospective to affect the future of the league. As the hours ticked closer to the call, no one had a clear concept of what would take place, just that growth was on the table.One administrator thought the conversation about adding Cal and Stanford had gone on long enough, and the presidents had to vote. However the administrator confessed to having no concept whether a vote would in fact happen.What was particular was there were votes in favor of expansion(Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Louisville, Miami, Georgia Tech )and votes opposed(Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina) and swing votes in between. Another administrator believed enough of the 15 ballot presidents would swing to yes and get the needed 12 to authorize expansion.Once the call started, it ended up being clear that would not be the case.
No official vote was taken. In straw ballot, the fourth school opposed was NC State, according to multiple sources.An Aug. 15 deadline to depart the ACC for the 2024 season has actually reoccured. Growth discussions are now
“on life support.”After two weeks filled with near-constant drama, including Florida State president Richard McCullough stating the Seminoles would”extremely seriously think about”leaving the ACC, the league prepares to begin a new football season. Interviews with several ACC administrators and sources with a deep understanding of the conference’s problems exposed the inner functions of what took place (or did not take place)this month, and what follows. play 1:04 Finebaum: FSU is much better off leaving the ACC Paul Finebaum goes over why Florida State and other members of the ACC must look elsewhere.McCULLOUGH DID NOT make his remarks about Florida State’s future and what he hopes can be a”transformation”
to the ACC income distribution model to his board of trustees on Aug. 2 in a vacuum. At the time, the Pac-12
was on the verge of breaking down. Colorado had actually already announced its objectives to join the Big 12 beginning in 2024, and speculation centered around Arizona, Arizona State and Utah following suit. Speculation likewise swirled that Oregon and Washington might join the Big 10. McCullough’s reminder to the league about his program’s misery came as college sports based on the precipice of another round of radical conference realignment.Behind the scenes, however, the ACC was currently having conversations about attempting to add Cal, Stanford, Oregon and Washington– discussions that had actually been taking place for well over a year. In reality, Duke president Vincent Price (acting as ACC board chair)reached out to Washington president Ana Mari Cauce
last year to gauge interest in a collaboration. Cauce decreased, according to a source with knowledge of the discussions.McCullough knew this as he sat in front of his board of trustees. Once Colorado announced its future transfer to the Huge 12 on July 27, those Pac-12 conversations picked up once again however did not yield a deal.”I can not fathom how Colorado returning to a league they had already remained in somehow started all of this,”one ACC administrator said, calling it a” panic move”among presidents.Two days after McCullough spoke openly, the Big 10 added Oregon and Washington, however at an affordable share of media rights income– starting at around $30 million per school, per ESPN sources, compared to the roughly$ 60 million or more existing members would receive. At the time, no one knew whether the Big Ten would continue adding schools, so this supplied an opening for McCullough’s comments to be taken more seriously.But a source with knowledge of the conversations said the Huge 10 did not have serious conversations about adding Florida State, and its top priority stays Notre Dame.With Oregon and Washington headed to the Big 10, and Arizona, Arizona State and Utah officially joining the Huge 12, the Pac-12 had only four schools remaining. The ACC discussions about Cal and Stanford grew more major. From an outdoors point of view, there appeared to be few advantages, specifically for a league that required 2
things desperately: more profits and a boost to its football credibility. Neither school supplied that. Include travel to the West Coast for just two teams, and it made little sense.Except to the presidents.”Cal and Stanford were most likely from the presidents’perspective a much better target than anyone else in the Pac-12 even if of the scholastic track record, “one administrator stated. “The reality that Oregon and Washington left, OK that’s fine, however these are 2 pretty good brands, so how do we incorporate them into the league?”Editor’s Picks 2 Associated Amongst athletic directors, the preliminary conversations around Cal and Stanford did not yield much. However more discussion changed minds. Numerous administrators in favor of the move described it by doing this: longer-term security in
the occasion schools such as Florida State leave the conference. The Seminoles are not the only ones who have looked at their future and assessed the grant of rights, which provides the ACC control over house broadcasts and media profits through 2036. 6 other schools had discussions with Florida State about the grant of rights and charting a path forward: Clemson, Miami, Virginia, Virginia Tech,
North Carolina and NC State.If the ACC included Cal and Stanford, the new schools would also have to sign the grant of rights until 2036. The present ACC contract is the longest running amongst all the power conferences, and adding more schools would assist with stability. One administrator put it by doing this, “If I was the commissioner, I would be doing the specific same thing he is doing, aiming to add schools.”While more athletic directors moved in favor of adding teams, they were still not completely lined up with the presidents. Some asked why there was urgency. For more than a year they had talked about having more than 2 groups from the West Coast in order to get any offer done, however demurred.
Now they were OK with only 2? One administrator mentioned that lots of dominoes might fall, possibly beginning when the Big 10 television contract shows up after the 2029-30 season, and the Huge 12 deal is up the list below year. Why the rush?SMU entered the conversation as a way to help economically– bringing in the state of Texas has appeal not only from a tv household viewpoint however from a geographical viewpoint. Unlike with the Pac-12 schools, however, there is no rush on SMU, because as numerous administrators have actually said, it can be included at any time. SMU has actually been lobbying for a Power 5 welcome and hosted Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff on its school in February.So the conversation recently began to take shape around Cal and Stanford. As more Advertisements relocated that direction, the university presidents seemed to be coalescing around a”yes “vote. Notre Dame was, certainly, leading the charge. Although the Irish do not play football in the ACC, all their other sports– minus hockey in the Big 10– do, and therefore get a complete vote when it concerns growth. The ACC needs 12 out of 15 yes votes to expand, and the decision to include Cal and Stanford would be made by the presidents.Not only did the Irish like the concept of generating two elite academic schools with outstanding Olympic sports programs, one source noted there was likewise a football viewpoint to all this. There is a worry amongst college administrators that if Stanford gets excluded of a Power 5 conference, it would drop football to a non-FBS level. That, obviously, would affect the longstanding Notre Dame-Stanford football series, which has actually been played every year because 1988 (excluding the COVID year of 2020 ). Why was NC State not in favor of growth? The dynamics in the state of North Carolina offer a fascinating window into the North Carolina-NC State relationship. North Carolina is one of the most appealing schools in the nation to both the SEC and Big Ten, need to those conferences choose to broaden further.NC State holds power within the University of North Carolina System and the state legislature. Agreeing North Carolina basically indicates the Wolfpack believe their future is connected with UNC.So in the end, there was not enough assistance amongst the ACC presidents. Adding simply to include, with absolutely no financial benefit, did not make good sense to the four schools not in favor, according to several sources. Still, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips stated as just recently as July 27– the day Colorado left for the Huge 12– the league would continue to actively think about adding groups, with a focus on finding worth in any growth option.Adding groups in the realignment landscape provides advantages that could help the league’s survival. As one administrator in favor of the relocation said,”I have to constantly be believing,’How do I get f– ed?’You do not want to end up like Oregon State and Washington State.” Another source put it this way:”We’re at a point since of all these other carry on the chessboard that the repercussions and threats of not doing anything start to seem worse than the effects and dangers of doing something.” THOUGH THE subject is not completely closed, conversations have not moved forward since recently, and there are no presidents calls currently set up. The clock is ticking for both Cal and Stanford, who presently reside in a four-team Pac-12 for 2024. One source stated the window for the ACC to expand remains open.As for Florida State, the Aug. 15 deadline to leave the league by next year might have passed, but the Seminoles are still major about having their profits issues resolved. McCullough told his board of trustees 2 weeks ago”our goal would be to continue to remain in the ACC,”but something has to change with revenue.Any school wishing to leave the conference must contend with a$120 million exit fee plus the grant of rights, which has never ever been challenged in court. Florida State, like other schools in the league, has actually sent lawyers to study the contract language to much better comprehend the document.It should be noted the Aug. 15 due date was only to withdraw for 2024. Groups can still decide to leave at any time, but several sources have stated doing so might produce a protracted legal fight that could
take years to resolve.Those inside the league are paying attention. Without any vote on growth, and the continuing specter of Florida State perhaps leaving, there is at least some hope in Tallahassee that discussions about changing the television revenue distribution might begin again, according to sources with understanding
of the situation.There is considerable resistance among other ACC members, for apparent factors. Few schools want to take less tv money based upon scores and marketability. Florida State has promoted its viewership metrics– an average of 3.09 million viewers for regular-season games in 2014-21 to top the league– much to the chagrin of other schools.Wake Forest,
for example, has actually put in the time over the previous month to push back. In the current edition of the Wake Forest athletic director John Currie’s newsletter, he notes that given that August 2019, Wake Forest has been the fastest-growing brand name in the Power 5, with a 115 %development in
its fan base throughout that span. Get your preferred live sports, stories and originals with ESPN +, Disney+and Hulu.
Upgrade to a Disney Package strategy and begin streaming something for everyone today! Schools have actually privately questioned the brand and marketability data Florida State has promoted, including its assertion that if conference profits were gotten rid of, the Seminoles would rank No. 3 in the SEC and Big Ten in earnings generated.Florida State is not going to stop promoting
more cash. As Phillips has continually restated, generating more profits is at the top of his day-to-day order of business. The ACC is third behind the Big Ten and SEC, but Phillips mentioned the ACC topped all conferences with 16 championship games over the previous two seasons in spite of lagging economically.”Profits generation continues to be a priority,”Phillips stated last month at ACC media days.”But let me be clear likewise, this league is third today in revenue as we go forward into wherever the next TV offers are for other conferences. We’ve had several television specialists. Third is certainly a good position, but we want to get and acquire traction economically in order to close the gap with certainly
the SEC and the Big 10, who have leapfrogged everyone.”It is a concern that will just continue to grow when the SEC and Big Ten start new television contracts that are approximated
to earn their teams$30 million more every year than those in the ACC.If there suffice presidents fretted about the Seminoles leaving, perhaps those revenue circulation conversations will change, making Florida State pleased. In the meantime.” We enjoy the ACC.
My No. 1 goal is to remain in the ACC. That’s my No. 1 goal,”McCullough informed ESPN.”But eventually it ends up being tough for me to do what I’m expected to do for athletics at Florida State.” David Hale contributed to this report.