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May
12
2012

What should the ACC do about the statements from the Florida State BOT Chair?

I had an article all prepared for today about the future of the college football playoffs. Then a bomb got dropped on Saturday for the ACC. All the talk of Florida State and/or Clemson moving had been relegated to bloggers and message board fodder. They just went up about 10 notches with this interview with Florida State BOT Andy Haggard at Warchant.com.

This interview was stunning to say the least. Were they rants of an outgoing BOT member? Maybe in part, but they can’t be dismissed. They can’t be dismissed one single bit.

Here’s what we know, the Florida State fanbase was irate over the ACC’s new TV deal which inspite of increasing the conference’s per team payout by 4 million dollars still trailed the Big 12’s new deal by $3 Million. The Big 12’s deal was 20 Million dollars. The SEC’s upcoming deal might be in the 23-27 Million deal. The 3rd Tier argument as we discussed here is over blown, and in large part mis-understood.

Unfortunately that is immaterial at this point. Maybe you can say FSU’s decline as a football program played a key role in the ACC’s inability to garner a better deal. I would agree, but that has become immaterial as well. The fact is now a person of significant position at Florida State has echoed the sentiments of the general fan base, a day after Florida State’s AD Randy Spetman said the Noles were committed to the ACC.

This might speak to as much at the Nole’s apparently dysfunctional leadership as anything, but the ACC now has a problem. If Florida State leaves for the Big 12, then they almost assuredly will try and take Clemson with them. The ACC without their two biggest football fanbases is probably not something they want to think about. The conference is not in a position to remain relevant if both Clemson and FSU leave. As long as the Big 12 had the Texas and Oklahoma football programs together, that conference would live on. There are no such signature programs in the ACC

There simply hasn’t been enough winning the last 10 years and every conference team played a role in that.

What is the ACC going to do? What can they do? Is the damage too far gone?

Honestly I don’t know. There are just too many variables in play.

Can the ESPN deal be modified for additional money? Did the ACC really let schools retain tier 3 basketball rights but not football as said in the interview? While I think this is monetarily not that significant, I can understand the displeasure the message would send to the football schools.

The validity of this appears to be false, but as anything else on the internet got blown out of proportion. See below from Jim Lamar of the Tallahassee Democrat. In fact in Lamar’s article for the Democrat he describes how the Tier 3 rights were basically completely misunderstood by Haggard.

At least partially Haggard is not nearly as well informed as you might believe. The truth of the actual situation probably lies somewhere between “there are no problems with the ACC” and Haggard’s passionate, but clearly wrong on some facts rant against the conference.

That said Florida State has major concerns that the ACC must address.

Can the ACC expand again and raid the Big East for 1 more team in an attempt to force Notre Dame to join a conference? Adding 2 more Big East teams won’t help the situation. Notre Dame would have to be part of the equation. This would seem like a ploy of desperation though considering the Irish have repeatedly stated their desire to stay independent.

Is it worth it to the ACC to try and create some model of unequal revenue sharing? This is dangerous and it nearly destroyed the Big 12 and has currently created a mess between the football and basketball schools in the Big East. The ACC would have to be very careful with this one.

Would realigning the Divisions or modifying the schedule to be more football friendly help? The fact that UGA, FLA, and South Carolina have Byes or weak non-conference games before playing in-state ACC rivals that play conference games the week before makes no sense.

In my opinion the situation can be saved. Even with increased revenue Florida State and Clemson still probably aren’t too keen on paying the 20 Million buyout or playing outside their geographic footprint. Clemson in particular is a bus ride away from 5 different ACC schools. Florida State and Clemson will undoubtedly play second fiddle to Texas and Oklahoma in the Big 12, but have the potential to be the ACC’s 2 flagship football schools.

The point remains. John Swofford and the ACC must act quickly to work something out with Florida State.

What will it be? Well that’s their job to figure out.

The ACC Spring Meetings start Sunday and the agenda just got changed.

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3 pings

  1. The ACC, conference expansion, and a month of mis-information and confusion. » All Sports Discussion says:

    […] The ACC sold all of their third tier rights away! No and I tried to explain this on May 10 in my article A clearer understanding of those “Tier 3″ rights and the ACC, but the damage had already been done. Just 2 days later, and this is where things really exploded when FSU BOT Chair Andy Haggard blasted the ACC as reported by Warchant.com. The only problem was that his understanding of the TV deal was also incorrect, but of course it didn’t matter, and as I wrote that day what was relegated to message boards had been given a face.   […]

  2. Thoughts on the ACC Network, Bowls, Divisions and other stuff from the ACC Spring Meetings. » All Sports Discussion says:

    […] Chairman Andy Haggard’s comments started a firestorm of rumors right before the 2012 meetings and I asked what should the ACC do? That’s all history now since the conference’s Grant of Rights was signed. The ACC can […]

  3. Thoughts on the ACC Network, Bowls, Divisions and other stuff from the ACC Spring Meetings. | Sports Blog United says:

    […] Chairman Andy Haggard’s comments started a firestorm of rumors right before the 2012 meetings and I asked what should the ACC do? That’s all history now since the conference’s Grant of Rights was signed. The ACC can […]

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