FanShot

FSU BOT Chairman Wants to Talk to Big 12

8

Remember when I said that athletic directors don't play major roles in conference realignment and not to pay too much attention to FSU AD Randy Spetman's denial of interest in changing leagues? Well Andy Haggard, chairman of the Florida State board of trustees, is unhappy with the ACC's new TV deal and would like to talk to the Big 12. His biggest beef with the deal is that ACC members assign third tier football TV rights to the conference (which are then included as part of the ESPN contract) but not third tier basketball TV rights. He sees that as proof the conference caters to the Carolina-based basketball powers. Why this just now got him going I don't know, as the old ACC TV deal worked that way too. He's completely wrong about it. While the new contract has the same terms as the old one (that's what slipped me up here), the conference gets all third tier rights. It's not split up among sports. See Update 2. It's unclear to me how much power Haggard personally has (though he says he speaks for the whole BOT on the issue) or whether the Big 12 is all that interested in hearing what he has to say*. Either way, it's a member of FSU's leadership explicitly talking about potentially leaving the ACC. Here we go again. *Update: Dan Wetzel has a Big 12 source saying he/she can't imagine how the conference wouldn't be interested in FSU. Update 2: FSU's president has put out a statement apologizing for the fact errors in Haggard's statements and reiterating Spetman's line about being committed to the ACC. My completely speculative guess? This is just damage control to try to cover up real discussions behind the scenes that Haggard wasn't supposed to pop off publicly about. Key word: discussions, not negotiations.

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