In response to Florida State Board of Trustees Chairman Andy Haggard, the president of Florida State university, Dr. Eric Barron, wrote a memo addressing the concerns of the ACC when it comes to the Big 12. After listing four reasons why FSU alumni are upset at the ACC and are contemplating a move to the Big 12, Dr. Barron listed 7 undeniable reasons why it does not make sense for FSU to make such a move in a memo acquired by ESPN.
1. The information presented about the ACC contract that initiated the blogosphere discussion was not correct. The ACC is an equal share conference and this applies to football and to basketball — there is no preferential treatment of any university with the exception of 3rd tier rights for women’s basketball and Olympic sports. FSU is advantaged by that aspect of the contract over the majority of other ACC schools.
2. Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left the Big 12, at least in part because the Big 12 is not an equal share conference. Texas has considerably more resource avenues and gains a larger share (and I say this as a former dean of the University of Texas at Austin – I watched the Big 12 disintegration with interest). So, when fans realize that Texas would get more dollars than FSU, always having a competitive advantage, it would be interesting to see the fan reaction.
3. Much is being made of the extra $2.9M that the Big 12 contract (which hasn’t been inked yet) gets over the ACC contract. Given that the Texas schools are expected to play each other (the Big 12 is at least as Texas centered than the ACC is North Carolina centered), the most likely scenario has FSU playing Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and West Virginia on a recurring basis and the other teams sporadically (and one more unnamed team has to join to allow the Big 12 to regain a championship game), we realize that our sports teams can no longer travel by bus to most games — the estimate is that the travel by plane required by FSU to be in the Big 12 appears to exceed the $2.9M difference in the contract — actually giving us fewer dollars than we have now to be competitive with the Big 12 teams, who obviously do not have to travel as far. Any renegotiated amount depends not just on FSU but the caliber of any other new team to the Big 12.
4. Few believe that the above teams will fill our stadium with fans of these teams and so our lack of sales and ticket revenue would continue. 5. We would lose the rivalry with University of Miami that does fill our stadium
6. It will cost between $20M and $25M to leave the ACC — we have no idea where that money would come from. It would have to come from the Boosters which currently are unable to support our current University athletic budget, hence the 2% cut in that budget.
7. The faculty are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker — and in fact, many of them resent the fact that a 2% ($2.4M) deficit in the athletics budget receives so much attention from concerned Seminoles, but the loss of 25% of the academic budget (105M) gets none when it is the most critical concern of this University in terms of its successful future.
With this information in hand, the argument should basically end with the $20m to $25m cost to leave the ACC. If Chairman Haggard wants the move, he’s going to need to put his money where his mouth is.