Why do Florida State and Clemson want to move out of the ACC?

Cade Klubnik, Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
Cade Klubnik, Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /

After the Pac-12 demise, Florida State and Clemson could be the next domino to fall in college realignment. Why would they want to leave the ACC?

Florida State and Clemson could be the next to ditch their current conference for a new one, but what would be the reasoning behind a transition from the ACC to another conference?

The short answer to this question is Florida State and Clemson are looking to get more money out of their TV contracts. For a while now, Clemson and Florida State have been upset with the ACC’s current TV deal with ESPN.  As noted by Ross Dellinger, Schools in the ACC will be 30 million dollars behind their Big Ten and SEC counterparts in TV revenue by 2026.

What is preventing Florida State, Clemson from leaving the ACC?

The main answer to what might be keeping Florida State and Clemson from leaving the ACC already is the fact that the exit fee for either team would be tremendous. If any team wants to leave the ACC, they have to pay an exit fee to get out of the conference equal to three times its annual revenue. In addition, the ACC is entitled to the “grant of rights” which gives their TV rights to any school that ends up leaving the conference.

With all of this in mind, it is going to be really hard for any school to end up leaving the ACC conference anytime soon. Still, Florida State is certainly trying to find ways to leave the conference. The school met with financial advisors at JP Morgan Chase to look over their financial books and ways to raise capital via equity funds.’

Clemson is in a similar situation to Florida State but has not been reported to have met with any banks to discuss ways for the Tigers to get out of their contract with the ACC. The conference has responded to these rumors by trying to poach some of the Pac-12 schools that have not been taken by the Big Ten or Big 12.

While the map will look really ugly, the ACC has been rumored to add the University of California and Stanford. Adding two more schools would bolster the conference and give the conference the much-needed medicine to stay relevant.

Based on all of the limitations that an ACC exit would bring, it is very unlikely that Clemson or Florida St could leave the conference without a huge infusing of capital. Still, Florida State and Clemson will most likely look toward finding avenues to leave the conference.

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