Is Clemson gearing up for an ACC split with potential legal action?

The world of college football continues to change and the Clemson Tigers are looking not to fall behind in the madness.

TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - Clemson v Kentucky
TaxSlayer Gator Bowl - Clemson v Kentucky / James Gilbert/GettyImages

As Florida State looks to leave the ACC, another ACC powerhouse is gearing up its lawyers to leave the conference. According to Ross Dellenger of Yahoo Sports, Clemson has "spent the last several months gearing up for legal action" against the ACC. The Clemson Tigers are not the only school looking to leave the ACC as six other schools have been rumored to want to leave the conference.

Dellenger adds that ESPN could help Clemson leave the ACC since the network can leave its current TV deal with the ACC in 2027. The higher-ups at Disney and ESPN have a little less than a year to "exercise" this option if they choose to.

The Tigers could also opt to leave the ACC before their TV contract expires but the price tag would be prohibitive with a costly grant of rights clause that they would have to get out of. Clemson is heading into a legal battle between them and the conference, does this signal that the Tigers will leave the ACC in the long- or short-term?

Will the Clemson Tigers eventually leave the ACC?

It is most likely that the Tigers will eventually leave the ACC. Whether Clemson leaves in 2036 when the conference TV deal expires or much sooner, the Tigers will not stay in the conference long-term. Even though the health of college football will likely be in a lot worse shape with a premier brand like Clemson moving to a super conference like the SEC or Big Ten, it's very plausible that Clemson will find their next home there.

Clemson is a major brand in college sports and will likely move to a conference that nets a bigger TV deal. The ACC could delay the inevitable but eventually, the ACC will have a hard time giving Clemson what they want. The conference could give them a bigger portion of their TV deal but then other schools will look for the same. Even if the ACC can keep Clemson for the foreseeable future, a long legal battle is likely coming for both sides.

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