Florida State trustee says school should ponder move to Big 12

By on May 12, 2012

Florida State’s status in the Atlantic Coast Conference was safe and secure on Friday and anything but on Saturday based on separate interviews with Seminoles powerbrokers.

The Big 12 likely is playing close attention to all of it.

Seminoles athletic director Randy Spetman told the Orlando Sentinel in a story published Friday that his programs were committed to the ACC.

“We’re in the ACC, we’re committed to the ACC,” Spetman said. “That’s where our president and the board of trustees have committed to, so we’re great partners with the ACC.”

But at least one member of the board, chairman Andy Haggard, isn’t on the same page.

In an interview that was posted Saturday on the Rivals.com site that covers Florida State sports, Warchant.com, Haggard blasted the ACC. He called the conference’s new television-rights contract with ESPN, which was announced on Wednesday, a raw deal for Florida State.

Later Saturday, Seminoles football coach Jimbo Fisher told the Sentinel that there had been no official talks with the Big 12 but that if leaving the ACC “is what’s best for Florida State, then that’s what we need to do.”

At issue: The ACC surrendered its schools’ third-tier rights for football games — ESPN will control those — but allowed the schools to maintain those rights for basketball.

Schools that hold third-tier rights can negotiate their own deals for broadcasts and keep that income, which in the ACC’s case favors schools with the strongest basketball brands — North Carolina and Duke.

“It’s mind-boggling and shocking,” Haggard told Warchant.com. “It continue the perception that the ACC favors the North Carolina schools.”

But will it push Florida State into a different conference, like the Big 12?

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