Well, well, well — another soon-to-be summer, another round of conference realignment rumors in college sports. And this time, it’s not the beleaguered Pac-12 and its ongoing search for a media deal.
It’s the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The conference of my youth is making news again in the wake of the huge TV deals doled out to the Big Ten, SEC and Big 12. And while those conferences are getting crazy paid with SHORTER media deals, the ACC has been stuck trying to make due while being stuck with a long-ass media deal accompanied with a stiff Grant of Rights deal that is set to expire in 2035!
Before I proceed, let me do the following: define what Grant of Rights mean.
In simplest terms, a “grant of rights” dictates who owns a thing, such as intellectual property rights, or an image. In this case of college football and the ACC, that means revenue from television broadcasts belongs to the conference.
It’s been proven to be ironclad so far, with schools trying to figure out ways out of it — and I do not have a problem with that. It’s called “doing one’s due diligence”.
Now, we have a group of athletic directors from seven schools calling themselves the “Magnificent Seven” that is looking to overthrow the Grant of Rights and finding ways out of the ACC. Those schools are Florida State, Clemson, Miami, UNC, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Now with that out of the way, I have questions.
If the Grant of Rights weren’t as ironclad as we believed, one would think it would have been broken by now, right?
Also, and perhaps the most important question, do all of these schools REALLY have soft landing spots? I could see UNC and Virginia being highly desired by both the SEC and Big 10, in that they are in states not yet explored by either conference, and both academic profiles would be highly desired by the Big 10.
Does the SEC really want to add MORE Florida schools? Yes, Florida State and Miami are brand names, but when was the last time the latter won anything worth a damn?
Clemson as a brand would be desired by the SEC, but would it want ANOTHER South Carolina school?
And as much as I am a proud NC State alum, would either conference want the Wolfpack? Ditto for Virginia Tech.
As much as I am in favor of those schools rattling the cages of the ACC for more revenue under a terrible media deal signed in 2016, they could have prevented this by doing one thing.
Those schools, especially Florida State and Miami, have only themselves to blame for that.