SwimmingFour ACC Schools Opposed to Addition of Stanford, Cal (Report)

Four ACC Schools Opposed to Addition of Stanford, Cal (Report)

Four ACC Schools Opposed to Addition of Stanford, Cal (Report)

It remains unclear whether or not Pac-12 universities and swimming powers Stanford and Cal will be welcomed into the Atlantic Coast Conference following the recent disintegration of the west-coast-based league. The Cardinal and the Golden Bears joining the ACC would present geographical oddities and travel complications, but the possibility began to make sense with the Pac-12 down to four members schools. While Stanford and Cal do not attract massive football revenue, they boast fine academic reputations and some of the country’s top Olympic sports programs.

However, their potential addition to the ACC hit “significant roadblocks” late this week, and according to a new report from ESPN, four of the ACC’s 15 schools are opposed: Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina and NC State. But according to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson, “expansion discussions are not completely over as of Friday night.”

A call for conference expansion would require 12 “yes” votes for schools to be added to the conference, and ESPN reported that a call would only be scheduled if there were 12 likely votes for the affirmative side. That would mean one of the four holdouts would need to be convinced to support the inclusions.

The reason for backlash to the potential additions, per ESPN, is the increased cost of west-coast travel and the fact that neither program would provide a substantial boost to the ACC with football programs that do not attract a significant increase in television viewership.

Each of these schools against bringing in Cal and Stanford, according to ESPN, have been part of “discussions looking at the ACC grant of rights and a path forward.” The ACC is bound to a long-term television contract with ESPN running through 2036, but that deal has limited universities’ potential revenue from football compared to more lucrative deals signed by the SEC and Big Ten (and the quickly-growing Big-12, to a lesser extent). The revenue gap, according to the report, is $30 million compared with the so-called top-tier leagues.

The ESPN report suggests that one or more of the schools might change their mind if the ACC agreed to a change in its revenue distribution, where football-power schools receive a greater share of the league’s dollars compared to other schools. Florida State recently proposed leaving the ACC “unless there is a radical change to the conference’s revenue distribution model,” so such a change might convince Seminole administration to get behind the new members in the conference.

Read more from ESPN here.

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