Skip to main content

Three possible reasons the Florida State Board of Trustees is meeting on Friday

Florida State board: FSU fans

The Florida State Board of Trustees called a meeting Friday morning to discuss the athletic program’s future with the Atlantic Coast Conference.

It’s scheduled for 10 a.m. ET, and you can watch it here: https://trustees.fsu.edu/meetings.

Why have they called this meeting? Why the sudden push to get together? Let’s take a crack at breaking down why a university’s board would get together in late December for something other than a holiday party.

1. Folks at Florida State University are p_ _ _ … angry

Syndication: Tallahassee Democrat
Credit: Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Don’t think that this meeting would have been called if cooler heads had prevailed. No sir, folks at Florida State mad. Really mad. They’re still fuming over the football team being left out of the College Football Playoff.

The Seminoles were undefeated. They were 13-0. They won the ACC regular season and the conference championship. Those kinds of accomplishments have almost always guaranteed a school a spot in playing its way toward a title. 

And, for the love of Bobby Bowden, this is Florida State!!! It had one of the most dominant programs in college football for more than two decades. How could this team be left out of the playoff? 

So you see, this is why officials at the university are angry. And the more they thought about everything that happened, the angrier they got. Then, earlier this week, Seminoles coach Mike Norvell said it has been, “The most challenging couple weeks of coaching I’ve ever had.” He talked about how tough it has been on the players and himself.

That is likely what pushed folks at the school over the edge. We meet now!!

2. Money. Most things are about money

Syndication: Argus Leader
Credit: Erin Woodiel / Argus Leader / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Atlantic Coast Conference was a league that forever was known as a basketball league. North Carolina, Duke, NC State, Wake Forest and, until 2014, Maryland. Hoopsters that were always in the mix for the national title.

Football? Well, let’s just say for the early years of the conference, it was an afterthought.

Clemson had a nice run in 1981 and won a title under Danny Ford. Duke and Georgia Tech had good teams in the 1930s and 1940s, but that was before the ACC was formed. Football had never been the focus of the conference.

Then, it became one. The league added Florida State in 1992 and Miami in 2004 because of football. It lost Maryland because of football. Then it added Syracuse and Pittsburgh because of football. It became a Power 5 Conference because of football.

But, the fans in those areas … well, let’s just say they’re not as passionate about football as those who support Florida State or the ones that support teams in the SEC or Big Ten.

So the TV deals aren’t as good. The ACC schools, according to FSU athletic director Michael Alford, will make about $30 million less than SEC and Big Ten schools under the new TV contracts.

The ACC did add Stanford, Cal and SMU and by doing so, it is estimated to earn about $72 million in new money from expansion shares. In addition, future TV rights deals are expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars more now for networks because of the new 17-team conference that reaches across the United States.

But is that enough to satisfy the FSU folks?

3. Freedom. Or rebellion. Or, we’re mad and we want freedom

NCAA Football: North Alabama at Florida State
Credit: Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Missing the playoff and losing money to other schools that might not have won as big as Florida State are a couple of good reasons to be angry. 

Now, they might be channeling the anger into an all-out rebellion.

Schools in conferences sign agreements called a grant of rights, which gives the conference control over a school’s media rights. That way, the league can negotiate a deal to cover the teams as a collective and, in theory, get more money per school. 

The ACC’s grant of rights runs through 2036, which is the length of the contract it has with ESPN.

Florida State folks could be discussing if it wants to challenge that. Try to work a way to get out of the ACC grant of rights.

This could potentially be a big blow to the ACC and all of the super conferences with their super media deals. But getting out of the grant of rights agreement would take a long time if it were to be successful at all.

Stay tuned, the Florida State meeting will be lively. The question is, will it accomplish what angry board members want?

More About: