CLEMSON - The Clemson board of trustees will meet Thursday to discuss Clemson’s place in college football’s ever changing landscape.
Clemson officials continue to say the school has had no contact with the Big 12 conference, though Texas Christian athletic director Chris Del Conte said in a radio interview this weekthat “schools like Florida State, Clemson and Miami (are) trying to get in (the Big 12).” Del Conte said Wednesday the comment was taken out of context.
Still, some officials at Florida State have publicly expressed interest in talking to the Big 12 and if Florida State left the ACC it would threaten to destabilize the conference.
What the Big 12 mainly has to offer -- if it is interested in expanding -- is more television revenue than the Atlantic Coastal Conference. The Big 12’s new television deal will pay schools on average $3 million more than ACC schools and programs in the Big 12 also have third-tier television rights, games that are typically not picked up by ESPN or ABC. It’s unclear if ACC teams will have the ability to sell third-tier games in its new agreement with ESPN.
Thursday’s meeting is being described as an information gathering session.
Clemson board of trustees chair David Wilkins told the Post and Courier this week he still views the ACC’s new television deal as a positive development but he wants to learn more about the impact of third-tier television rights. He also wants to bring the board together to separate fact from internet rumors.
Wilkins told the Post and Courier he does not know of any Clemson official to have spoken with the Big 12.
“There’s no offer on the table” Wilkins said.
Clemson president James Barker declined an interview request with the Post and Courier last week because he said Clemson’s position regarding conference affiliation had not changed since last year when Barker said Clemson was committed to the ACC. The Tigers are an original member of the ACC.
Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips said he has not been in contact with the Big 12. He also said the ACC’s television deal includes opportunities to renegotiate in five years and in 10 years if the football product improves.
But in interviews this week Phillips also said the Clemson administration will do what is in the best interest of the program, a topic no doubt to be discussed on campus Thursday.