Board chairman says Clemson committed to ACC

Clemson Board of Trustees chairman David Wilkins. File/Staff

CLEMSON — Clemson Board of Trustees chairman David Wilkins said Tuesday that Clemson has not been in contact with the Big 12 regarding interest in changing conference affiliation. Wilkins said Clemson is committed to the Atlantic Coast Conference.

“Have there been any kind of overtures by the Big 12 to Clemson? I can tell you unequivocally ‘no’ based upon the knowledge I have,” Wilkins said.

Conference realignment rumors resurfaced after the Florida State Board of Trustees chairman suggested last week the Seminoles should explore what the Big 12 conference could offer its athletic program.

Some at Florida State are disappointed with the ACC’s new television deal, which could place the conference behind the four other major conferences in terms of dollars, and the ACC’s perceived basketball-first mentality.

Florida State is unhappy that the ACC’s TV deal will pay each school about $2.9 million less per year than what Big 12 teams will get.

Wilkins said his initial impression of the ACC’s new 15-year, $3.6 billion television deal was positive in nature.

“It’s a substantial additional amount of money,” Wilkins said. “My initial impression (of the contract) is very positive. I know there are some specific concerns. …. I’ve asked for a full briefing.”

If Florida State left for the Big 12, there is speculation the conference would want to add another program.

Still, Clemson is thought to be an unlikely match due to its history as a founding member of the ACC and the importance of the nearby Charlotte and Atlanta markets.

ESPN reported Clemson was headed to the Southeastern Conference last summer, reports which turned out to be inaccurate. Clemson athletic director Terry Don Phillips is at the ACC meetings in Amelia Island, Fla., this week.