Sources: FSU ponders ACC future after CFP snub

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Florida State has had renewed in-depth discussions about its long-term future in the ACC in recent weeks, sources told ESPN, with talks reignited following the Seminoles’ omission from the College Football Playoff earlier this month.

That snub, which occurred after the Seminoles completed a perfect 12-0 regular-season record before winning the ACC championship game, angered many at the university and among its board of trustees, essentially the last straw after a year spent voicing their displeasure with the conference.

The situation is expected to come to a head in the near future and be formally discussed soon, sources indicated to ESPN. While there has been renewed discussion, no board of trustees meeting has been called.

To be clear, Florida State is not leaving the ACC in the near term but is merely weighing its options — a difficult task that also has come with trepidation among some involved in the talks.

The Seminoles have not been shy about voicing their displeasure with the growing revenue gap between the ACC and other conferences; the way the ACC distributes revenue; and the size of their share of the television revenue pie, which they believe should be larger based on ratings and marketability.

The shifting collegiate landscape over the past two years has only exacerbated those concerns, as the ACC has fallen further behind the SEC and the Big Ten. Florida State is not the only ACC school that has considered its options. Seven universities — Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia and NC State — had conversations about their long-term futures in the spring.

During a board of trustees meeting in August, Florida State president Richard McCullough made it clear the school would “very seriously” consider leaving the league if things did not change.

Any ACC school that wants to leave the conference would have to challenge the grant of rights to be able to get out before joining another league. The grant of rights, which runs through 2036, gives the ACC control over media rights for its member schools — including the broadcast of games in all sports.

In addition, any school that wants to leave the ACC would have to pay an exit fee of three times the league’s operating budget, or roughly $120 million.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel contributed to this report.

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