FSU president lays out pros/cons of Big 12 move

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The president of Florida State University says moving the athletic program from the Atlantic Coast Conference to the Big 12 has several drawbacks to be considered.

FSU president Eric Barron sent an email to those who have asked him about the possibility of the Seminoles switching conferences. The email was obtained by The Associated Press and several other news organizations.

He writes that negotiations between the school and the conference are not taking place. While he lays out both possible pros and cons for a move, he makes a strong case for staying in the ACC, where the Seminoles have competed since 1992.

For about the past two weeks there have been several more reports about Florida State leaving the ACC. Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman recently told the Orlando Sentinel the school was committed to the ACC. But Florida State board of trustees chairman Andy Haggard told Warchant.com, a website that covers FSU sports, that the board “would be in favor of seeing what the Big 12 might have to offer.”

The ACC has 12 members and will be adding Pittsburgh and Syracuse as soon as 2013. The Big 12 has 10 members after it replaced Texas A&M and Missouri, which are headed to the Southeastern Conference next season, with West Virginia and TCU.

“I want to assure you that any decision made about FSU athletics will be reasoned and thoughtful and based on athletics, finances and academics,” Barron wrote. “Allow me to provide you with some of the issues we are facing:”

Barron outlined four points made by those who support a move:

_ The ACC is more of a basketball conference than a football league.

_ The ACC is too North Carolina centric and the conference’s TV contract gives the stronger basketball schools an advantage.

_ The Big 12’s powerful football schools are a better match for Florida State.

_ The Big 12’s impending new TV contract might make Florida State $2.9 million more per year than the ACC’s new deal and Florida State needs the money.

Barron countered that the ACC shares its football and basketball revenue equally. The only revenue that is not shared equally is certain media rights for women’s basketball and Olympic sports, and that is to Florida State’s benefit.

He also said Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M have left the Big 12 over the past two years because the conference does not share revenue equally. The Big 12 is on the way to changing that. Its members having agreed in October to start sharing equally revenue from its most lucrative media rights deals. The Big 12 does allow its members to hold some media rights and run their own networks, such as Texas’ Longhorn Network.

Barron wrote the Big 12 is at least as Texas centered as the ACC is North Carolina centered and that the Texas schools are expected to play each other. He wrote that the “most likely scenario” leaves Florida State playing Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State and West Virginia.

Florida State already has problems selling out its home games. Barron wrote that playing those schools would not cure that problem.

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