Florida State President Barron Tries To Shut Door On Noles To Big XII

Florida State president Eric Barron appears to have thrown a wet blanket on the hot rumors that have Florida State leaving for the ACC with an automated e-mail response. The statements do bring into question if there is really a conflict between Barron and the BOT. I don't think this closes the issue, but it may make it so that it doesn't happen for the 2013 season, and I am unsure of the reason behind the statements. Here is the statement in full:

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

In support of a move are four basic factors argued by many alumni:
1. The ACC is more basketball than it is football, and many of our alumni view us as more football oriented than the ACC
2. The ACC is too North Carolina centric and the contract advantages basketball and hence advantages the North Carolina schools
3. The Big 12 has some big football schools that match up with FSU
4. The Big 12 contract (which actually isn't signed yet) is rumored to be $2.9M more per year than the ACC contract. We need this money to be competitive.

But, in contrast:

1. The information presented about the ACC contract that initiated the blogosphere discussion was not correct. The ACC is an equal share conference and this applies to football and to basketball ­ there is no preferential treatment of any university with the exception of 3rd tier rights for women's basketball and Olympic sports. FSU is advantaged by that aspect of the contract over the majority of other ACC schools.

Credit for use of "blogosphere", but what is saying here?

2. Colorado, Missouri, Nebraska and Texas A&M left the Big 12, at least in part because the Big 12 is not an equal share conference. Texas has considerably more resource avenues and gains a larger share (and I say this as a former dean of the University of Texas at Austin - I watched the Big 12 disintegration with interest). So, when fans realize that Texas would get more dollars than FSU, always having a competitive advantage, it would be interesting to see the fan reaction.

This is incorrect! The Big XII is an equal revenue share conference. They make more money on their tier 3 rights, but that is something unique to each school.

3. Much is being made of the extra $2.9M that the Big 12 contract (which hasn't been inked yet) gets over the ACC contract. Given that the Texas schools are expected to play each other (the Big 12 is at least as Texas centered than the ACC is North Carolina centered), the most likely scenario has FSU playing Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and West Virginia on a recurring basis and the other teams sporadically (and one more unnamed team has to join to allow the Big 12 to regain a championship game), we realize that our sports teams can no longer travel by bus to most games ­ the estimate is that the travel by plane required by FSU to be in the Big 12 appears to exceed the $2.9M difference in the contract ­ actually giving us fewer dollars than we have now to be competitive with the Big 12 teams, who obviously do not have to travel as far. Any renegotiated amount depends not just on FSU but the caliber of any other new team to the Big 12.

I have heard that the Big XII shares travel expenses, and the increase in dollars would certainly be more than $2.9M.

4. Few believe that the above teams will fill our stadium with fans of these teams and so our lack of sales and ticket revenue would continue. 5. We would lose the rivalry with University of Miami that does fill our stadium

This could be true, but BC, Wake, N.C. State and Maryland do not currently travel, either.

6. It will cost between $20M and $25M to leave the ACC ­ we have no idea where that money would come from. It would have to come from the Boosters which currently are unable to support our current University athletic budget, hence the 2% cut in that budget.

This is disingenuous. FSU knows it will not have to pay the majority of the exit fee.

7. The faculty are adamantly opposed to joining a league that is academically weaker ­ and in fact, many of them resent the fact that a 2% ($2.4M) deficit in the athletics budget receives so much attention from concerned Seminoles, but the loss of 25% of the academic budget (105M) gets none when it is the most critical concern of this University in terms of its successful future.

The faculty should have no say in this. Ridiculous. Also, it's not a good idea to insult the potential new conference.

I present these issues to you so that you realize that this is not so simple (not to mention that negotiations aren't even taking place). One of the few wise comments made in the blogosphere is that no one negotiates their future in the media. We can't afford to have conference affiliation be governed by emotion. It has to be based on a careful assessment of athletics, finances and academics. I assure you that every aspect of conference affiliation will be looked at by this institution, but it must be a reasoned decision.

This whole email from Barron sounds pretty emotional.

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