Interesting realignment article of the day. Not sure how credible "eersauthority.com" is, but one nugget bolded below is a bit startling and new information if true. (Its a bit large for a post, I removed some of the less-interesting speculation and Big 12 cheer-leading)
The ACC still has a money problem that makes its collapse inevitable.
Earlier in the year I wrote that it was the ACCís TV contract with ESPN that opened the door for FSU and Clemson to flirt with the Big 12. That contract, which was widely reported to contain provisions that deferred substantial payments until 2027, was rumored to begin at $14 million per year and increase by $500,000 until the annual disbursement reached $17 million in the 7th year of the contract and then hold at $17 million for the final eight years with the remainder payable at contract closeout.
That alone would have been enough to spur wandering eyes but Marylandís recent departure from the ACC hints it may have been worse.
Maryland officials told reporters from the Washington Post the ACC contract paid annual revenues of $15 million for 15 years with a sizeable payment at the end of the contract that raised the average payout, through the lifespan of the agreement, to $17 million per year.
Marylandís accusations are startling and, if true, represent a significant problem the ACC must overcome if they wish to remain viable.
Weíll know the answer soon. The ACC filed suite against Maryland to enforce the $52 million dollar buyout and Maryland plans to subpoena the ACCís contract with ESPN and the ACCís agreement with the Orange Bowl and Notre Dame as part of their discovery process.
The ACC will be forced to release details of the contract and weíll know once and for all how bad it really is.
But will the ACC go that far? Will they risk potentially damning and infuriating contract details going public or will they settle with Maryland
Itís a lose-lose situation for the ACC.
It gets worse if the courts determine the ACC buyout is punitive (a widely held belief) and Maryland gets off paying less than the $52 million.
If that happens, and Maryland leaves paying anywhere from $15 to $20 million, the ACC is likely see a mass exodus for greener pastures.
Waiting for their cue is the Big 10, SEC and Big 12.
And what if the ACC prevails and the exit fee is found to be reasonable and upheld? The ACC still isnít safe.
Maryland ran the numbers and found it would be profitable for them to leave the ACC for the Big 10 even if they had to pay the exit fee. The revenue gap between the ACC and the big 4 is so significant that Maryland reasoned it would make $100 million more in revenues over a 10 year period even if forced to pay the exit fee.
Take note of thatÖ Fox is willing to pay for improved inventory and open their checkbooks for the Big 12 to expand and thatís nothing but bad news for the ACC.
I cannot confirm it but a usually reliable source has told me the Big 12 has offered to contribute $25 million each to FSU and Miamiís buyout whatever it may be.