SBD/September 13, 2012/Colleges

Notre Dame Goes To ACC: FSU Votes Against Conference's New $50M Exit Fee

Florida State Univ. BOT Chair Allan Bense said that the school yesterday “voted against" the ACC's new $50M buyout for teams that want to leave the conference, according to D.C. Reeves of WARCHANT.com. Bense said, “I personally think that $50 million is punitive. I'm not sure that holds up.” Bense emphasized that FSU has “no plans to explore any other conferences.” Reeves wrote the “staggering figure could hamstring the school if it had any plans to make changes down the road.” He said, “I'm not implying that there's going to be any changes, but $50 million is a lot of money. ... We have no desire to get out, but $50 million makes it pretty tough to do anything.” He added that the Univ. of Maryland also “voted against the increased buyout.” Reeves noted nine of the conference’s 12 schools “had to vote for the increase for it to be approved.” Meanwhile, Bense was “clear that he approved of the move to add Notre Dame to the league.” He said, "It's good for the ACC and Florida State" (WARCHANT.com, 9/12). Bense added of the exit fee, “I don’t know how you can justify that number. But clearly there were enough schools that wanted that high exit fee” (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/13). In Tallahassee, Jim Henry notes the ACC Council of Presidents last September "voted to up the exit penalty from $12-$14 million to $20 million ... when voting to add Syracuse and Pittsburgh to form a new 14-team conference." FSU President Eric Barron, who repped the school at this year's Council of Presidents meeting yesterday, said, "$20 million already is a big number. Fifty million dollars is a much bigger number." Henry notes the "increased exit fee follows this past summer’s speculation that FSU and Clemson were being courted by the Big 12" (TALLAHASSEE DEMOCRAT, 9/13).
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