The saying reads “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” But in the 24/7 sports news cycle, there’s often a lot of smoke thrown out there by media types trying to get a leg up on the competition and create some news where there isn’t any. Thus, it’s easy to believe either side about Florida State’s reported interest in joining the Big 12.
The ACC currently holds two of the biggest acquisitions the Big 12 could make in Clemson and Florida State. Both schools would add great markets for the Big 12 to reach into as well as schools with great fan bases and tradition.
Yet the word from Florida State is mixed at this time, with some quotes trying to quell the rumors while others open the door slightly. The latest word from FSU President Eric Barron reads like the latter:
Florida State University regrets that misinformation about the provisions of the ACC contract has unnecessarily renewed the controversy and speculation about University’s athletic conference alignment. Florida State respects the views of the Chair of its Board of Trustees that, of course, any university would examine options that would impact university academics, athletics or finances. At the same time, Florida State is not seeking an alternative to the ACC nor are we considering alternatives. Our current commitments remain strong.
If you are truly committed to the ACC, then there’s no need to place a line in that statement about being open to options. That’s what a commitment is — despite the options. To say words about a commitment being strong right after saying you’re open to options is to lie about one side or the other. Given the rest of the smoke, it’s not hard to guess where this is going.