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Clemson Board Of Trustees Will Meet Thursday To Discuss Expansion


This development is interesting, mainly for how quickly it’s happening. As discussed in an earlier article, much of the increased pace of developments is due to the new alliance between the Big 12 and the Southeastern Conference.

The imprimatur of an alliance with the SEC has given the Big 12 a stability and a clear fiscal advantage that the ACC simply can not match. While the latter advantage was already present, given the disparity between the Big 12′s new television deal and the ACC’s, the alliance with the SEC further bolsters that fiscal advantage, and furthers the perception that the Big 12 is once again fully stable.

First, what does this mean for K-State? In the short-term, it means more television dollars and more exposure to potential recruits in the the southeast. In the long-term, Big 12 expansion offers increased stability and a seat at the table (even if it isn’t at the head of that table) with the power players in major college football.

Clemson website Tigernet.com has an article about Thursday’s meeting. In it, they quote Board Chairman David Wilkins extensively. In most of the quotes, he is far more “politically correct” than the FSU Board Chairman was last week. Yet, the quote I found most telling was at the bottom of the article.

All of us want what is best for Clemson. Things are changing so fast, and we want to be aware of what possibilities are out there. I think we all want what is best for Clemson, period. We just have to deal with things right now.

In the end, this is what it all boils down to: university self-interest. It makes little fiscal sense for schools like Clemson, FSU, and Georgia Tech (rumors are starting to seriously percolate about them) to just blindly follow their conference over a cliff. Clemson’s BOT has a duty to their institution to do what is best for that institution, not what is best for the Atlantic Coast Conference. For many years, ACC conference commissioner John Swofford has pushed aside concerns raised by the football schools in the conference, in favor of the Tobacco Road group. To use a phrase those North Carolinians will understand well, those chickens have now come home to roost.

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