Clemson AD Makes Concerning Comments About Revenue Split, Might Be Hinting At Inevitable ACC Departure

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Clemson AD Graham Neff’s view of revenue sharing in the ACC should terrify the rest of the conference.

The Tigers have been the most dominant program in the ACC for several years at this point, and it’s unlikely that changes in the near future.

One of the main issues facing the ACC is the conference’s TV contract with ESPN runs through 2036. So, while the Big Ten and SEC are printing cash, the ACC is more than a decade away from getting a huge pay bump. In the meantime, Neff thinks it’s time to let the big dogs eat more than the rest of the conference.

Could the SEC target Clemson for expansion? (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Clemson AD endorses uneven revenue split.

“In all candor, I put it as a need. We certainly recognize the investment that we’ve continued to make as an institution, in our community, in athletics, namely in football, which certainly drives a lot of value that is important from a television and revenue-generation standpoint. Is it time revenue distribution within conferences, or at least the ACC, is done differently? Yeah, I’ve been very active in those conversations within the league and continue to expect to take a leadership role in our desire for that to be a changed circumstance. Urgently,” Neff told The Post and Courier when asked about his outlook on a potential uneven revenue distribution.

It’s worth noting Florida State, the ACC’s other major football brand, appears to endorse the plan. FSU AD Michael Alford said “something has to change moving forward” during a recent board of trustees meeting, according to the same report.

It’s not good for the rest of the conference when the top two programs are openly demanding change.

Will Clemson leave the ACC? (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)

Will Clemson leave the ACC?

Unfortunately for Clemson, the Tigers don’t really have many options for recourse. It will likely cost hundreds of millions of dollars at a minimum to leave the ACC for the SEC – the likely landing spot.

With ESPN controlling the ACC’s media rights for 13 more years, it’s hard to imagine Clemson can do anything other than complain.

Why would any ACC team agree to losing money in order to line the pockets of Clemson and Florida State? The answer is they wouldn’t. It’d be going against their own self-interest. No program is that stupid.

The only card Clemson might have here is to argue they’d sign a longer GoR in order for a guaranteed higher percentage of the revenue. That seems like a hail Mary plan that isn’t realistic at all.

Clemson wants higher percentage of ACC revenue. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The reality is Clemson can complain all the Tigers want, but the ACC has literally zero incentive to listen. None at all.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

One Comment

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  1. Not so fast there, fan boy. The GoR can be challenged by smart (expensive) lawyers …. maybe the same ones that got UNC out of deep do-do over their athletic-academic scandal a few years ago. …. those slick lawyers cost UNC $25,000,000. Clem and FSU could split the costs.
    A mutual agreement twixt ACC and ESPN could simply nullify the “Swofford GOR Deal”. The ACC lets Clem & FSU go to SEC … with two less “mouths to feed” the shares of a new media deal means more $$$ to members of whats left of ACC. …. When (not IF) the Pac12 Implodes and the Big12 absorbs AU, ASU, Colo, Utah … all the conference fruit baskets will overturn and a mad scramble will take place …. When not If.

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