, Muskogee, OK


May 24, 2012

No offer, but open to one, Clemson says in regard to Big 12 rumor

— COLUMBIA, S.C. — The Clemson University Board of Trustees has not been given a viable offer to move out of the Atlantic Coast Conference, but would consider one if it came along, the panel’s chairman said Thursday.

Speculation about Clemson’s future in the ACC has taken off since the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference announced the formation of a yearly bowl game between their champions once the new four-team playoff format is put in.

“We’ve not had any contact from any league,” said board chairman David Wilkins. “If we receive a viable option, a viable proposal, that is presented to us by any league, we will consider it.”

Asked whether any Clemson official was working on preparing a proposal to another league, instead of one being offered, Wilkins replied, “No. I don’t anticipate it.”

The theory is the Tigers could make considerably more money in the Big 12 than in the ACC’s recent TV deal, expected to pay the league $3.6 billion over 15 years.

Wilkins said the board meeting was being held to dispel what he called “rumors” and “facts and fiction” that has been carried on sports blogs, the Internet and in media reports.

Wilkins spoke after the board met for more for about two hours behind closed doors. He said the session was needed to clear up speculation about the school’s future in the ACC.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford also has said Clemson leaders have told him they have had no contact with the Big 12.

Wilkins said there were many misperceptions about the ACC television contract, and that discussion composed the majority of the trustee’s session. He said there “really haven’t been a lot of changes to that contract” with the addition of two new teams.

Recently, the president of the board of trustees at Florida State said his university should take a hard look at its athletic options. Another ACC school, Miami, and Notre Dame have been the subject of rumors connecting them with interest in a move to the Big 12.

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