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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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FSU Rules Out Becoming Independent As Realignment Rumors Swirl

  • School says moving football to independent status is "not a true option"
  • Realignment rumors continue to surround the Seminoles
Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Florida State, an outspoken critic of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s nationwide expansion, has ruled out shifting its football program to an independent.

University athletics director Michael Alford told The Athletic that becoming an independent in football was “not a true option,” saying the current landscape of college sports media and scheduling dynamics didn’t support such a move.

“I don’t think it’s an option because of scheduling and everything that comes along with that, and where media contracts are now,” Alford said. “But I’m not going to lie to you and say I didn’t spend 10 minutes on it.”

FSU’s stance differs materially from Notre Dame, which has remained in the ACC in all other sports the conference offers but relishes its long-held football independence.

The Seminoles, however, were one of three ACC members to vote against the conference’s addition of Stanford, Cal, and SMU to become a coast-to-coast entity, and rumors persist as to where FSU will ultimately go. Alford said FSU is “still analyzing what our options are.”

As that effort continues, FSU has also been linked to a potential private equity investment from Sixth Street. FSU president Richard McCullough described an “existential crisis” in which the Seminoles’ athletics department was running $30 million behind in annual revenue compared to rival schools in the SEC and Big Ten. 

“Each institution in the conference has different priorities. What’s Florida State’s priority? It’s to win championships and compete nationally across the board,” Alford said. “How do I provide resources and make sure that we’re providing those opportunities to our student-athletes? I need resources.”

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