David Hood, CUAD sponsored mouthpiece of Dabo and "Coach" Munson, conducted an interview today with Terry Don Phillips that was primarily the bullshit party line stuff you would expect to get from a former lawyer. I'd be shocked if Barker wasn't sitting right beside them vetoing the transcription for reasons of politic, but if read carefully one could pull a few tiny nuggets of information out of it.
The recent announcement of a game between the SEC and the Big XII shook the football world. What are your thoughts on what happened, and what this means for the landscape of college football?
....The SEC and the Big XII and the arrangement to try and protect their champion if they’re not in the top four- actually, it makes a whole lot of sense of to me that now you can protect your champion and at the same time you create a vehicle that your conference can go out and sell and generate more funds for your conference. So, that was a good, solid, strategic move for both conferences.
I noticed the complimenting of the Big XII first off, but the ACC is doing what about it exactly? Well nothing.
How does that move affect the ACC?
...The conference and the membership well understand what is happening. For example, in this latest contract with ESPN, 80% of it is generated by football. As good as basketball has been in the ACC, it is very evident just through this contract that football has to be very, very relevant. And the conference is well aware of that and they are going to be turning over every stone that they can and not just sitting on this contract. For example this new contract has two look-in windows- one at five years and one at 10 years. The purpose of that - in talking with ESPN people and our people in the same room – is to look at the end of five years where are we- competitively, what’s our performance, and does it merit a significant increase in the rights fee. There’s no question that on ESPN, the rights to television money is larger than any other conference.
Clearly the conference doesn't understand too well. We added Syracuse when we could've added West Virginia and improved the football brand, but 80/20 tells me we really undersold basketball and did not effectively use it as leverage on the deal whatsoever. We already knew about the 5 year look-in, but what is that going to get us? If FSU/MIA/CU/VT aren't substantially better, we get nothing else above the $12-13 M we would be getting otherwise. All that is while the other power conferences are guaranteed millions more, even though their contracts are backweighted like ours, they're still getting more TODAY. There is no guarantee our deal would even be brought within sniffing distance unless we somehow all started challenging for the national title. The 5 year look-in is just bullshit.
Speaking of third tier rights, it was my understanding that the ACC contract didn’t allow for schools like Clemson to negotiate on games that are not picked up by the networks. Is that correct?
Anything that’s not picked up by ESPN or Raycom- my understanding of the contract- is that we would be able to try to take it to the marketplace, but again there are some things that we need clarity on and that’s one of them. As far as membership, again we all understand that 80% of the dollars in this contract comes from football. Everybody is treated the same in regard to equal distribution and every school has the same opportunity with the third tier rights that they retain to go out and sell them in the marketplace so no one is being treated different than the other and I think that’s important for people to understand.
Anything that doesnt make the ESPN networks is available for us to make money on ourselves, assuming we dont get the dreaded nooner Raycom. This can be TigerCast or whatever, which we do use for baseball. The odds of something not even getting even an ESPN3 slot are nearly zero, and such games would be Furman or Coastal or Wofford, so this is basically moot. Where one could possibly make something is baseball. Olympic sports and women's bball are owned by the school per the contract and they can TigerCast or sell those to CSS all they want.
Does it worry you that events that are out of your control can change what happens to Clemson in regards to football playoffs and national recognition?
We cannot afford to lose our seat at the table when it comes to the BCS and championships going forward. We simply cannot afford to allow that to happen.
Interesting answer. This shows that we at least have Clemson's minds headed in this direction. We cannot be left without a seat at the bigboy table. If the BCS tosses out a conference champ stipulation, its a free for all. The next answer was just as interesting to me.
Does that mean you think the ACC will expand even further or needs to expand in order to keep that seat at the table?
I’m at a juncture to where you don’t rule anything out anymore. You simply can’t rule it out. The irony of it is that as I look backwards, I can still remember when I was at Arkansas when we went to the SEC and the consternation of us leaving the old Southwest Conference at that time. That was traumatic because of the ties that we had. Then I go to the Big XII when they expanded. I guess that should’ve been a signal that this is the times that we live in. I do believe that it’s going to continue. I do know this- football has got to be very strong because that is driving these contracts. At the ACC meetings, we had an interesting presentation that was in regard to basketball and football with regard to the public. Basketball is a great sport and has a great following, but over the last 10-15 years ,where at one time basketball was up as a sport in this part of the country and football was lower and now it has changed places. That in of itself tells you that football is what the public wants.
And this administration will do what’s best for Clemson, regardless?
The short answer is absolutely. At the end of the day, we have to do what’s best for our program.
It is just the time we live in. I don't particularly care to ever change traditions, thats why I'll never like purple uniforms for one. If we could get the same money, I would never want to go west, but we're not going to. If we hold on to the conference tradition, even though our football weakness is part Clemson's own fault, we will get so far behind that we may not catch up for another decade. I don't think that is going to be the driver for most Tigers like sustained financial success in Columbia would, but its a part.
I'm sure some of you emailed Board members and got more than canned responses. I know a few got some very nice responses back saying similar things about doing whats best for the University. Whats best from a financial standpoint is a no-brainer. If we got another $8M per year minimum on the deal, it would offset any travel expenses and everything else is profit. Even in a down football year(s), the extra revenue is necessary to remain at a level so that we could get back to being good relatively quickly. The University "taxes" for overhead costs at 6% of revenue, so the University profits bigtime, which should shut up some faculty bitching.
You should continue to email those BOT members, Barker and TDP (if he's awake), they will listen to you.