Syracuse Orange: Stanford open to reduced media payout if joins the ACC

Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Syracuse Orange (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the west-coast schools that has been discussed as a possible expansion candidate for the Atlantic Coast Conference, where the Syracuse Orange is a member, has offered to sweeten the deal, assumably to appease existing ACC members, according to a media report.

Per a report from The Associated Press, Pac-12 Conference member Stanford has told ACC leaders that the school “would be open to joining the conference at greatly reduced or even no media rights payout for several years.”

Recently, ACC leaders have discussed the potential of adding Pac-12 Conference members California and Stanford, along with SMU, a Dallas-based school from the American Athletic Conference.

However, reports from last week stated that, at that time, four ACC squads (not including the Syracuse Orange) didn’t support adding Cal and Stanford, and the league needs 12 of its 15 members to support such a move for Cal and Stanford to come on board, or SMU or any other future expansion target.

All of this conference realignment chatter is fluid, so I continue to monitor what’s going on as it pertains to the ACC and the future of SU Athletics.

The Syracuse Orange and its ACC peers have considered expanding out west.

Besides this latest offer from Stanford as it relates to possibly joining the ACC, recent reports have also said that SMU is open to forgoing revenue for several years if it were to join this league.

We’ll have to see if California makes an offer to the ACC that is similar in nature to those being proposed by Stanford and SMU.

The Pac-12 has been picked apart of late, with numerous of its members joining both the Big Ten Conference and the Big 12 Conference. The Big Ten and the Southeastern Conference remain far ahead of others for supremacy in collegiate athletics, while the Big 12 has gotten bigger and threatens the ACC for the No. 3 spot among power leagues.

The AP and others have reported that the remaining four Pac-12 schools (Stanford, California, Oregon State and Washington State) have been discussing ways to potentially rebuild their conference, but Stanford also reportedly hasn’t given up on getting an invite to the ACC.

The ACC has a media rights deal with ESPN that runs through 2036 (and resulted in the launch of the ACC Network a couple of years ago), making it difficult for current members to bolt for other leagues.

Florida State, among others, has pushed for the ACC to change its revenue distribution model, although the conference earlier this year did give the green light on postseason revenue distribution that rewards league schools for having success in the College Football Playoff and the NCAA Tournament in hoops.

"The AP story did note, “If Stanford and Cal agreed to join the conference at drastically reduced shares, the conference could redirect the increased revenue from its contract with ESPN toward existing members.”"

Perhaps that would appease FSU or other ACC schools that are unhappy with the current revenue distribution model.

However, as the AP said, it remains to be determined “whether getting Stanford — and Northern California rival Cal — at a cut rate will be enough to convince the necessary 12 of 15 ACC schools to vote to expand.”

Andrea Adelson of ESPN, by the way, wrote a fascinating piece several days ago about conference realignment and the ACC. Adelson reported that ACC leaders held discussions for more than a year about possibly adding Cal, Stanford, Oregon and Washington.

Not too long ago, however, Oregon and Washington decided to join the Big Ten, part of the latest recent big-time developments from around the country in what I deem as the unfortunate, yet inevitable, game of conference realignment musical chairs. As I’ve opined before, I just hope the ‘Cuse has a seat at the table when the music does stop playing.

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