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Poll: How many SEC teams will there be in 2030? (YOU MAY VOTE FOR MORE THAN ONE OPTION)
There will be 16 SEC members (no change)
SEC will have 17 members
SEC will have 18 members
SEC will have 19 members
SEC will have 20 members
The SEC won't raid any conference.
SEC will raid the ACC
SEC will raid the Big Ten
SEC will raid the Big 12
SEC will raid the PAC 12
SEC will raid the G5
The SEC will merge with another conference.
There will be a P2, not a P5
Something else will happen.
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Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
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HerdFanGuest Offline
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Post: #121
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
I think 16 is the new magic number everyone will be shooting for (for now)
When other conferences start talking about 16, or if there is an attempt to break away from the NCAA you might see em go for 20.
But I think we've got a lot more movement with the other conferences before we see them bulk up more
06-20-2022 10:17 AM
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Frank the Tank Online
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Post: #122
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 08:47 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 05:33 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 04:24 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 02:54 PM)JRsec Wrote:  I suspect the SEC might be more interested in North Carolina, Duke, Virginia and Kansas. 4 AAUs, 3 national brands, 3 new states, and oodles of hoops branding (which is insurance for the future). FSU and Clemson could be used by ESPN to anchor a better football conference (rebuilt from B12 and ACC brands). To me the accretive value to the SEC is in hoops (especially if basketball is monetized outside of the NCAA), and yet they would also be picking up 3 stellar baseball programs and an improving one at Kansas. The conference would never run short on any of the Big 3's post seasons. And it adds (as did OU and UT) to softball and women's hoops.

It also puts a bow on the entire region.

We'll simply see what ESPN is thinking soon enough.

Well, I think the Big Ten would be interested in all of those exact same schools in a vacuum, too. This is sort of the opposite of the UT/OU situation, though. It was probably hard envisioning OU ending up in the Big Ten while it was very easy to see them fit into the SEC. UT could really fit into any conference geographically and academically (which is why they were such a valuable commodity for realignment - they made sense for EVERY conference coast-to-coast). In contrast, I just see no way that Duke would ever choose the SEC over the Big Ten and I'd likely say the same for UVA and Kansas. UNC is different in the sense that they're in a more UT-like position. The thing is that UT's rivals preferred the SEC while UNC's rivals very likely prefer the Big Ten.

I think it's all water under the bridge because of the ACC Grant of Rights agreement, though. We can talk about all of these scenarios of the ACC getting poached all day, but from a legal perspective, the GOR is truly a hammer to prevent schools from getting poached. Like I've said before, UT and OU are having a hard time simply paying an extra year or two of damages in order to be released from the Big 12 GOR agreement... and these are super rich schools going to the super rich SEC. It's not reasonable for any ACC school to be paying a dozen years of those same types of damages in order for the ACC to agree to release them from the GOR. (The term of art to "break the GOR" is NOT a very good way of phrasing it for anyone that wants to discuss this issue. It implies that a school can unilaterally figure out a way to break the contract, which simply isn't true. Instead, it's the conference getting enough money that it's satisfied to agree to release the defecting school from its GOR obligations. ALL of the power is with the conference in GOR agreements.)

Well Frank you are likely to be as shocked as you were with the Texas decision. They've been in talks twice now. UVa I'm inclined to believe could go either way. Kansas will merely take the first firm offer from either. Northern certitude, ain't nothin' like it for entertainment!

Frank's point regarding additions must make more money for current members is legit, but college football and basketball is still under valued compared to what it could be worth that it would be smart to acquire the most valuable pieces on the board when you can. For example, if there is going to be a breakaway of the top 48, 56 or 64 schools, and the SEC could expand it's membership to one half that total so it would be one of the two conferencs remaiing, then the SEC would be wise to take the best 8, 14 or even 16 schools. And leave the B1G aligned with the PAC and a few others outside the SEC's territory.

When Frank says conferences hold the power in the Grant of Rights negotiations he was referring to a school's ability to leave the conference. But the network has power too because the school cannot go to another conference the network does not own. the rights to another conference. That means there is zero chance any school goes to the B1G as long as there is an ACC until the ACC's grant of rights has expired. It might be unlikely that any ACC school can go the SEC during the ACC's grant of rights but the chances are not zero.

I think UNC has decided if the are going to leave the ACC it will be to go to the SEC. All of the tea leaves say Tar Heels to the SEC. FSU definitely has.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.
(This post was last modified: 06-20-2022 11:22 AM by Frank the Tank.)
06-20-2022 11:19 AM
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jimrtex Offline
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Post: #123
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
It sounds like this was the basis of the NYT study used for the estimates.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014...n-map.html

There is a broad swath of Upstate NY that is solid orange.

If I understand the methodology they looked at Facebook likes by Zip Code and projected that to the entire zip code.

If you didn't have a computer, or didn't like an FBS school, or their football team, or were entirely indifferent to football would still be projected based on their neighbors. Someone who posted an old picture of a Syracuse lacrosse player half buried in mud and his knee bent in an unnatural manner to the Hobart lax webpage might be counted as a Syracuse football fan.

Upstate New York is not a destination for many graduates or alumni of any school. In absolute numbers of all persons, 2% might like Syracuse on Facebook, but that could be 80% of all persons in that zip code who like an FBS football team.

Destination cities like Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Florida may get lots of likes from people checking out their school, perhaps out of nostalgia, but have only gone back for one game since, and other than the Big Game don't watch Bogwash State on TV.[/align]
06-20-2022 07:19 PM
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Lurker Above Offline
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Post: #124
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 08:47 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 05:33 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 04:24 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  Well, I think the Big Ten would be interested in all of those exact same schools in a vacuum, too. This is sort of the opposite of the UT/OU situation, though. It was probably hard envisioning OU ending up in the Big Ten while it was very easy to see them fit into the SEC. UT could really fit into any conference geographically and academically (which is why they were such a valuable commodity for realignment - they made sense for EVERY conference coast-to-coast). In contrast, I just see no way that Duke would ever choose the SEC over the Big Ten and I'd likely say the same for UVA and Kansas. UNC is different in the sense that they're in a more UT-like position. The thing is that UT's rivals preferred the SEC while UNC's rivals very likely prefer the Big Ten.

I think it's all water under the bridge because of the ACC Grant of Rights agreement, though. We can talk about all of these scenarios of the ACC getting poached all day, but from a legal perspective, the GOR is truly a hammer to prevent schools from getting poached. Like I've said before, UT and OU are having a hard time simply paying an extra year or two of damages in order to be released from the Big 12 GOR agreement... and these are super rich schools going to the super rich SEC. It's not reasonable for any ACC school to be paying a dozen years of those same types of damages in order for the ACC to agree to release them from the GOR. (The term of art to "break the GOR" is NOT a very good way of phrasing it for anyone that wants to discuss this issue. It implies that a school can unilaterally figure out a way to break the contract, which simply isn't true. Instead, it's the conference getting enough money that it's satisfied to agree to release the defecting school from its GOR obligations. ALL of the power is with the conference in GOR agreements.)

Well Frank you are likely to be as shocked as you were with the Texas decision. They've been in talks twice now. UVa I'm inclined to believe could go either way. Kansas will merely take the first firm offer from either. Northern certitude, ain't nothin' like it for entertainment!

Frank's point regarding additions must make more money for current members is legit, but college football and basketball is still under valued compared to what it could be worth that it would be smart to acquire the most valuable pieces on the board when you can. For example, if there is going to be a breakaway of the top 48, 56 or 64 schools, and the SEC could expand it's membership to one half that total so it would be one of the two conferencs remaiing, then the SEC would be wise to take the best 8, 14 or even 16 schools. And leave the B1G aligned with the PAC and a few others outside the SEC's territory.

When Frank says conferences hold the power in the Grant of Rights negotiations he was referring to a school's ability to leave the conference. But the network has power too because the school cannot go to another conference the network does not own. the rights to another conference. That means there is zero chance any school goes to the B1G as long as there is an ACC until the ACC's grant of rights has expired. It might be unlikely that any ACC school can go the SEC during the ACC's grant of rights but the chances are not zero.

I think UNC has decided if the are going to leave the ACC it will be to go to the SEC. All of the tea leaves say Tar Heels to the SEC. FSU definitely has.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

I never said the ACC schools would not have to negotiate with the ACC to leave. I also said it would be unlikely that they could leave because of the GORs. What I said is that ESPN would have a say. That is only where you and I disagree. I think it's absurd to think ESPN did not put into their ACC contract that if somehow schools left the conference before the contract was up that it would still be ESPN broadcasting their home games. ESPN has known for quite awhile that conferences break-up and no one can predict the future. The contract would address that no matter how remote the possibility was deemed.
06-20-2022 08:53 PM
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JRsec Offline
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Post: #125
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-20-2022 08:53 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 08:47 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 05:33 PM)JRsec Wrote:  Well Frank you are likely to be as shocked as you were with the Texas decision. They've been in talks twice now. UVa I'm inclined to believe could go either way. Kansas will merely take the first firm offer from either. Northern certitude, ain't nothin' like it for entertainment!

Frank's point regarding additions must make more money for current members is legit, but college football and basketball is still under valued compared to what it could be worth that it would be smart to acquire the most valuable pieces on the board when you can. For example, if there is going to be a breakaway of the top 48, 56 or 64 schools, and the SEC could expand it's membership to one half that total so it would be one of the two conferencs remaiing, then the SEC would be wise to take the best 8, 14 or even 16 schools. And leave the B1G aligned with the PAC and a few others outside the SEC's territory.

When Frank says conferences hold the power in the Grant of Rights negotiations he was referring to a school's ability to leave the conference. But the network has power too because the school cannot go to another conference the network does not own. the rights to another conference. That means there is zero chance any school goes to the B1G as long as there is an ACC until the ACC's grant of rights has expired. It might be unlikely that any ACC school can go the SEC during the ACC's grant of rights but the chances are not zero.

I think UNC has decided if the are going to leave the ACC it will be to go to the SEC. All of the tea leaves say Tar Heels to the SEC. FSU definitely has.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

I never said the ACC schools would not have to negotiate with the ACC to leave. I also said it would be unlikely that they could leave because of the GORs. What I said is that ESPN would have a say. That is only where you and I disagree. I think it's absurd to think ESPN did not put into their ACC contract that if somehow schools left the conference before the contract was up that it would still be ESPN broadcasting their home games. ESPN has known for quite awhile that conferences break-up and no one can predict the future. The contract would address that no matter how remote the possibility was deemed.

1. Should Pay for Play pass there is precedent that a court mandated change which produces inequity in a contract can void both GORs and Contracts which did not account for the inequity. Particularly the ACC contract which can't anticipate this change could be voided should it occur. The inequity is obvious. It's the increased overhead mandated by court ruling when no such overhead is sustained by the rights holder.

2. Contracts signed were for NCAA amateur football. It will become a form of professional football.

3. I suspect the SEC's new contract took this potential change into consideration. The B1G contract would be foolish not to do so. The PAC and Big 12 contracts might come after the ruling. All of them are likely to have anticipated this possibility. Not the ACC which will have no current redress.

Therefore, I believe the ACC still could have options. We'll see.
06-20-2022 09:05 PM
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Frank the Tank Online
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Post: #126
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-20-2022 09:05 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 08:53 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 08:47 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  Frank's point regarding additions must make more money for current members is legit, but college football and basketball is still under valued compared to what it could be worth that it would be smart to acquire the most valuable pieces on the board when you can. For example, if there is going to be a breakaway of the top 48, 56 or 64 schools, and the SEC could expand it's membership to one half that total so it would be one of the two conferencs remaiing, then the SEC would be wise to take the best 8, 14 or even 16 schools. And leave the B1G aligned with the PAC and a few others outside the SEC's territory.

When Frank says conferences hold the power in the Grant of Rights negotiations he was referring to a school's ability to leave the conference. But the network has power too because the school cannot go to another conference the network does not own. the rights to another conference. That means there is zero chance any school goes to the B1G as long as there is an ACC until the ACC's grant of rights has expired. It might be unlikely that any ACC school can go the SEC during the ACC's grant of rights but the chances are not zero.

I think UNC has decided if the are going to leave the ACC it will be to go to the SEC. All of the tea leaves say Tar Heels to the SEC. FSU definitely has.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

I never said the ACC schools would not have to negotiate with the ACC to leave. I also said it would be unlikely that they could leave because of the GORs. What I said is that ESPN would have a say. That is only where you and I disagree. I think it's absurd to think ESPN did not put into their ACC contract that if somehow schools left the conference before the contract was up that it would still be ESPN broadcasting their home games. ESPN has known for quite awhile that conferences break-up and no one can predict the future. The contract would address that no matter how remote the possibility was deemed.

1. Should Pay for Play pass there is precedent that a court mandated change which produces inequity in a contract can void both GORs and Contracts which did not account for the inequity. Particularly the ACC contract which can't anticipate this change could be voided should it occur. The inequity is obvious. It's the increased overhead mandated by court ruling when no such overhead is sustained by the rights holder.

2. Contracts signed were for NCAA amateur football. It will become a form of professional football.

3. I suspect the SEC's new contract took this potential change into consideration. The B1G contract would be foolish not to do so. The PAC and Big 12 contracts might come after the ruling. All of them are likely to have anticipated this possibility. Not the ACC which will have no current redress.

Therefore, I believe the ACC still could have options. We'll see.

Under point #1, what I believe that you’re referring to is an agreement that becomes *unenforceable* because of a court-mandated or legal change. That won’t happen here. It wouldn’t matter if what we now know as college football becomes a full-on pay for play sport with NFL-style salary caps and labor unions.

Same thing for point #2 and #3. If the ACC GOR agreement has substantively the same terms as the Big Ten GOR agreement (which has been made public), it completely doesn’t matter whether players are paid or not any more than the fact that the coaches are paid. If the school is fielding a football team, then those rights are owned by the conference without any stipulation or exception.

I know that we’re all realignment addicts here that want the action badly, but there is absolutely no legal basis for any of these arguments. Zero. None. Nada. Can’t be any clearer. There is NO *unilateral* out from that contract for any school. Any “out” from that contract would require a mutual agreement that school and the ACC to release the obligations.

Disney knows this better than anyone since they’re stuck with the perpetual grant of rights license deal that Marvel signed with Sony for Spider-Man movies before Disney purchased Marvel. Believe me that every lawyer in Hollywood has looked for a way for Disney to get out of that deal and it simply doesn’t exist. That’s why I’ve stated before that sports fans are super naive about the power of these contracts and mistakenly think that they’re untested and rare agreements when, in fact, they’re very well-established.

The only way that any schools leave the ACC for the next dozen years is if the ACC agrees to release those schools, but that’s almost certainly only gonna to happen if the ACC demands so much money from those schools that it defeats the whole purpose of those schools wanting to leave (which is to make more money). That’s essentially how Sony has treated Disney with respect to the Spider-Man deal and that’s how the ACC would treat any attempted raid by the Big Ten or ACC.
06-20-2022 10:52 PM
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Post: #127
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-20-2022 10:52 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 09:05 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 08:53 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

I never said the ACC schools would not have to negotiate with the ACC to leave. I also said it would be unlikely that they could leave because of the GORs. What I said is that ESPN would have a say. That is only where you and I disagree. I think it's absurd to think ESPN did not put into their ACC contract that if somehow schools left the conference before the contract was up that it would still be ESPN broadcasting their home games. ESPN has known for quite awhile that conferences break-up and no one can predict the future. The contract would address that no matter how remote the possibility was deemed.

1. Should Pay for Play pass there is precedent that a court mandated change which produces inequity in a contract can void both GORs and Contracts which did not account for the inequity. Particularly the ACC contract which can't anticipate this change could be voided should it occur. The inequity is obvious. It's the increased overhead mandated by court ruling when no such overhead is sustained by the rights holder.

2. Contracts signed were for NCAA amateur football. It will become a form of professional football.

3. I suspect the SEC's new contract took this potential change into consideration. The B1G contract would be foolish not to do so. The PAC and Big 12 contracts might come after the ruling. All of them are likely to have anticipated this possibility. Not the ACC which will have no current redress.

Therefore, I believe the ACC still could have options. We'll see.

Under point #1, what I believe that you’re referring to is an agreement that becomes *unenforceable* because of a court-mandated or legal change. That won’t happen here. It wouldn’t matter if what we now know as college football becomes a full-on pay for play sport with NFL-style salary caps and labor unions.

Same thing for point #2 and #3. If the ACC GOR agreement has substantively the same terms as the Big Ten GOR agreement (which has been made public), it completely doesn’t matter whether players are paid or not any more than the fact that the coaches are paid. If the school is fielding a football team, then those rights are owned by the conference without any stipulation or exception.

I know that we’re all realignment addicts here that want the action badly, but there is absolutely no legal basis for any of these arguments. Zero. None. Nada. Can’t be any clearer. There is NO *unilateral* out from that contract for any school. Any “out” from that contract would require a mutual agreement that school and the ACC to release the obligations.

Disney knows this better than anyone since they’re stuck with the perpetual grant of rights license deal that Marvel signed with Sony for Spider-Man movies before Disney purchased Marvel. Believe me that every lawyer in Hollywood has looked for a way for Disney to get out of that deal and it simply doesn’t exist. That’s why I’ve stated before that sports fans are super naive about the power of these contracts and mistakenly think that they’re untested and rare agreements when, in fact, they’re very well-established.

The only way that any schools leave the ACC for the next dozen years is if the ACC agrees to release those schools, but that’s almost certainly only gonna to happen if the ACC demands so much money from those schools that it defeats the whole purpose of those schools wanting to leave (which is to make more money). That’s essentially how Sony has treated Disney with respect to the Spider-Man deal and that’s how the ACC would treat any attempted raid by the Big Ten or ACC.

Have you handled many of these cases Frank? GOR cases were mostly entertainment based prior to application to sports. I'm not an attorney but I've read up on these and enforceability was determined by whether one party was unduly burdened by the change. Since application to sports is more recent than performing arts cases I don't think anyone can be quite so sure how pay for play goes down vs amateur status. Both the nature and level of investment change. So I'll wait on a settled case.

At least the money at stake is significant enough now it's more likely to go to court.
(This post was last modified: 06-20-2022 11:27 PM by JRsec.)
06-20-2022 11:25 PM
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bluesox Offline
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Post: #128
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
I think the main issue is what would an sec, big 10 and Acc contract command right now if all were out for bidding. The acc seems to be locked into a long term low contract compared to the others. However, if the contracts are bid at the same time what is the real difference between the leagues? Is the gap still huge or does the acc close it significantly? Also, if the acc GOR is void given the new structure of the ncaa, that would also void the acc contract, which would than mean it could be put out for a new bid. I just don’t think the unc, duke, uva, v tech block of schools want to leave the acc for either the big 10 or sec, so such movement is unlikely.
(This post was last modified: 06-21-2022 09:25 AM by bluesox.)
06-21-2022 09:23 AM
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Post: #129
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-20-2022 11:25 PM)JRsec Wrote:  Have you handled many of these cases Frank? GOR cases were mostly entertainment based prior to application to sports. I'm not an attorney but I've read up on these and enforceability was determined by whether one party was unduly burdened by the change. Since application to sports is more recent than performing arts cases I don't think anyone can be quite so sure how pay for play goes down vs amateur status. Both the nature and level of investment change. So I'll wait on a settled case.

At least the money at stake is significant enough now it's more likely to go to court.

I've dealt with IP licenses, so I understand the concept.

The "unduly burdened" standard is extremely high, where you effectively have to show that the business entity itself legitimately cannot function as an ongoing concern to continue with the agreement. The fact that underlying labor costs might be rising as a result of a legal change (which is what pay to play would entail) would be almost impossible to show as an undue burden because everyone in the entire industry would be experiencing the same issue whether they have a GOR agreement or not. Whether college sports are considered professional or amateur is irrelevant to the legal analysis. At the end of the day, it's all just labor costs rising - the ACC schools can't claim that they have new undue burden because of having to play players any more than they have to compete with the Big Ten and SEC for higher coaching salaries. Rising labor costs are simple free market economics and the courts aren't going to break contracts on that basis.
06-21-2022 10:30 AM
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ken d Offline
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Post: #130
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
I have seen others (not attorneys) express a view that a contract could be invalidated if conditions that could not have been foreseen by the parties when they signed it occur. The presumption here is that NIL and pay for play were so antithetical to the NCAA amateur model that they could not have been foreseen.

To them I would argue that the only way those things could not have been foreseen is if one were living in a cave cut off entirely from the outside world. The NCAA has spent decades resisting NIL and pay for play. They foresaw the possibility. Did not foresee is not the same as could not foresee. One may have believed they would never happen, but miscalculation is not grounds for voiding a contract. If it were, everyone who ever made a bad deal would sue to get out of it.
06-21-2022 10:48 AM
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Post: #131
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
Two sides of the same coin?

1. GoR's are essentially ironclad because that's how the courts rule (*and, as a backup reason if needed, they're cost-prohibitive to escape)

2. Conferences will expand only if Notre Dame wants in (which, btw, falls somewhere between very unlikely and zero chance)

3. No "remaining" school besides Notre Dame offers enough value to justify the economics of a school moving into either the S-E-C or B1G

4. University administrators will accept receiving $40M to $50M less in media rights revenue then their institutional peers because, honestly, they they have no choice.

OR

1. GOR's — like most anything else written on paper — can be "broken" if all parties can come to a mutually agreeable resolution

2. Notre Dame is, in fact, not the only school the B1G and/or SEC would be willing to invite as a new member

3. ESPN and FOX create ways to make the economics work in their favor as the two "SuperConferences" grow by consolidating elite brands

4. University administrators will not accept receiving $40M to $50M less in media rights revenue then their institutional peers and therefore will do whatever is necessary to eliminate that disparity

"We're getting to a two solar system model here You have two suns with all the gravitational pull -- the Big Ten and the SEC. People are going to have to figure out how to align with one or the other."
-- Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick
(This post was last modified: 06-21-2022 11:38 AM by PeteTheChop.)
06-21-2022 11:28 AM
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Lurker Above Offline
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Post: #132
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-20-2022 10:52 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 09:05 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 08:53 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

I never said the ACC schools would not have to negotiate with the ACC to leave. I also said it would be unlikely that they could leave because of the GORs. What I said is that ESPN would have a say. That is only where you and I disagree. I think it's absurd to think ESPN did not put into their ACC contract that if somehow schools left the conference before the contract was up that it would still be ESPN broadcasting their home games. ESPN has known for quite awhile that conferences break-up and no one can predict the future. The contract would address that no matter how remote the possibility was deemed.

1. Should Pay for Play pass there is precedent that a court mandated change which produces inequity in a contract can void both GORs and Contracts which did not account for the inequity. Particularly the ACC contract which can't anticipate this change could be voided should it occur. The inequity is obvious. It's the increased overhead mandated by court ruling when no such overhead is sustained by the rights holder.

2. Contracts signed were for NCAA amateur football. It will become a form of professional football.

3. I suspect the SEC's new contract took this potential change into consideration. The B1G contract would be foolish not to do so. The PAC and Big 12 contracts might come after the ruling. All of them are likely to have anticipated this possibility. Not the ACC which will have no current redress.

Therefore, I believe the ACC still could have options. We'll see.

Under point #1, what I believe that you’re referring to is an agreement that becomes *unenforceable* because of a court-mandated or legal change. That won’t happen here. It wouldn’t matter if what we now know as college football becomes a full-on pay for play sport with NFL-style salary caps and labor unions.

Same thing for point #2 and #3. If the ACC GOR agreement has substantively the same terms as the Big Ten GOR agreement (which has been made public), it completely doesn’t matter whether players are paid or not any more than the fact that the coaches are paid. If the school is fielding a football team, then those rights are owned by the conference without any stipulation or exception.

I know that we’re all realignment addicts here that want the action badly, but there is absolutely no legal basis for any of these arguments. Zero. None. Nada. Can’t be any clearer. There is NO *unilateral* out from that contract for any school. Any “out” from that contract would require a mutual agreement that school and the ACC to release the obligations.

Disney knows this better than anyone since they’re stuck with the perpetual grant of rights license deal that Marvel signed with Sony for Spider-Man movies before Disney purchased Marvel. Believe me that every lawyer in Hollywood has looked for a way for Disney to get out of that deal and it simply doesn’t exist. That’s why I’ve stated before that sports fans are super naive about the power of these contracts and mistakenly think that they’re untested and rare agreements when, in fact, they’re very well-established.

The only way that any schools leave the ACC for the next dozen years is if the ACC agrees to release those schools, but that’s almost certainly only gonna to happen if the ACC demands so much money from those schools that it defeats the whole purpose of those schools wanting to leave (which is to make more money). That’s essentially how Sony has treated Disney with respect to the Spider-Man deal and that’s how the ACC would treat any attempted raid by the Big Ten or ACC.

So Frank, what your saying is no school leaves the ACC unless all schools agree to leave the ACC to go to greener pastures because no one can be left behind because they would get all of the GORs money. Or maybe just enough to dissolve the conference if such termination provisions provide terms favorable to the schools voting to leave the conference so they would not have to pay too much to the schools voting to preserve the ACC.

So there would be a lot of mouths to feed for the ACC to break up. Of course we kind of knew that, right? Probably not enough soup to go around, unless there was a break away, maybe.

An interesting thought is would the necessity of bringing the ACC members into the new future, whatever that is, because of the GORs be a valid excuse to leave others behind as to antitrust laws, if any apply?
06-21-2022 02:46 PM
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Post: #133
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-21-2022 02:46 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 10:52 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 09:05 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 08:53 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

I never said the ACC schools would not have to negotiate with the ACC to leave. I also said it would be unlikely that they could leave because of the GORs. What I said is that ESPN would have a say. That is only where you and I disagree. I think it's absurd to think ESPN did not put into their ACC contract that if somehow schools left the conference before the contract was up that it would still be ESPN broadcasting their home games. ESPN has known for quite awhile that conferences break-up and no one can predict the future. The contract would address that no matter how remote the possibility was deemed.

1. Should Pay for Play pass there is precedent that a court mandated change which produces inequity in a contract can void both GORs and Contracts which did not account for the inequity. Particularly the ACC contract which can't anticipate this change could be voided should it occur. The inequity is obvious. It's the increased overhead mandated by court ruling when no such overhead is sustained by the rights holder.

2. Contracts signed were for NCAA amateur football. It will become a form of professional football.

3. I suspect the SEC's new contract took this potential change into consideration. The B1G contract would be foolish not to do so. The PAC and Big 12 contracts might come after the ruling. All of them are likely to have anticipated this possibility. Not the ACC which will have no current redress.

Therefore, I believe the ACC still could have options. We'll see.

Under point #1, what I believe that you’re referring to is an agreement that becomes *unenforceable* because of a court-mandated or legal change. That won’t happen here. It wouldn’t matter if what we now know as college football becomes a full-on pay for play sport with NFL-style salary caps and labor unions.

Same thing for point #2 and #3. If the ACC GOR agreement has substantively the same terms as the Big Ten GOR agreement (which has been made public), it completely doesn’t matter whether players are paid or not any more than the fact that the coaches are paid. If the school is fielding a football team, then those rights are owned by the conference without any stipulation or exception.

I know that we’re all realignment addicts here that want the action badly, but there is absolutely no legal basis for any of these arguments. Zero. None. Nada. Can’t be any clearer. There is NO *unilateral* out from that contract for any school. Any “out” from that contract would require a mutual agreement that school and the ACC to release the obligations.

Disney knows this better than anyone since they’re stuck with the perpetual grant of rights license deal that Marvel signed with Sony for Spider-Man movies before Disney purchased Marvel. Believe me that every lawyer in Hollywood has looked for a way for Disney to get out of that deal and it simply doesn’t exist. That’s why I’ve stated before that sports fans are super naive about the power of these contracts and mistakenly think that they’re untested and rare agreements when, in fact, they’re very well-established.

The only way that any schools leave the ACC for the next dozen years is if the ACC agrees to release those schools, but that’s almost certainly only gonna to happen if the ACC demands so much money from those schools that it defeats the whole purpose of those schools wanting to leave (which is to make more money). That’s essentially how Sony has treated Disney with respect to the Spider-Man deal and that’s how the ACC would treat any attempted raid by the Big Ten or ACC.

So Frank, what your saying is no school leaves the ACC unless all schools agree to leave the ACC to go to greener pastures because no one can be left behind because they would get all of the GORs money. Or maybe just enough to dissolve the conference if such termination provisions provide terms favorable to the schools voting to leave the conference so they would not have to pay too much to the schools voting to preserve the ACC.

So there would be a lot of mouths to feed for the ACC to break up. Of course we kind of knew that, right? Probably not enough soup to go around, unless there was a break away, maybe.

An interesting thought is would the necessity of bringing the ACC members into the new future, whatever that is, because of the GORs be a valid excuse to leave others behind as to antitrust laws, if any apply?

Well, Bilas did suggest that the ACC just merge with the SEC.
It interesting to note that Bilas works for ESPN.07-coffee3
06-21-2022 03:23 PM
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PIRATE TERP Offline
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Post: #134
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
Frank & all … great back & forth … thank you … admittedly knowing absolutely nothing about the legal dynamics what if espn goes “hey ACC here’s 10 million bucks per school to let FSU Clemson & Miami go to the SEC” (or whatever amount … 11x10mill) can that happen?
06-21-2022 03:45 PM
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Post: #135
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-21-2022 03:45 PM)PIRATE TERP Wrote:  Frank & all … great back & forth … thank you … admittedly knowing absolutely nothing about the legal dynamics what if espn goes “hey ACC here’s 10 million bucks per school to let FSU Clemson & Miami go to the SEC” (or whatever amount … 11x10mill) can that happen?

Contracts are broken every day and replaced by workable business solutions. So, there are possible scenarios that could see FSU and Clemson move to the SEC. Sure.

But, an ACC-SEC-ESPN business deal is unlikely for at least two primary reasons. First, it's hard to see business deal terms that the ACC and SEC schools and ESPN would all find acceptable. The amount of money needed to motivate the ACC schools to agree is likely a non-starter for ESPN and FSU & Clemson. Even discussing realistic business terms would run a high risk of offending someone. I don't see ESPN, ACC, or SEC risking the burnt bridges and ruined relationships.

Also, ESPN and the SEC cannot intentionally interfere with known existing contracts and relationships. It would be difficult to arrange any deal to induce FSU and Clemson to leave the ACC without intentionally interfering with their ACC relationship.
06-21-2022 04:46 PM
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Post: #136
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-21-2022 10:30 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:25 PM)JRsec Wrote:  Have you handled many of these cases Frank? GOR cases were mostly entertainment based prior to application to sports. I'm not an attorney but I've read up on these and enforceability was determined by whether one party was unduly burdened by the change. Since application to sports is more recent than performing arts cases I don't think anyone can be quite so sure how pay for play goes down vs amateur status. Both the nature and level of investment change. So I'll wait on a settled case.

At least the money at stake is significant enough now it's more likely to go to court.

I've dealt with IP licenses, so I understand the concept.

The "unduly burdened" standard is extremely high, where you effectively have to show that the business entity itself legitimately cannot function as an ongoing concern to continue with the agreement. The fact that underlying labor costs might be rising as a result of a legal change (which is what pay to play would entail) would be almost impossible to show as an undue burden because everyone in the entire industry would be experiencing the same issue whether they have a GOR agreement or not. Whether college sports are considered professional or amateur is irrelevant to the legal analysis. At the end of the day, it's all just labor costs rising - the ACC schools can't claim that they have new undue burden because of having to play players any more than they have to compete with the Big Ten and SEC for higher coaching salaries. Rising labor costs are simple free market economics and the courts aren't going to break contracts on that basis.

I understand that media rights can be consider property in this sort of scenario and thus the idea of a GOR was born with respect to college athletics. However, the property is wholly owned by state-sponsored institutions.

I strongly doubt these state-sponsored institutions could be forced by outside entities(private ones at that) to limit their associations and be penalized for deciding to play sports with a different group of schools. If these GORs were truly tested then I don't think they'd stand up.

With that said, now that each major conference has a GOR, I understand there is little motivation to do anything that would test their mettle. If any of them are unenforceable then they're all unenforceable.

But what would make them unenforceable? Rising labor costs? In and of themselves, no. I do agree with that. However, if the Federal courts rule that players are employees then that has certain ramifications. It's not just about the level of payment at that point. As far as I can tell, it would come down to the athletes themselves and potential restraint of trade issues.

Restraint of trade isn't a problem as long as the livelihood of those being restrained isn't being deprived. So who is the party being restrained? The schools or the employees of the school? Rising labor costs mean fewer opportunities to make a livelihood for many athletes if we have certain employers forbidden from engaging in covenants that will adequately supply their coffers.

I understand that's a little bit of a gray area, but it's not so ironclad is my point. Rather than risk a restraint of trade lawsuit...which seems more likely to be filed by an employee rather than the school itself(remember that the property here is not IP, it is the labor of individuals who have signed up to play a game against other individuals who are working for other employers)...it makes sense that everyone just come to the table and come up with something workable in the long term.

No one really wants to see the GORs broken or they wouldn't have signed them en masse, but the Federal courts are going to force everyone's hand and there's literally nothing they can do about it.

If some of these institutions are to maintain a reasonably functioning business model for their athletic departments then they're not only going to have to deal with rising labor costs, but they're going to have to deal with the fact that a certain restraint of trade might sink their ability to compete for talent and thus affect the livelihood of their employees.

I imagine it's very hard to sign away the rights to labor that has not even been performed yet and is not necessarily guaranteed to exist into the future....this is fundamentally different from IP as that has already been produced. In that case, a company either owns the rights or they don't. When it comes to labor, however, the players could simply decide not to show up or transfer to another employer at the drop of a hat. There's too much volatility there.

This is why I don't see the GOR being broken. I see it being negotiated out of existence, effectively, by creating a new agreement that benefits all parties...most especially the players because they are the variable if they become employees.
06-24-2022 10:29 PM
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Post: #137
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 08:47 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 05:33 PM)JRsec Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 04:24 PM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  Well, I think the Big Ten would be interested in all of those exact same schools in a vacuum, too. This is sort of the opposite of the UT/OU situation, though. It was probably hard envisioning OU ending up in the Big Ten while it was very easy to see them fit into the SEC. UT could really fit into any conference geographically and academically (which is why they were such a valuable commodity for realignment - they made sense for EVERY conference coast-to-coast). In contrast, I just see no way that Duke would ever choose the SEC over the Big Ten and I'd likely say the same for UVA and Kansas. UNC is different in the sense that they're in a more UT-like position. The thing is that UT's rivals preferred the SEC while UNC's rivals very likely prefer the Big Ten.

I think it's all water under the bridge because of the ACC Grant of Rights agreement, though. We can talk about all of these scenarios of the ACC getting poached all day, but from a legal perspective, the GOR is truly a hammer to prevent schools from getting poached. Like I've said before, UT and OU are having a hard time simply paying an extra year or two of damages in order to be released from the Big 12 GOR agreement... and these are super rich schools going to the super rich SEC. It's not reasonable for any ACC school to be paying a dozen years of those same types of damages in order for the ACC to agree to release them from the GOR. (The term of art to "break the GOR" is NOT a very good way of phrasing it for anyone that wants to discuss this issue. It implies that a school can unilaterally figure out a way to break the contract, which simply isn't true. Instead, it's the conference getting enough money that it's satisfied to agree to release the defecting school from its GOR obligations. ALL of the power is with the conference in GOR agreements.)

Well Frank you are likely to be as shocked as you were with the Texas decision. They've been in talks twice now. UVa I'm inclined to believe could go either way. Kansas will merely take the first firm offer from either. Northern certitude, ain't nothin' like it for entertainment!

Frank's point regarding additions must make more money for current members is legit, but college football and basketball is still under valued compared to what it could be worth that it would be smart to acquire the most valuable pieces on the board when you can. For example, if there is going to be a breakaway of the top 48, 56 or 64 schools, and the SEC could expand it's membership to one half that total so it would be one of the two conferencs remaiing, then the SEC would be wise to take the best 8, 14 or even 16 schools. And leave the B1G aligned with the PAC and a few others outside the SEC's territory.

When Frank says conferences hold the power in the Grant of Rights negotiations he was referring to a school's ability to leave the conference. But the network has power too because the school cannot go to another conference the network does not own. the rights to another conference. That means there is zero chance any school goes to the B1G as long as there is an ACC until the ACC's grant of rights has expired. It might be unlikely that any ACC school can go the SEC during the ACC's grant of rights but the chances are not zero.

I think UNC has decided if the are going to leave the ACC it will be to go to the SEC. All of the tea leaves say Tar Heels to the SEC. FSU definitely has.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

All good points Frank. So let's use use your numbers, even enhance the numbers in your favor. Let's say the buyout to leave the ACC is $400,000,000.00 with a leave date of 2026. So for $400M a school could leave the ACC 10 years early.

Let's also consider college football is still under valued as to the brand named schools. Basically, you must concede we do not know the value of Clemson, FSU, UNC and VT in the SEC, which I contend is substantially greater than they are in the ACC.

Now let's consider these schools could make $50M per year more in the SEC. I surmise such is a reasonable and conservative value. The same analysis could be done with the B1G, but I think these schools are worth more in the SEC because of the existing rivalries, existing competiveness for recruits and bragging rights that has existed for generations between schools that rarely play each other (UGA fans always watch what's going on at FSU and Clemson) and the natural potential rivalries due to geography.

From the these four schools' perspective they would make $100M more in the SEC over the next ten years. Probably more with the enhanced value the SEC would have with such concentration of brands. Not only could they make more money but their ticket would be punched for the future wealth and prestige of being in the SEC. Therefore, I really do see a huge problem on the schools' side of the equation.

That leaves the other side of the equation; the extra four mouths to feed in the SEC cannot cause the existing SEC 16 schools to receive less money. I seriously doubt they would. Arguably the brand value of Clemson, FSU, UNC and VT in the SEC is worth as much as the average brand value of the existing SEC16, plus the SEC would be adding two new populous and growing states, a second school in its second most populous state, and creating numerous extra brand vs brand games each year. It's hard to see how the math does not work.

Of course the second side of the equation also includes the various interests of the SEC. It would have to pay the SEC more, but that really isn't an impediment that couldnt be overcome because ESPN would benefit from the increased brand on brand games and more heated rivalries, as discussed above as to value. They would be getting sufficient value for they would be paying out.

The more complex analysis is the diminished value of the ACC. First, these schools would have to initiate the movement stating, "While we intend on honoring our ACC contract and our obligations to ESPN, because of the changing forces in college football and the need act in our best interests to meet this challenges, we will not commit to signing a new contract with the ACC after the present contract expires. That removes ESPN from a claim they are instigating the moves. In fact, ESPN will likely publicly decrie such movement, but the die will be cast. These schools will be leaving and they cannot be allowed to go to the B1G.

This means the remaining ACC will get the full value of their ESPN contract, and ESPN and those remaining schools will each try to maximize their value after the breakaway the best they can.

Enter Notre Dame. If they are going to join a conference, and this concentration of brands might force their hands, the new SEC likely trumps the B1G. The SEC would be at 20 and the Fighting Irish will point out the possibility of four more tickets if they are one of the four. Which three schools get a ticket? Duke with it's basketball brand? Louisville with the same and in-state rivalry with Kentucky? Kansas? UVA? NCS because of political reasons? Pitt? Miami? GT? WV to balance out the strength of a northeast quadrant? OSU for Bedlam and to prevent the potential of OU being the only SEC school without their in-state rival not being a conference rival? Baylor? TCU?

Then we do the above analysis again, but this time with greater desperation, political influence, the greater gravital pull of money being sucked into this new horizon, and the realization that the cost to create this new universe and the increased value it would create separating itself from the rest of college football one way or another will lead to the conclusion that the SEC goes to 24 or 28. And ESPN wisely pays the freight and markets the new NFL Lite as such.

So which schools make it? No one can see the future, but my best guess is every current SEC member's main in-state rival that is a state university and a P5 school gets an invite with ND. That's UVA, NCS, Louisville, and GT. Southern state politics gets this done, and in-state rivalries are safe bets for full stadiums and at least regional interest. Though GT must improve it's football culture immediately and assuage legitimate concerns over the level of support from the school and it's fans. Miami is tough because it is relatively small with fair weather fans, but also you would awaken that sleeping giant and many of those south Florida recruits might stay home. On the final analysis they get in with a commitment to build an on campus stadium. That's 26. Duke and Kansas makes it 28, and having 5 basketball super brand helps ESPN pay the freight.

ESPN is also left with the rights to the other ACC schools and leverages them the best it can with football and basketball games with the B1G. TT most likely goes to the PAC with Houston, making it the PAC 14, the same size as the B1G, and together the same size as the SEC 28. The rest of the Big12 has limited options, along with the ACC remnants.

The SEC 28 will be a force never seen in college sports and is itself a breakaway. The B1G is left primarily with its alliance with the PAC. Because the B1G's current intra conference games are worth more than playing most PAC schools I doubt a merger occurs, but the B1G inviting all AAU members is a possibility. Either way, after being shut out of the south it's long term interest would be to increase the the interest in football and B1G schools inside California, which must be a greater source of recruits moving forward.

This is how a top tier of 56 is born.

Lurker Above
06-26-2022 11:34 AM
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ken d Offline
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Post: #138
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-26-2022 11:34 AM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 08:47 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 05:33 PM)JRsec Wrote:  Well Frank you are likely to be as shocked as you were with the Texas decision. They've been in talks twice now. UVa I'm inclined to believe could go either way. Kansas will merely take the first firm offer from either. Northern certitude, ain't nothin' like it for entertainment!

Frank's point regarding additions must make more money for current members is legit, but college football and basketball is still under valued compared to what it could be worth that it would be smart to acquire the most valuable pieces on the board when you can. For example, if there is going to be a breakaway of the top 48, 56 or 64 schools, and the SEC could expand it's membership to one half that total so it would be one of the two conferencs remaiing, then the SEC would be wise to take the best 8, 14 or even 16 schools. And leave the B1G aligned with the PAC and a few others outside the SEC's territory.

When Frank says conferences hold the power in the Grant of Rights negotiations he was referring to a school's ability to leave the conference. But the network has power too because the school cannot go to another conference the network does not own. the rights to another conference. That means there is zero chance any school goes to the B1G as long as there is an ACC until the ACC's grant of rights has expired. It might be unlikely that any ACC school can go the SEC during the ACC's grant of rights but the chances are not zero.

I think UNC has decided if the are going to leave the ACC it will be to go to the SEC. All of the tea leaves say Tar Heels to the SEC. FSU definitely has.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

All good points Frank. So let's use use your numbers, even enhance the numbers in your favor. Let's say the buyout to leave the ACC is $400,000,000.00 with a leave date of 2026. So for $400M a school could leave the ACC 10 years early.

Let's also consider college football is still under valued as to the brand named schools. Basically, you must concede we do not know the value of Clemson, FSU, UNC and VT in the SEC, which I contend is substantially greater than they are in the ACC.

Now let's consider these schools could make $50M per year more in the SEC. I surmise such is a reasonable and conservative value. The same analysis could be done with the B1G, but I think these schools are worth more in the SEC because of the existing rivalries, existing competiveness for recruits and bragging rights that has existed for generations between schools that rarely play each other (UGA fans always watch what's going on at FSU and Clemson) and the natural potential rivalries due to geography.

From the these four schools' perspective they would make $100M more in the SEC over the next ten years. Probably more with the enhanced value the SEC would have with such concentration of brands. Not only could they make more money but their ticket would be punched for the future wealth and prestige of being in the SEC. Therefore, I really do see a huge problem on the schools' side of the equation.

That leaves the other side of the equation; the extra four mouths to feed in the SEC cannot cause the existing SEC 16 schools to receive less money. I seriously doubt they would. Arguably the brand value of Clemson, FSU, UNC and VT in the SEC is worth as much as the average brand value of the existing SEC16, plus the SEC would be adding two new populous and growing states, a second school in its second most populous state, and creating numerous extra brand vs brand games each year. It's hard to see how the math does not work.

Of course the second side of the equation also includes the various interests of the SEC. It would have to pay the SEC more, but that really isn't an impediment that couldnt be overcome because ESPN would benefit from the increased brand on brand games and more heated rivalries, as discussed above as to value. They would be getting sufficient value for they would be paying out.

The more complex analysis is the diminished value of the ACC. First, these schools would have to initiate the movement stating, "While we intend on honoring our ACC contract and our obligations to ESPN, because of the changing forces in college football and the need act in our best interests to meet this challenges, we will not commit to signing a new contract with the ACC after the present contract expires. That removes ESPN from a claim they are instigating the moves. In fact, ESPN will likely publicly decrie such movement, but the die will be cast. These schools will be leaving and they cannot be allowed to go to the B1G.

This means the remaining ACC will get the full value of their ESPN contract, and ESPN and those remaining schools will each try to maximize their value after the breakaway the best they can.

Enter Notre Dame. If they are going to join a conference, and this concentration of brands might force their hands, the new SEC likely trumps the B1G. The SEC would be at 20 and the Fighting Irish will point out the possibility of four more tickets if they are one of the four. Which three schools get a ticket? Duke with it's basketball brand? Louisville with the same and in-state rivalry with Kentucky? Kansas? UVA? NCS because of political reasons? Pitt? Miami? GT? WV to balance out the strength of a northeast quadrant? OSU for Bedlam and to prevent the potential of OU being the only SEC school without their in-state rival not being a conference rival? Baylor? TCU?

Then we do the above analysis again, but this time with greater desperation, political influence, the greater gravital pull of money being sucked into this new horizon, and the realization that the cost to create this new universe and the increased value it would create separating itself from the rest of college football one way or another will lead to the conclusion that the SEC goes to 24 or 28. And ESPN wisely pays the freight and markets the new NFL Lite as such.

So which schools make it? No one can see the future, but my best guess is every current SEC member's main in-state rival that is a state university and a P5 school gets an invite with ND. That's UVA, NCS, Louisville, and GT. Southern state politics gets this done, and in-state rivalries are safe bets for full stadiums and at least regional interest. Though GT must improve it's football culture immediately and assuage legitimate concerns over the level of support from the school and it's fans. Miami is tough because it is relatively small with fair weather fans, but also you would awaken that sleeping giant and many of those south Florida recruits might stay home. On the final analysis they get in with a commitment to build an on campus stadium. That's 26. Duke and Kansas makes it 28, and having 5 basketball super brand helps ESPN pay the freight.

ESPN is also left with the rights to the other ACC schools and leverages them the best it can with football and basketball games with the B1G. TT most likely goes to the PAC with Houston, making it the PAC 14, the same size as the B1G, and together the same size as the SEC 28. The rest of the Big12 has limited options, along with the ACC remnants.

The SEC 28 will be a force never seen in college sports and is itself a breakaway. The B1G is left primarily with its alliance with the PAC. Because the B1G's current intra conference games are worth more than playing most PAC schools I doubt a merger occurs, but the B1G inviting all AAU members is a possibility. Either way, after being shut out of the south it's long term interest would be to increase the the interest in football and B1G schools inside California, which must be a greater source of recruits moving forward.

This is how a top tier of 56 is born.

Lurker Above

I notice you did not address how much the 10 ACC schools would have to pay to Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest for leaving a dozen years early. At a minimum it would appear that number would be north of $2 billion. Where is that money going to come from if ESPN has just committed to paying $840 million a year to the SEC just to maintain it at its current average per school?

Maybe, just maybe, ESPN could justify adding Clemson, FSU, UNC and Virginia Tech (though I would guess UNC would insist on UVa instead of Va Tech). Beyond that I think we're imagining the impossible.
(This post was last modified: 06-26-2022 07:04 PM by ken d.)
06-26-2022 05:19 PM
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46566 Offline
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Post: #139
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
I say stay at 16. Using a division model it's 7 games in division plus 2 cross division games if you go to 9 games. If you stay at 8 games it's only 1 Cross division game with 2 undefeated teams most likely in the CCG. College basketball is 14 games in your division (home and away) plus 3 home and 3 away games in the other division.
06-26-2022 05:31 PM
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Lurker Above Offline
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Post: #140
RE: Will the SEC stop at 16 or expand to 18 or 20?
(06-26-2022 05:19 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-26-2022 11:34 AM)Lurker Above Wrote:  
(06-20-2022 11:19 AM)Frank the Tank Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 11:11 PM)ken d Wrote:  
(06-17-2022 08:47 PM)Lurker Above Wrote:  Frank's point regarding additions must make more money for current members is legit, but college football and basketball is still under valued compared to what it could be worth that it would be smart to acquire the most valuable pieces on the board when you can. For example, if there is going to be a breakaway of the top 48, 56 or 64 schools, and the SEC could expand it's membership to one half that total so it would be one of the two conferencs remaiing, then the SEC would be wise to take the best 8, 14 or even 16 schools. And leave the B1G aligned with the PAC and a few others outside the SEC's territory.

When Frank says conferences hold the power in the Grant of Rights negotiations he was referring to a school's ability to leave the conference. But the network has power too because the school cannot go to another conference the network does not own. the rights to another conference. That means there is zero chance any school goes to the B1G as long as there is an ACC until the ACC's grant of rights has expired. It might be unlikely that any ACC school can go the SEC during the ACC's grant of rights but the chances are not zero.

I think UNC has decided if the are going to leave the ACC it will be to go to the SEC. All of the tea leaves say Tar Heels to the SEC. FSU definitely has.

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't believe that bolded statement is technically true. Whether UNC wanted to go to the B1G or to the SEC they would still have to negotiate their release from the GoR with the ACC and whatever schools remain in it, just like OUT have to do to leave the Big 12 early.

Absolutely correct.

I'm not an insider and I've made a lot of predictions over the years - some have been right and some have been wrong.

However, I have a firm understanding of contract law. That bolded statement is a total misunderstanding of how a Grant of Rights agreement works. It is irrelevant that ESPN holds the rights to both the SEC and ACC at the same time. Each ACC school granted its rights to the *conference* - NOT ESPN. It's the ACC that has to release any schools from grant of rights agreements and they have an absolute, unequivocal 100% power to use any basis (whether reasonable or unreasonable or no matter how much money is offered) to refuse that release. The fact that the released schools would be under a different SEC contract with ESPN instead of FOX is totally irrelevant to the ACC.

Here's the thing: the fact that schools and conferences "talk" doesn't matter. Lots of schools and conferences talk all of the time. If you were to tell me that UNC has talked with the SEC and/or Big Ten, I wouldn't doubt that has occurred.

However, as a lawyer, absolutely no one has shown me why (a) the ACC would ever release any school from its Grant of Rights agreement when it still has over a dozen years to run and (b) even if the ACC were willing to do so, how any defecting school would be willing to pay the high nine figure amounts that would realistically need to be offered to the ACC to obtain that release. Sure, every school would love to earn $30 million or $40 million more per year in TV rights. It's a different equation if a school has to pay $200-$300 million or more upfront to obtain a GOR release to get that additional TV money, which would effectively eat up such additional TV money.

Here's a not-so-crazy thought that cuts through all of the conspiracy theories about ESPN and other parties in college football: the ACC schools might simply be screwed until the mid-2030s no matter how much they want to leave. They have onerous GOR obligations that will effectively prevent them from realizing the additional revenue that they'd receive from the SEC and Big Ten in the first place, so they have no viable options. Notre Dame is a lone wolf that believes independence is part of their institutional identity, so they're not helping the ACC, either. The ACC schools can complain or talk all that they want, but it doesn't matter. They're stuck.

All good points Frank. So let's use use your numbers, even enhance the numbers in your favor. Let's say the buyout to leave the ACC is $400,000,000.00 with a leave date of 2026. So for $400M a school could leave the ACC 10 years early.

Let's also consider college football is still under valued as to the brand named schools. Basically, you must concede we do not know the value of Clemson, FSU, UNC and VT in the SEC, which I contend is substantially greater than they are in the ACC.

Now let's consider these schools could make $50M per year more in the SEC. I surmise such is a reasonable and conservative value. The same analysis could be done with the B1G, but I think these schools are worth more in the SEC because of the existing rivalries, existing competiveness for recruits and bragging rights that has existed for generations between schools that rarely play each other (UGA fans always watch what's going on at FSU and Clemson) and the natural potential rivalries due to geography.

From the these four schools' perspective they would make $100M more in the SEC over the next ten years. Probably more with the enhanced value the SEC would have with such concentration of brands. Not only could they make more money but their ticket would be punched for the future wealth and prestige of being in the SEC. Therefore, I really do see a huge problem on the schools' side of the equation.

That leaves the other side of the equation; the extra four mouths to feed in the SEC cannot cause the existing SEC 16 schools to receive less money. I seriously doubt they would. Arguably the brand value of Clemson, FSU, UNC and VT in the SEC is worth as much as the average brand value of the existing SEC16, plus the SEC would be adding two new populous and growing states, a second school in its second most populous state, and creating numerous extra brand vs brand games each year. It's hard to see how the math does not work.

Of course the second side of the equation also includes the various interests of the SEC. It would have to pay the SEC more, but that really isn't an impediment that couldnt be overcome because ESPN would benefit from the increased brand on brand games and more heated rivalries, as discussed above as to value. They would be getting sufficient value for they would be paying out.

The more complex analysis is the diminished value of the ACC. First, these schools would have to initiate the movement stating, "While we intend on honoring our ACC contract and our obligations to ESPN, because of the changing forces in college football and the need act in our best interests to meet this challenges, we will not commit to signing a new contract with the ACC after the present contract expires. That removes ESPN from a claim they are instigating the moves. In fact, ESPN will likely publicly decrie such movement, but the die will be cast. These schools will be leaving and they cannot be allowed to go to the B1G.

This means the remaining ACC will get the full value of their ESPN contract, and ESPN and those remaining schools will each try to maximize their value after the breakaway the best they can.

Enter Notre Dame. If they are going to join a conference, and this concentration of brands might force their hands, the new SEC likely trumps the B1G. The SEC would be at 20 and the Fighting Irish will point out the possibility of four more tickets if they are one of the four. Which three schools get a ticket? Duke with it's basketball brand? Louisville with the same and in-state rivalry with Kentucky? Kansas? UVA? NCS because of political reasons? Pitt? Miami? GT? WV to balance out the strength of a northeast quadrant? OSU for Bedlam and to prevent the potential of OU being the only SEC school without their in-state rival not being a conference rival? Baylor? TCU?

Then we do the above analysis again, but this time with greater desperation, political influence, the greater gravital pull of money being sucked into this new horizon, and the realization that the cost to create this new universe and the increased value it would create separating itself from the rest of college football one way or another will lead to the conclusion that the SEC goes to 24 or 28. And ESPN wisely pays the freight and markets the new NFL Lite as such.

So which schools make it? No one can see the future, but my best guess is every current SEC member's main in-state rival that is a state university and a P5 school gets an invite with ND. That's UVA, NCS, Louisville, and GT. Southern state politics gets this done, and in-state rivalries are safe bets for full stadiums and at least regional interest. Though GT must improve it's football culture immediately and assuage legitimate concerns over the level of support from the school and it's fans. Miami is tough because it is relatively small with fair weather fans, but also you would awaken that sleeping giant and many of those south Florida recruits might stay home. On the final analysis they get in with a commitment to build an on campus stadium. That's 26. Duke and Kansas makes it 28, and having 5 basketball super brand helps ESPN pay the freight.

ESPN is also left with the rights to the other ACC schools and leverages them the best it can with football and basketball games with the B1G. TT most likely goes to the PAC with Houston, making it the PAC 14, the same size as the B1G, and together the same size as the SEC 28. The rest of the Big12 has limited options, along with the ACC remnants.

The SEC 28 will be a force never seen in college sports and is itself a breakaway. The B1G is left primarily with its alliance with the PAC. Because the B1G's current intra conference games are worth more than playing most PAC schools I doubt a merger occurs, but the B1G inviting all AAU members is a possibility. Either way, after being shut out of the south it's long term interest would be to increase the the interest in football and B1G schools inside California, which must be a greater source of recruits moving forward.

This is how a top tier of 56 is born.

Lurker Above

I notice you did not address how much the 10 ACC schools would have to pay to Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College and Wake Forest for leaving a dozen years early. At a minimum it would appear that number would be north of $2 billion. Where is that money going to come from if ESPN has just committed to paying $840 million a year to the SEC just to maintain it at its current average per school?

Maybe, just maybe, ESPN could justify adding Clemson, FSU, UNC and Virginia Tech (though I would guess UNC would insist on UVa instead of Va Tech). Beyond that I think we're imagining the impossible.

In this scenario 11 of the 15 ACC joins the SEC. 11 votes can disband the ACC, I believe. The remaining 4 would get exit fees but not GOR money. At least that's my understanding.
06-26-2022 11:13 PM
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