FSU AD: Becoming football independent ‘not a true option’

Field Level Media

November 01, 2023 at 10:59 pm.

While Florida State’s football program mulls its future, it appears one option that the Seminoles won’t consider is becoming an independent.

“I don’t think it’s an option because of scheduling and everything that comes along with that, and where media contracts are now,” Florida State athletic director Michael Alford told The Athletic on Tuesday.

“But I’m not going to lie to you and say I didn’t spend 10 minutes on it. … I have a great staff that knows that I want to look at things and know what all my options are but also have analytics and not just throw something up there. It needs to have some support behind it so we can look at it. Is that a true option? No, it’s not a true option.”

With speculation abound on whether Florida State will remain in the Athletic Coast Conference — to which it is bound through 2036 — or find a way out of the league’s grant of rights, Alford said the school is analyzing its options.

After Army announced last month that it was joining the American Athletic Conference, there are only three remaining FBS independents: Notre Dame, UConn and UMass.

Meanwhile, the last two Pac-12 programs standing, Washington State and Oregon State, are trying to figure out how they will form a schedule for next season.

Florida State voted against Stanford, Cal and SMU joining the ACC and supported unequal revenue sharing, pointing to their brand value and TV draw.

FSU, Clemson and North Carolina have had lawyers take a look at the ACC’s grant of rights, which industry sources believe has kept these schools from jumping to another conference. None of those schools have challenged the document and tried to leave the ACC.

Alford said his peers in the ACC understand that he won’t stop trying to put Florida State in a better position, which is why he felt the need to encourage them to explore what’s best for their programs as well.

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