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Florida State downplays 'informal' talks about realignment

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman said Wednesday that while the university is keeping a watchful eye on the changing landscape of collegiate athletics, he added that the Seminoles are comfortable in the ACC.

Spetman downplayed brief 'informal' discussions some school officials have had about possible conference realignments at the end of last week's board meeting.

"Clearly the potential for change in the college landscape has never been so dramatic," he said. "The truth is it would appear nobody knows where everything is going to shake out at the end of the day."

Whatever happens, Florida State can't afford to be caught by surprise.

But trustees chairman Andy Haggard said Wednesday that it would be up to Florida State President Eric Barron to determine whether to form a committee to stay abreast of the changing landscape.

The latest move happened in the Southeastern Conference.

The SEC accepted Texas A&M as its latest member, and once the move becomes official, the SEC will have an odd number of teams at 13. Florida State has been mentioned as a possible 14th team, but Haggard said there has not been any talk with the SEC about switching leagues.

Whether FSU forms a committee to monitor the situation or not, Haggard and Spetman were clear they are closely following the developments.

"I have no magic message but we do know the collegiate structure is changing," Spetman said. "Television has driven it to where it is."

He said that FSU's share of the ACC television contract is between $13 and $14 million, compared to $24 million that each of the Pac-12 conference members receive.

"The move now for extending the size of a conference is TV contracts," Spetman said. "That's the only way to make more money."

If Florida State would be approached by another conference, any decision on leaving the ACC would have to be Barron's, Haggard said. The university president was traveling Wednesday and not immediately available to comment.

Florida State's fan base has always been split about the school's decision to join the ACC. Most of the faculty favors being in the ACC because of the league's academic reputation, but many of the more hard core football fans believe the school should be in the SEC.

Florida State joined the ACC in 1991 under former President Bernie Sliger. The Seminoles have won 12 ACC football championships in two decades and are favored to capture a 13th this season.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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