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Clemson has hired noted sports media consultant Chris Bevilacqua to further explore its conference alignment options, CBS Sports has learned. While the move doesn't indicate an imminent move out of the ACC for Clemson, the hiring of Bevilacqua is seen as a significant development.

The 60-year-old innovator has been at the cutting edge of valuing conferences and schools both with networks for media rights conversations and within leagues during ongoing realignment proceedings.

Bevilacqua was brought on board by Clemson approximately six months ago, which appears to align with Florida State's public complaints about the ACC and league revenue distribution. Clemson, Miami and North Carolina are among ACC schools with similar concerns, though none have been as outspoken with their complaints.

Bevilacqua has been a leading expert assisting schools and conferences througout the realignment process. He founded CSTV, which eventually became CBS Sports Network. In addition, he helped launch the Mountain West Network and Pac-12 Networks.

In 2016, he assisted the Big 12 in its consideration of 11 expansion "finalists" who made presentations to the league. The league ultimately decided not to expand at that time. In 2018, Bevilacqua launched SimpleBet, an in-play sports gambling leader. Bevilacqua Helvant Ventures remains a leading media consultant.

Earlier in his career, Bevilacqua was CEO of Creative Artists Agency Sports Media Ventures, which served as a media rights advisor to sports and entertainment companies. In that capacity, he worked with the Big 12, Big East and Conference USA.

Insiders continue to insist the ACC grant of rights is ironclad. ACC schools are bound to that agreement for the next 13 years.

To address revenue concerns stated by some of the conference's most prominent programs, the ACC earlier this fall agreed to expand adding California, Stanford and SMU beginning in 2024. Those schools made significant revenue concessions to make the move.

The expansion also serves as a potential backfill in case there are future defections. The Action Network reported in August that rightsholder ESPN can renegotiate its contract with the ACC should conference membership drop below 15 members. That contract currently runs through 2036.

"I understand there is safety in numbers," said a source within the ACC. "It just doesn't resonate [with certain members]."