FSU AD Alford and Norvell both make their first appearances at ACC Spring Meetings

This year’s ACC Spring Meetings on Amelia Island marked the first time that many Florida State athletic dignitaries attended the annual event.

FSU head football coach Mike Norvell has been at the top of the program for almost 2.5 years at this point, but this was the first time he could join coaches and administrators at the whole conference because of the events of the past two years that had not taken place. account of the coronavirus pandemic.

FSU athletic director Michael Alford also attended the event for the first time in his new role four months after taking office. New FSU women’s basketball head coach Brooke Wyckoff also attended the event after replacing Sue Semrau in late March.

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It turned out that this year’s spring meetings were a great opportunity for everyone to participate for the first time. A number of hot topics were covered, many of which apply specifically to the world of ACC football.

“It was good to sit there and hear their feedback and talk to them about what they think the industry needs. It was good,” Alford told the Democrat.

“The collaboration within the group is really something to be admired. I have already been in the AD rooms, the coaches room and the discussions which have been led by (the ACC commissioner) Jim Phillips, it is very collaborative and very open, good dialogue about where we’ll be attending a conference in the future, he did a great job of just taking the feedback and pulling together all kinds of facts and information that provided us to make our decisions.

Change of football schedule on the horizon?

One of the main talking points at the ACC’s spring meetings was a potential seismic shift in the operation of its football programming.

Since the ACC added Boston College to increase its roster to 12 teams prior to the 2005 football season, NCAA legislation has required the conference to be split into two divisions in order to determine entrants to the championship game. ‘ACC.

The divisions were originally built with the idea of ​​pitting FSU against Miami, but that never materialized and the Atlantic and Coastal divisions have proven to be unbalanced over the years. The Atlantic winner had won the last nine games in the ACC Championship before Pitt beat Wake Forest in 2021.

Late last month, the NCAA Football Oversight Committee recommended a change to the requirement to have divisions in order to have a conference championship game. This change was confirmed on May 18, but before it was even official, ACC administrators spent time at spring meetings discussing new schedule formats.

The focus was on what would be best for the conference, regardless of the next iteration of the college football playoffs.

“We’re still in discussion. There are pros and cons, but what you really need to do is look at where college football is going five years from now and make sure we’re doing things now that put this conference and our institution has the best opportunity to take advantage of the new system,” said Alford.

“Whether we have a 12-team or an eight-team playoff and whether that happens, are we in a position, as a conference and as Florida State University, to participate in those discussions?”

Nothing has been formally agreed by the ACC yet, but the consensus from the spring meetings appears to be shifting from divisions to a 3-5-5 programming format. Under this, each ACC team would play the same three teams each year and alternate between the other 10 ACC schools over a two-year period, playing five one year and the other five the next year.

This would allow football players who stay four years to play every other ACC team at least twice, with at least one home game and one away game.

The next question to answer if this is indeed the new format will be which opponents each team will face on a yearly basis. There will no doubt be maneuvers by DAs and coaches to preserve certain rivalries or make schedules easier or harder on a yearly basis.

As for FSU, two of the three annual opponents seem clear. The third remains an unresolved question.

“We’re going to play Miami for our fan base and for college football. I would even say Clemson will have to be on our schedule. Not only is it great for the conference, it’s great for college football and our fan base. “said Alford.

“Then you get into what the rest looks like? As long as there’s parity and equality between the schedules of everyone they play, then it really doesn’t matter. But there has to be equality between the planning process.”

Forgery under surveillance

The biggest story to come out of the ACC Spring Meetings regarding FSU was Norvell’s acknowledgment that there was an attempt to tamper with players on its roster.

The FSU head coach acknowledged this during an appearance on ACC Network’s Packer and Durham. He shared that a few of his players approached him to say that other schools or collectives tried to influence them with financial offers while they were not in the transfer portal.

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Tampering has quickly become one of the main talking points this college football offseason with a focus largely centered on the ACC. Former Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison, the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, entered the transfer portal on May 3 and announced he was transferring to USC on May 19.

The decision came under intense scrutiny from Pitt’s head coach Pat Narduzzi, who allegedly tried to call USC coach Lincoln Riley, believing he had tampered with Addison.

Boston College wide receiver Zay Flowers also told ESPN he opted to stay with the Eagles after a pair of tampering attempts that allegedly offered him six-figure offers to move elsewhere.

“Tampering has been around since the 1800s in this game to some extent, but it’s really coming to light now with the NIL,” Alford said.

“We stay in constant contact with each other when it’s happening and make sure we’re doing the right things internally to monitor what’s going on, if we think there’s tampering involved. It’s been going on forever. in this game, but it’s really revealed itself with the disappearance of NIL, these collectives.”

The ACC saw its revenue increase in the 2020-21 fiscal year

Following meetings on May 12, the ACC announced on Friday that it generated a record $578 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year. This represents an increase of more than $80 million from the previous year’s total revenue of $497 million.

This increase, while encouraging, is not a permanent indicator of significant revenue growth. This can be attributed to Notre Dame agreeing to join the ACC as a full-time member for the 2020 football season, sharing its NBC revenue with the rest of the conference.

The ACC, led by Commissioner Jim Phillips, on Friday announced an increase of more than $80 million for the 2020-21 fiscal year to $578 million.

This resulted in each school in the conference receiving a $36.1 million allocation from the ACC.

Overall revenue is expected to decline somewhat for the 2021-22 report without Notre Dame’s full buy-in. However, a 20% growth in TV revenue to $397.4 million from the expansion of the ACC network in 2020-21 is expected to increase once again in next year’s report and fill a gap. part of the gap.

Major FSU projects continue to progress

Even before taking over as FSU AD, Alford was instrumental in starting a few notable FSU Athletics projects.

Nearly six months into his term, these projects continue to move forward.

Alford shared with the Democrat that the current timeline for construction of the FSU Football Operations Building to kick off is right after the 2022 football season ends in December.

As for the renovation of Doak Campbell Stadium, which will see the introduction of a much wider choice of luxury seating options across the stadium, is taking a step forward.

The city and state of Florida first reported last week that FSU had issued a request for quotation (RFQ) for architects and engineers with an estimated completion date of summer 2025.

“We’re going to bid now to hire sports architects to come and help us finalize the design of the stadium project. We’ve had huge success in fundraising for this,” Alford said.

“Since October, we’ve raised $44.8 million for stadium renovations, all on building pledges. Our fans, when you sit down and talk to them, show them the plans, benefits and financial models of the future. , that’s something people are falling behind.”

Contact Curt Weiler at cweiler@tallahassee.com or follow him on Twitter @CurtMWeiler.

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