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July 21, 2013

Swofford: ACC could change bowl revenue split by this year

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GREENSBORO, N.C. - Change is coming to the way the Atlantic Coast Conference splits its bowl dollars.

ACC Commissioner John Swofford said that the league has had "significant discussions" about revising the league's current policy to distribute revenue generated by league members appearing in bowl games. Swofford also believes a change could come as soon as this bowl season.

"I'm pretty sure there will be some changes in how the financial aspects of our bowls are handled," Swofford said at the ACC Kickoff on Sunday. "And there's going to be significant new dollars, very significant, both from the college football playoff and reasonably significant too from the other bowls and our new tie-ins."

As of now, league members split bowl revenue equally. That is likely a point of contention with schools like Florida State and Clemson that invest more dollars in football, represent the league in the biggest revenue-generating postseason games and are forced to split those dollars evenly.

Propelling change, Swofford said there is "a majority feeling in the room that we need to alter the postseason bowl distribution" among the league members.

Full rundown on Sunday's ACC Commissioner's Forum

Still, Swofford said the league will maintain some level of equal sharing, "but how we get to that point of an equal share will change." That suggests the league could look into ways to clear a team's expenses or supplement successful teams prior to splitting the pool of bowl dollars.

This past season, the Orange Bowl and all non-championship BCS bowls distributed $17 million to each participating team. Warchant.com has requested Florida State's financial data from its participation in the Orange Bowl but as of Sunday that request has not been fulfilled.

Florida State volutnarily sold Orange Bowl tickets to students and boosters at a 50 percent discount off of face value in order to improve sales to the game. FSU beat Northern Illinois - a MAC team that earned an automatic at-large bid - 31-10.

"It's fundamentally not right for a team to play in a game to lose money and a school not to play in a bowl and come out ahead of the game financially. That's what you want to avoid."

Swofford expects more discussion - and possibly a conclusion - to the issue when the he and the ACC athletic directors meet in October.

"I think we'd want to have it in place for this year's game if at all possible. You could make a case that the cleanest point to do it is with the next cycle which would be one more year with the way we're currently doing it," he said. "At the very latest, it would be the 2014 season, but it could be this season."

Notable:

  • Swofford said that the league will make an announcement on future sites for the ACC Championship Game around the time of this year's ACC Championship in Charlotte, which is scheduled for Dec. 7. Asked about a potential move of the game:

    "Well nothing really has traction because so far we've been very pleased with Charlotte. I would be surprised if that doesn't continue. I don't think Atlanta is realistic. The SEC got there first."



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