Conference Realignment: ACC Considers Raising Buyout?

Getting a little jittery now, are we?

According to an ESPN report, two sources close to the ACC say that league presidents are considering increasing the buyout for members to leave the conference.

"League presidents are scheduled to discuss the topic early next week at their annual September meetings, but it is not the first time the topic has been discussed by the group, nor has the meeting been scheduled specifically to address expansion. The current buyout for an ACC team to leave the conference, according to both sources, is between $10 million to $13 million."

An increase in the exit fee would obviously make it more costly to leave the conference. However, with Texas A&M determined to bolt from the Big 12 to the SEC, it's only a matter of time before the SEC invites the Aggies as #13 and then starts courting number 14. It's unclear whether a school such as Florida State or a Virginia Tech would be less inclined to accept an invite to the SEC if the conference ups the exit fees.

However, I doubt the conference would be able to raise the buyout to a level that would deter either program if they wanted to make that move. As you know, if there's one thing the SEC does have, it's cash, and loads of it. Seems like something that could be easily worked out if one of these two programs wants to move to supposed greener pastures. And as we've seen with the case of the Aggies, once you set your mind to leaving your current situation, there's really no turning back.

Though expansion fever has cooled over the second half of this week, it's still a matter of when and not if the Aggies join the SEC. And when they do, expect fan bases in Columbia, Louisville, Tallahassee, Morgantown and Blacksburg (sorry, Miami) to inexplicably freak out, convinced that their program is getting Slive's golden #14 ticket. And if that program happens to be Florida State or Virginia Tech, well one of those two schools might just have to pony up a little extra cash to part ways with Swofford and the ACC.

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