ACC commissioner to support FSU and Clemson athletes until schools leave the conference

Sep 23, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13)
Sep 23, 2023; Clemson, South Carolina, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jordan Travis (13) / Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

FSU and Clemson athletes will be fully supported members of the ACC until their respective legal teams are able to litigate themselves out of the conference's Grant of Rights agreement that would bind them until the 2036 season.

As ESPN's Andrea Adelson notes, ACC commissioner James J. Phillips has pledged to back athletes from both universities as all sides look to continue upholding a functional relationship as the legal battles play out in the court of law.

"Clemson, Florida State and the ACC are in a fight for their own long-term futures," Adelson prefaced before saying, "Nobody knows how their legal battles will play out, but they still have to find a way to work together. Phillips has pledged to continue to fully support Clemson and Florida State athletes for as long as they remain conference members."

FSU and Clemson won't go under, or come anywhere close, as the schools and the ACC work toward a resolution; making them prime candidates in the next round of conference realignment as they absorb resources from a conference they cannot wait to leave.

FSU and Clemson may not be able to leave ACC until lawsuits are resolved

As badly as FSU and Clemson want to move on from the ACC, the timeline of these lawsuits may delay their exits. As The Athletic's Chris Vannini reports, it could take up to a year to resolve these suits.

In college football, that's a long time. Over the next year, one of these schools can win the national championship, and the ACC could outperform expectations, and there could be a resurgence from the supposedly basketball-first conference. Do these schools reconsider things if the outlook is much rosier?

It could be on the table. ESPN has a vested interest in the conference's success, and given its ties to the College Football Playoff, it may be cheering for an ACC comeback.