AMELIA ISLAND, Fla. -- Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher tried Monday to quell the mini-firestorm that has engulfed his program, after fanning the flames with one comment in particular this past weekend.
While the school has released statements reaffirming its commitment to the ACC, the chair of the school's board of trustees and Fisher both said this weekend they would have no problem if the Seminoles looked elsewhere to gauge what is in their best interest.
Ahem, Big 12.
Fisher specifically said Saturday to The Orlando Sentinel, "There have been no officials talks, but I think you always have to look out there to see what's best for Florida State," Fisher said. "If that (jumping to the Big 12) is what's best for Florida State, then that's what we need to do."
When asked about those comments during the ACC spring meetings Monday, Fisher said, "All I said Saturday was, I said I never read the contract, I have no idea what the contract was. I said the powers to be will make decisions for Florida State. That’s the Board of Trustees and the president. They’ll do what’s best for Florida State. We’re in the ACC and that’s where we’re at. I’m not a decision-maker."
Florida State athletic director Randy Spetman was not at the meetings Monday because he was attending a previously scheduled event at the Air Force Academy.
Fisher is referring to the new TV deal the ACC reached with ESPN. Andy Haggard, the board of trustees chair, voiced his unhappiness with some of the particulars of the new deal in a weekend interview with Warchant.com. But Haggard turned out to be misinformed and has since backed off his comments.
Either way, the damage has been done and the expansion rumors have begun to swirl once again, leading to renewed questions about the future of Florida State and the ACC. It also has drawn comparisons to in-state rival Florida, which already generates much more money from its TV deal with the SEC.
"TV revenue is big," Fisher said. "That’s your largest contributor, your sales and tickets and your marketing. That’s what’s changed the landscape of college athletics, in particular college football. College football's driving that train. That’s why there’s controversy. Nothing’s about money, but everything's about money."
When asked whether fans should have a voice in what happens, Fisher said, "You have to ask the president and trustees. Fans are always a part of everything we do, but you have to make a decision about what’s logical. Fans don’t always know the details. But they always have an opinion. Your powers to be have to listen to those things but you have to make decisions based on rational thoughts. When explanations are made then they’ll understand."
As for whether he has voiced his own opinion to the school's administration, Fisher flat out said no.
"We’re in the ACC," he said. "We’re happy to be here. That’s where we’re playing. If they adjust, they adjust but that has nothing to do with me. We’re in the ACC. We’ve got a good football conference."