|Randy Spetman: The game times in the ACC as well as most of the other conferences are now dictated by the television contracts. In fairness to the networks, they pump a large amount of money into the ACC and eventually into our program which allows us to fund all the sports fielded at FSU. Part of the negotiating in drawing up these lucrative contracts is that we allow the networks as much flexibility as possible in their scheduling.
You can imagine why ABC and ESPN want to wait as long as possible because they are trying to provide the best game possible every week. Because they have the flexibility, they could show Wake Forest when they were emerging as a conference contender several seasons ago or they could get Georgia Tech on last year after anticipation of a new offensive scheme being unsuccessful proved wrong. All ACC fans wanted a look at that offense and the networks provided it.
The rules are that the networks do not have to declare which games they will air, which ultimately dictates kickoff times, until 12 days prior to the game. In addition, both ESPN and ABC can exercise a six-day window on occasion. In that case, they do not have to declare which game they want and the kickoff time until six days prior.
We have expressed to the conference office that the late announcement of games is particularly difficult on Florida State and Clemson because of the large out-of-town ticket holders and challenge and expense of travel among other things. But the irony is that you definitely want to be one of the games that the TV's are shooting for.
That's all we have time for this week, but we've got several good questions that we will hold over and try to answer next time.