That possibility looks increasingly unlikely, however, now that one of their potential AAC escape routes may have slammed shut.
The ACC announced Monday that its 15 current or future members have signed a grant of rights deal effectively tethering them to the league until 2027. In a grant of rights deal, if an ACC school were to accept membership in another conference, the ACC would receive its media rights payments from the new league.
Since no school is going to willingly fork over tens of millions of dollars a year in TV revenue to bolt from the ACC, that all but ensures talk of Florida State joining the Big 12 or Virginia joining the Big Ten is dead for the foreseeable future. As a result, the ACC will have no need to add new members like a UConn or Cincinnati unless it decides to expand beyond 15 member schools at a later date.
UConn and Cincinnati have been angling for inclusion in the ACC since it became clear the Big East was beginning to disintegrate when Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia left the league. The ACC bypassed both the Huskies and Bearcats in favor of Louisville in November when the league sought a replacement for Big Ten-bound Maryland.
What makes the AAC unappealing to both schools is the large number of non-brand name schools who received invitations to the league to keep it afloat in Division I football. Neither UConn nor Cincinnati is wild about sharing a conference with the likes of Tulane, Tulsa, East Carolina and SMU.Read More »from UConn, Cincinnati lose the most as a result of ACC’s grant of rights deal