SMU’s Offer To The ACC Shows How Deep Its Donors’ Pockets Truly Are

An SMU cheerleader runs with a Mustangs flag during a game vs. BYU.

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SMU is itching to get back in a major conference, which has been widely publicized over the last few years. It’s now made an offer to the ACC that could be too good to pass up.

The Mustangs are reportedly considering moving to the league without reaping the benefits of its revenue distribution.

SMU’s story is an interesting one. The school was once a football powerhouse located in the center of a talent rich Lonestar State. The Mustangs have seen players like Eric Dickerson, Doak Walker, and Craig James walk through the campus as they boast one of the more historic programs in the sport.

Unfortunately, the school is known best for its death penalty received in 1987.

Recruiting violations led the NCAA to lay the hammer on SMU’s football team, resulting in the cancelling of the Mustangs’ 1987 season, as well as all home games in 1988. The team ultimately decided against playing that ’88 campaign after a number of players transferred, leading to a two-year hiatus away from the field.

Also in the punishment was the loss of 55 scholarships over the next four years that would greatly impact recruiting.

Shortly after the team’s return to the field, the Southwest Conference collapsed. Arkansas headed to the SEC while Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, and Baylor would join the Big 8 – now the Big XII.

SMU would spend time in the WAC and Conference USA before joining the AAC.

Following a lengthy recovery process, the program is trending up. After producing just five winning seasons between 1989 and 2018, the Mustangs have gone 32-16 with four consecutive campaigns above .500.

Sensing a return to prominence, donors and administrators seek a stronger conference affiliation.

SMU’s ACC Offer Shows How Deep Its Donors’ Pockets Truly Are.

As conference realignment continues to shift the landscape of college football, SMU is looking to pounce. The school has reportedly made an offer to the ACC that would allow it to become a conference member without the league having to further split its revenue distribution.

Ross Dellenger of Yahoo! Sports writes that the university is “open to forgoing conference distribution pay for ‘at least their first five years’ in ‘the ACC.'”

That tidbit had many on social media talking.

“I get the jokes and everything around this, but a lot of people are about to find out how much money SMU boosters/alumni really have. Spoiler alert: it’s a metric ton,” one fan wrote.

It goes to show just how wealthy the Dallas-based program is, as well as how desperate supporters are to return to prominence.

Dellenger notes a perk of the ACC-ESPN media rights agreement, saying, “The network is required to increase its base distribution to the conference in a way that pays each new member the same annual rate as others.”

Getting a notable program at a reduced cost could prove beneficial to a league that’s battling conference realignment headlines, itself.

Florida State and Clemson, the ACC’s biggest football brands, have explored leaving the conference in order to potentially join the SEC or Big Ten. Independence has even been a word thrown around, though it seems highly unlikely the schools would leave the conference without a destination in sight.

In addition to SMU, the ACC has reportedly been in contact with Cal and Stanford from the PAC-12. We’ll soon see if it’s the next league to expand.