Florida State University President Eric Baron was addressing a group of boosters at a breakfast meeting recently. During his talk he made the following statements according to an attendee.
"He was very impressive and clearly focused on our academics. He did a great job. He did get one question on the ACC. He made it clear that there is a lot of nonsense on the boards and he called out the dude from WVU as being someone who is throwing out stories for his blog.
On the other hand, he made it clear that he studies all of this, he is in constant contact with "various presidents", and make no mistake - he is watching out for FSU and only FSU. To be blunt, he is all over this. Then he says cryptically that he thinks there will be changes. But he would say no more."
You may remember that starting just over a year ago Dude of WV wrote a series of posts about WVU's attempts to secure SEC membership on LHB. They were widely read nationally. He has continued to develope informative information as WVU moved to the Big 12 and conference expansion has heated up again.
Prior to publishing any of his articles, I asked for the idenity of his primary source and indepentedly verified their relationship. Boy, is it a good source.
Dude was upset about the charge that he is "throwing out stories" on his blog. The implication, of course, being that he is making up his expansion articles. I reassured him that if the president of a major university has gone out of his way to trash him at a booster meeting, he must've hit a few bull's-eyes.
At any rate, Dude of WV has a new blog post in Mr. Barron's honor. Here are a few excerpts:
At every step in the process I freely shared whatever information I had and I was fortunate enough to have others share their information with me. Every piece of the puzzle was verified and although some details remain murky, like the specifics of the ACC contract, I was able to independently verify each and every one of the items I’ve written about.
I stand by my assertion that both FSU and Clemson had significant talks with the Big 12 and that both were willing to leave the ACC based on facts collaborated by my media contacts, independent of WVU, who covered FSU, Clemson and the SEC.
Eric Barron can deflect all he wants and try to reassure his boosters but the fact remains the ACC has problems that that threaten their stability.
As for Eric Barron calling me out by name I have a few simple questions for him:
1. Have you or anyone acting on FSU’s behalf spoken to the Big 10, Big 12 or SEC about conference membership?2. Have you or any agent of FSU retained outside representation to review or prepare financial documents related to Big 10, Big 12 or SEC membership?3. Have you or anyone representing FSU spoken to the Big 12 conference in the past 14 days.4. Have you spoken with senior leadership at Boston College, Clemson, UVA, Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech about their plans in regards to ACC membership.5. Have you even bothered to read my blog?
Barron admitted he has been talking to other university presidents and you can bet those presidents are in the Big 10, SEC and Big 12.
So until the ACC either releases details of its TV contract or signs a grant-of-rights it would be foolish not to think Eric Barron isn’t fulfilling his fiduciary responsibility to explore FSU’s options as the Big 10 plans its next move.