After reports emerged that Florida State and Clemson had “reached out” to the Southeastern Conference about joining the league, FSU president John Thrasher issued a statement maintaining that such reports are “inaccurate.”
“I want to be clear that persistent reports that Florida State has been in contact with the Southeastern Conference are untrue,” Thrasher said in the statement issued Tuesday. “We have had no communication with the SEC or any representatives of the SEC.”
On Monday, a radio program director in the Clemson market reported that both schools were interested in joining the SEC, which recently agreed to add Big 12 programs Oklahoma and Texas in the coming years. Later in the day, The Athletic reported a Tigers’ spokesperson refuted the rumor, saying: “There is no truth to the report that Clemson University has been in contact with the Southeastern Conference regarding membership.”
Thrasher might have opened the door to the rumor in a recent interview with the Tallahassee Democrat when he stated that he wanted FSU to “be prepared” for the shifting landscape in college football.
“My point to (FSU director of athletics) David Coburn and to (new Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner) Jim Phillips is I don’t want Florida State to be left behind,” said Thrasher, who is set to retire this month after nearly seven years as Florida State’s president. “I consider us as part of the ACC, but I also know that we have a marquee name, Clemson has a marquee name. I think there might be people coming after us, I don’t know, but we’ve got to be prepared no matter what the options are.”