ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips addressed the future of the league following the conclusion of the league’s spring meetings on Wednesday. “What I’ve been told (by athletic directors and presidents) is that we’re all in this together — for sure,” he said. Here’s what you need to know:
- Reports emerged this week that seven ACC schools (Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State and Virginia) met with attorneys to explore the ACC’s rights offer. Each other and the league until 2036.
- Phillips said he encourages universities to come to ACC headquarters to examine the conference’s granting of rights. “I didn’t have a warning sign that something bad was going to happen, etc.,” he said Wednesday.
- On the panel investigating the granting of rights, Phillips said, “That’s not news to me. There isn’t a conference or organization that doesn’t talk about the expansion and landscape of the conference and what’s best.
What comes next
Everyone takes a deep breath. Seriously. It’s been an interesting and stressful few days at the ACC, and when it all comes down to it, the bottom line is this: We’ve known schools test their rights to see how airtight they are, and now we know some. Those schools have had those conversations among themselves. It’s not entirely shocking, but each decision feels elevated in a period of instability and restructuring on the national landscape.
Does that mean those seven schools are actually going to challenge the granting of rights? We don’t know. They don’t know yet. Will it happen soon or will it be another six years? We don’t know that either. But, as an ACC source told me last week, “If it was that simple, everyone would be doing it already.” — Auerbach
What Phillips said
The ACC board of directors won’t vote on a new revenue-sharing model next week, but “the board is excited about it,” Phillips said. The league is debating weighted ways to reward on-field (or on-court) success, essentially allowing the most successful schools to eat more of what they kill.
“We’re more together than a small subset, which means national championships have proven that it’s better when you have multiple leagues, not just a couple.”
On Tuesday, Florida State athletic director Michael Alford said the Seminoles were “thrilled” to be in the ACC and wanted to remain a member of the league, one day after reports emerged that a group of schools were exploring ways to leave the conference. During the ACC spring meetings this week in Amelia Island, Fla., Alford also said league members will discuss revenue-sharing models to implement in the new 12-team College Football Playoff era.
“ADs and universities are very intertwined,” Alford told reporters. “So we’re happy to be in this league and we want to stay in it.”
Virginia Tech Athletic Director Whit Babcock Confirmed to the Richmond Times-Dispatch All seven schools have come together to discuss.
Here’s what Babcock and Radakovich said
“I would classify it as a lot of conversations, usually in small groups, about the rights offering, the league’s bylaws, the explanations of the options that are out there,” Babcock told The Times-Dispatch. “But you know, the granting of rights has been seen many times by many people.”
Babcock said that many interpreted Monday’s statements to mean that the conversations were not organized and that many of the discussions had seven subcommittees, not all seven together. After those conversations became public, Miami aired the grievances, according to athletic director Dan Radakovich.
“People need to say where they are and why they feel that way,” Radakovich told reporters, adding that the growing revenue gap between the Big Ten and the SEC and everyone else could affect ACC schools in myriad ways. or in court. “We have this gap, and the gap is not just about money,” Radakovich said.
“I think the way it came out was less than ideal, but it was a catalyst for some real conversations and maybe we could get things working a little faster as the ACC,” Babcock said.
(Photo: Jim Dedman / USA Today)