COLUMBUS – ACC Commissioner James Phillips, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren, and Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff met with the media on Tuesday to discuss the historic alliance between the three conferences.
Here is a summary of what was said.
+ It was clear that the institutions shared values and interests. Collectively, they are aligned in their emphasis on education and high-level experiences for the student-athletes.
+ The alliance will allow them to collectively advocate and work constructively to achieve the best balance of education, competition, and commercial activity.
+ They are motivated to help shape the future of college athletics and develop new scheduling partnerships.
+ The alliance will elevate the national profile of all of the institutions from coast-to-coast.
+ The current College Football Playoff format is an option to consider. The ACC continues to discuss it but they haven’t made a final decision yet on where they will fall.
+ They want and need the Big 12 to do well. “The Big 12 matters in college athletics. We’ll be watching what occurs here.”
+ On this decision being based on finances, “It is usually the driver of a lot of decisions. This was a time that we felt we had a responsibility to stabilize a volatile environment. Sometimes it can’t be driven by money.”
+ On why there was no signed contract, “It’s about trust. We’ve looked each other in the eye and made an agreement.”
+ “We’re better together than we are separate.”
+ “There is still a lot of goodness in college athletics.”
+ There is turbulence in college athletics right now. He hopes the alliance will stabilize the different issues they are facing in college athletics. It will also provide the student-athletes with an opportunity to play in some “epic” matches.
+ There will be a men’s and women’s basketball scheduling alliance, football scheduling alliance, and expanded competition in Olympic sports.
+ On the College Football Playoff format, Warren said he is a big believer in expanding the CFP but he wants to be methodical and do his homework. They will meet again in September to continue discussing and unpack the information that they have.
+ The three conferences have agreed that they will not interfere with any scheduling agreements that already exist. “This is about honoring existing contracts.”
+ They already have some existing relationships between the conferences but this is at its early stages.
+ On fear for the survival of the Big 12, Warren said he is confident that under Bob’s [Bowlsby] leadership that he will do what is best for his conference.
+ He has great respect for the SEC. This is not a reaction to Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC but they constantly evaluate what is going on in the landscape of college athletics.
+ They will have to address going down to eight conference games at a later time. “That’s one of the items we will be working with.” He is excited to have Barry Alvarez on board to help with decisions like that.
+ College athletics is in turmoil but that provides opportunities for leaders to re-evaluate, hit the reset button, and come together to make a positive difference.
+ There are critical constants that remain and those include a commitment to student-athletes, a commitment to excellence, and a commitment to protecting what makes college athletics so special to fans, alumni, and the student-athletes.
+ “The Pac-12 is 100 percent in favor of the expansion of the College Football Playoffs.” He wants to visit each university to seek feedback. By September 28th they will have information to present.
+ There is no signed contract but there is a commitment and agreement to do what they say they are going to do. He reiterated that “there doesn’t need to be” any written contract.
+ They were not focused on revenue when creating the alliance. “We did the alliance to protect the collegiate model.”
+ On increasing the number of games in a football season or not playing games against other conferences, there is no intention of increasing the number of games or limiting the games that can be scheduled between teams from other conferences.
You can read more about the details of the alliance below.
Today, the Big Ten, @theACC and @pac12 announce an historic alliance that will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics.
— Big Ten Conference (@bigten) August 24, 2021