ACC commissioner Jim Phillips on realignment rumours: ‘We’re all in this together’

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips addressed the league’s future after the league’s spring meetings concluded on Wednesday. “What I’ve been told (by sporting directors and chairmen) is that we’re all in this together – emphatically,” he said. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Reports surfaced this week that a group of seven ACC schools (Virginia Tech, Florida State, Clemson, Miami, North Carolina, North Carolina State, and Virginia) met and with attorneys to consider granting the ACC rights, which binds the schools to each other and the league until 2036.
  • Phillips said he encourages universities to come to ACC headquarters to consider granting conference rights. “It’s not a warning sign to me that something bad may happen, etc.,” he said Wednesday.
  • Of the group exploring the granting of rights, Phillips said, “It’s just not news to me, per se. There isn’t a conference in the country or institutions that haven’t spoken about expanding the conference and the landscape and what’s best.

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What happens after

Everyone takes a deep breath. Seriously. It’s been an interesting and stressful few days at ACC, and as we come to the end of it all, the main takeaway is this: we knew schools were looking at granting rights to see how it was airtight, and now we know a few of those schools had those conversations with each other. It’s not exactly shocking, but every decision feels reinforced in a time of instability and realignment across the national landscape.

Does this mean that these seven schools will actually challenge the grant of rights? We do not know. They don’t know yet. Would it be soon or, say, in six years? We don’t know either. But, as an ACC source told me last week, “If it was easy, everyone would have done it by now.” — Auerbach

What Phillips Said

The ACC board won’t vote next week on a new revenue-sharing model, but “the board is excited about it,” Phillips said. The league is discussing weighted ways to reward success on the field (or on the field), essentially allowing the most successful schools to eat more of what they kill themselves.

“We are better together than a smaller subset in the sense that national championships have been proven to be great when multiple leagues compete, not just a few.”


On Tuesday, Florida State athletic director Michael Alford said the Seminoles were “thrilled” to be in the ACC and wanted to remain in the league, a day after reports surfaced that the group of schools had explored ways to leave the conference. Alford also said league members are discussing potential revenue-sharing models to implement in the new era of the 12-team college football playoffs at ACC spring meetings this week in Amelia Island, Utah. Florida.

“DAs and universities are very unified,” Alford told reporters. “So we are delighted to be in this league and we want to stay there.”

Virginia Tech athletic director Whit Babcock confirmed to the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the seven schools met and had discussions.

What Babcock and Radakovich said

“I would categorize it as a number of conversations, usually in small groups, about interpretations of granting rights, league regulations, options that may exist,” Babcock told The Times-Dispatch. “But as you know, the grant of rights has been looked at many times by many people.”

Babcock said the conversations weren’t as organized as many interpreted reports on Monday and that several discussions included subsets of the seven, not all seven together. After those conversations became public, there was essentially an airing of grievances, according to Miami athletic director Dan Radakovich.

“People had to say where they were and why you feel that way,” Radakovich told reporters, adding that the growing income gap between the Big Ten and the SEC and everyone else could impact schools in the ACC in a myriad of ways that would manifest on the pitch. or in the field. “We have this gap, and the gap is not just about money,” Radakovich said.

“I think it was less than ideal, but it was a catalyst for some real conversation and maybe getting to the things that we worked on as ACC a little bit faster,” Babcock said. .

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(Photo: Jim Dedmon/USA Today)

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