The Big Ten, ACC, and PAC 12 commissioners met with media yesterday announcing an alliance between the three conferences. While it was somewhat lite on details, there is basically a mutual partnership in place to help better the student-athletes of the 41 member institutions through supporting their mental, physical, and academic well being as well as making sure each conference remains strong.
There will be a scheduling component to the alliance, but that is still being worked out along with a myriad of other details. As of now, the scheduling portion of the alliance will be focused on inter-conference matchups in football and men’s and women’s basketball. However, there will be efforts made to include Olympic sports as well such as baseball, softball, swimming and diving, track and field, etc.
There are three goals that are very interesting and seem to point to the alliance being an answer to the SEC’s raiding of the Big 12 for Oklahoma and Texas. Those goals are stated exactly in the release as follows:
• Future structure of the NCAA
• Federal legislative efforts
• Postseason championships and future formats
This seems to suggest they will all align together in regards to how the NCAA will be run in the future, any federal action taken in regards to the NCAA and its sports, and the future of the playoff. The playoff future is interesting especially because in the early summer it appeared a 12-team playoff was coming to fruition. However, the SEC’s play to add Oklahoma and Texas seems to have made other conferences cool on the idea at least for now. It appears that the alliance will be fighting with the SEC over how an expanded playoff might look.
As far as Louisville’s place in the alliance, AD Vince Tyra released this statement:
It’s clear in his statement the alliance isn’t just between the commissioners, but between all the ADs and presidents of the member institutions. It’s also clear the alliance has its eyes on making sure the future of college athletics isn’t just decided by one or two conferences, but all existing major conferences. There is strength in numbers and the alliance definitely has the numbers.
One thing that is intriguing is that there is no formal charter or document signed by the commissioners legally binding together this alliance. It is, in essence, a gentleman’s handshake agreement. It would be better to see them truly bind themselves together legally because in the dog-eat-dog world of major college athletics, handshake agreements aren’t usually worth much. However, as mentioned above, details are still being ironed out. So, there’s always a chance that once the alliance is truly formalized, some kind of binding document may come with it.
For now, this alliance seems like a good one that should benefit the three conferences and check the SEC’s power grab. For fans, it will bring the possibility of some intriguing matchups on the field and court. How strong it will be, how united it will be, and how much power it will truly wield remains to be seen. I look forward to a more formal announcement with details of the alliance in the future.
To read the press release announcing the alliance, click the link in the tweet below:
The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 today announced an historic alliance that will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling.https://t.co/djdQJKg4GN— The ACC (@theACC) August 24, 2021