ACC, Big Ten & Pac-12 Announce Alliance, No Official Contracts Signed

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 announced their alliance on Tuesday after news of the three Power Five NCAA conferences joining forces in some capacity was reported last week.

The alliance “will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling,” the three conferences said in a joint press release.

One key factor of the announcement was its lack of formality—no official contracts have been signed by any of the parties.

During a media call with ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren and Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff, the three of them preached that their alliance was based on trust.

“It’s about trust,” Phillips said. “It’s about the fact that we’ve looked each other in the eye, we’ve made an agreement, and we’re very confident about executing on all that has been described today.”

“There’s no signed contract,” Kliavkoff said. “There’s an agreement among three gentlemen and a commitment from 41 presidents and chancellors and 41 athletic directors to do what we say we’re going to do.”

Supported unanimously by the presidents, chancellors and athletics directors of the 41 institutions within the three conferences, the alliance will prioritize supporting student-athlete well-being and academic and athletic opportunities.

“Student-athletes have been and will remain the focal point of the Big Ten, ACC and PAC-12 Conferences” Warren said.

“Today, through this alliance, we furthered our commitment to our student-athletes by prioritizing our academics and athletics value systems. We are creating opportunities for student-athletes to have elite competition and are taking the necessary steps to shape and stabilize the future of college athletics.”

The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 will “remain competitors in every sense,” but are also committed to collaborating and providing leadership on various opportunities and challenges, including social justice, gender equity and the future structure of the NCAA.

“We believe that collaborating together we are stronger in our commitment to addressing the broad issues and opportunities facing college athletics,” added Kliavkoff.

Another component of the alliance will be creating inter-conference games in football and men’s and women’s basketball, with scheduling to begin “as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations.”

From a swimming & diving perspective, the three conferences say they will “explore opportunities for the vast and exceptional Olympic Sports programs to compete more frequently and forge additional attractive and meaningful rivalries.”

This could mean seeing more dual or tri-meet matchups between schools like Indiana and NC State, Michigan and Cal, or Stanford and Virginia, for example (though travel is always an issue).

The alliance comes weeks after the SEC extended invitations that were accepted by Big 12 powerhouse schools Texas and Oklahoma. The Longhorns and Sooners will join the SEC for the 2025-26 collegiate season.

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Chineeese boy
1 month ago


Reply to  Chineeese boy
1 month ago

Someone else the other day put together a really funny Portmanteau. I forget what it was.

Chineeese boy
Reply to  Steve Nolan
1 month ago

Big -PACage 😂

1 month ago

Reading the tea leaves…
1) NCAA is dead, the powers that be just haven’t figured out the logistics yet and this is practice for that eventuality.

2) Olympic sports at SEC and Alliance-41 schools will continue but current time limits in-season will be removed to look more like football. In an unrelated move, all SEC and Alliance-41 schools will be adding sports and leisure management programs where they do not currently exist or expanding the programs where they do in order to respond to increased demand for the major.

3) Olympic sports at schools not lucky enough to be in the SEC or Alliance-41 will be spoken of in hushed whispers by program alum who remember the glory days… Read more »

Reply to  Qqq
1 month ago

What happens with Title IX if the NCAA dies? Isn’t it a federal rule? If schools are planning on still giving out football scholarships, they’re going to have to continue to fund scholarships for women’s sports as well correct?

Reply to  Swimnick37
1 month ago

That’s correct. Title IX might be the only thing that saves Olympic sports at the college level of any kind.

Reply to  Swimnick37
1 month ago

Yes, but the kicker is the sports sponsorship requirements. If those drop, then schools could decide to fund a very small number of sports in a intercollegiate fashion and change the rest to a club format. The reason schools provide the number of opportunities they do now is Title IX + the sports sponsorship requirement. If football and men’s basketball are the only intercollegiate, scholarship funded sports for men, then 4-5 women’s sports could adequately balance things out. Everything else is club.

The sports sponsorship requirement lowering would almost certainly doom men’s swimming and put women’s at jeopardy.

Also, with the constitutional convention in the Fall, the big question will be: “is competitive equity still a major priority?”… Read more »

1 month ago

REM sang it best and now it’s coming true.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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