The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 have formed an alliance that could change the future of college athletics.
The alliance, officially announced on Tuesday, was unanimously supported by presidents, chancellors and athletic directors at all 41 member institutions. According to a release, the union “will be guided in all cases by a commitment to, and prioritization of, supporting student-athlete well-being, academic and athletic opportunities, experiences and diverse educational programming.”
“The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 recognize the unique environment and challenges currently facing intercollegiate athletics, and we are proud and confident in this timely and necessary alliance that brings together like-minded institutions and conferences focused on the overall educational missions of our preeminent institutions,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips.
“The alliance will ensure that the educational outcomes and experiences for student-athletes participating at the highest level of collegiate athletics will remain the driving factor in all decisions moving forward.”
The move comes after the NCAA approved an interim policy on July 1 granting college athletes the right to profit off of their name, image and likeness.
The alliance will include a scheduling component for women’s basketball that creates new inter-conference games. The conferences will add early and mid-season games as well as annual events featuring premier matchups.
Given current scheduling commitments, the changes are expected to happen over time.
The announcement is the latest example of conference shuffling in college athletics. Texas and Oklahoma stunned the college sports world when they announced they would join the SEC as member institutions in 2025, increasing the SEC’s membership numbers to 16.