ACC commissioner Jim Phillips: 'We need the Big 12'

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ACC commissioner Jim Phillips: 'We need the Big 12'

Austin Brezina08/24/21
Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips stated the newly formed ACC, Big Ten and PAC-12 Alliance “want & need the Big 12 to do well,” reported The Action Network’s Brett McMurphy.

A driving force behind the decision to form an inter-conference alliance was the off-season news that the universities of Texas and Oklahoma were leaving the Big 12 conference for the SEC.

The ACC needs the Big 12

The alliance between the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 became official Tuesday afternoon in a joint press conference with commissioners Jim Phillips, Kevin Warren and George Kliavkoff, respectively. Following the news, ACC commissioner Jim Phillips told reporters that the Big 12 is important to college athletics

“We want and need the Big 12 to do well. The [Big] 12 matters in college athletics. The Big 12 matters in Power 5 athletics.”

In their official release, the alliance cited the “future structure of the NCAA” as one of the topics the individual conferences agreed upon. These concerns directly stem from fears that the SEC is in the process of forming a “super conference” that is above competition from other NCAA conferences.

When Texas and Oklahoma officially leave the Big 12 for the SEC, they are taking with them the majority of television contracts and revenue the Big 12 currently receives. Unless the Big 12 can replace this income, concerns about the future of the conference were raised immediately following the news.

While the newly formed alliance does not include the Big 12 at this time, commissioner Phillips’ words can be viewed as an open invitation to join them. Whichever direction the alliance or the Big 12 choose to go, the future landscape of college athletics will continue to change.

The new Alliance

In their official announcement of the new Alliance, the conferences involved stated they are aligned on issues of governance, including eligibility, academic reputation and the future of the NCAA, Name-Image-Likeness, social justice, and the college season and postseason. Twenty-seven of the 34 AAU schools are members of the ACC, Big Ten or Pac-12.

“The alliance includes a scheduling component for football and women’s and men’s basketball designed to create new inter-conference games, enhance opportunities for student-athletes, and optimize the college athletics experience for both student-athletes and fans across the country,” the statement said.

“A working group comprised of athletic directors representing the three conferences will oversee the scheduling component of the alliance, including determining the criteria upon which scheduling decisions will be made,” the statement added. “All three leagues and their respective institutions understand that scheduling decisions will be an evolutionary process given current scheduling commitments.”

According to the release: “The three conferences remain competitors in every sense” but will collaborate and provide leadership on various challenges facing college athletics, including:
· Student-athlete mental and physical health, safety, wellness and support
· Strong academic experience and support 
· Diversity, equity and inclusion
· Social justice
· Gender equity
· Future structure of the NCAA
· Federal legislative efforts
· Postseason championships and future formats

The basketball component would involve early and midseason games between the conferences similar to the ACC/B1G Challenge.

On3’s Ashton Pollard contributed to this article.