Photo by AP / Nell Redmond
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said on Wednesday that he believes his conference is the icing on the cake in the midst of a major overhaul of Power Five.
“It is still my belief that there is no better conference in the country,” Phillips said told reporters.
He added It is important that college sports remain “a healthy neighborhood – not two or three gated communities” as program jockeys to join the most lucrative conference.
“We are not the professional ranks. This is not the NFL or NBA small. This is not, or should not be, a win-take-all structure,” Phillips so.
The competition balance through the Division in College Sports was in full view during the academic year 2021-22. Here is the overview of the 38 national championships for men and women won after the conference, pr. Blair Kerkhoff of
Kansas City Star:
- 7 titles each: ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC
- 5 titles each: Big Ten, non-Power Five conferences
The question is whether that balance across the conferences will be a thing of the past only when the transition is complete, and whether two or three super conferences will swallow up all the titles, leaving remnants for everyone else.
This is an important issue in the NIL era because smaller schools have a clear disadvantage in what commercial opportunities they can offer recruits. If the chances of competing at the highest level of their sport are further diminished, serious questions of competitiveness and economic viability will arise outside what Phillips described as gated communities.
That has been the main focus of criticism from Alabama’s head football coach Nick Saban, whose criticism of the direction of college athletics over the past year continued Tuesday.
“Do not think that what I am saying is a concern we have in Alabama because we are one of those who have,” Saban said. “But not everyone in college football can do these things in terms of how they raise money for teams and how they distribute the money to players.”
Although there has always been a gap between the so-called have and those who have not, how far it will expand with the combination of lucrative NIL offers and restructuring has been the biggest concern since Oklahoma and Texas announced a future switch to the SEC in July in last year. .
Saban, who noted that his SEC team brought in more than $ 3 million in NIL deals last season, has sought a unified standard across college sports without limiting student athletes’ earning potential.
“I am everything for the players to be able to do the best they can and use name, image and similarity to be able to create value for themselves,” said Saban.
The ACC has largely remained quiet on the transition front compared to its Power Five counterparts, but it already had 15 healthy full-time members, including Notre Dame for most non-football sports, before the movement began.
Based on Phillips’ comments, however, it sounds as if the conference is open to business as it tries to remain competitive in the ever-changing landscape.
What college sports look like in 10 years can be completely different from the system that has been in place for so long, for better or worse.