Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC announce alliance
The Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC announced Tuesday an alliance that plans to collaborate on scheduling within the group, as well as address issues including the future structure of the NCAA and social justice.
The union was unanimously supported by the 41 school presidents involved.
"The three conferences remain competitors in every sense but are committed to collaborating and providing thought leadership on various opportunities and challenges facing college athletics," the Pac-12 said in a statement.
The alignment will affect the schedules for college football and women's and men's basketball, creating new interconference games. The plan is to begin the scheduling alliance "as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations."
The conferences also said they would work together regarding diversity, equity (including gender equity), and inclusion; supporting the mental and physical health of student-athletes; social justice; federal legislation affecting college athletics; and postseason championships and potential postseason formats, among other topics.
In women's and men's basketball, the alliance plans to schedule early-season and midseason games between the three conferences.
The alliance is also discussing the idea of expanding the College Football Playoff from four to 12 teams. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said his conference is in favor of the expansion, while the ACC and Big Ten remain unsure.
"I'm a big believer in expanding the College Football Playoff but I'm also a big believer in being methodical and doing our homework," Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said, according to Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic.
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said he and the other two conference commissioners didn't formalize the arrangement in a contract.
"There's no signed contract," he said, according to Max Olson of The Athletic. "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."
The alliance comes weeks after the SEC invited Texas and Oklahoma to join the conference. The Longhorns and Sooners will leave the Big 12 once their grants of media rights to the conference expire in 2025.
The Big 12's future remains cloudy, as it's set to lose its two biggest powerhouses and isn't part of this three-conference alliance.
"We want and need the Big 12 to do well," ACC commissioner Jim Phillips said, according to Brett McMurphy of The Action Network. "The 12 matters in college athletics. The Big 12 matters in Power 5 athletics."