On Monday, the ACC, Big Ten, and PAC-12 released the details of their three-conference “alliance”. On Wednesday, the commissioners of the other two Power 5 conferences released statements in response.
The Alliance is based on scheduling and sharing of opportunities within all collegiate sports, looking to benefit all student-athletes.
SEC commissioner Greg Sankey said this in support of his league’s standing:
“We have respect for each of our conference colleagues and look forward to our future. I believe we remain unified by our shared beliefs around the positive impact college sports has on the lives of student-athletes and throughout our communities. In the SEC, we are proud of our collective academic commitment and athletics accomplishments and look forward to continuing to offer our student-athletes great educational and championship opportunities in the years ahead.”
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby was a little more critical of the move:
“The practical impacts of the arrangement are yet to be seen. The Big 12 Conference has every expectation that we will continue to compete at the highest levels and will be intimately and actively involved in the national athletics agenda.”
Texas and Oklahoma will be joining the SEC as soon as possible. Whether that’s when the Big 12’s naming rights expire, or a settlement is reached. Currently, if they moved this year, it could cost the schools up to $80 million, each.
ACC commissioner Jim Phillips also had a statement on the Big 12, who could risk losing Power 5 status by being left out of the Alliance:
“The Big 12 matters in Power Five athletics and in our FBS group. I can just tell you that we’ll be watching what occurs here. Obviously, this transition isn’t supposed to be taking place for another four years, but this group, in particular, will be very interested to see what happens and to do everything we can to make sure that college athletics looks similar to what it is today — about the numbers of opportunities, the commitment to one another, the support of one another during really difficult moments, which we’re faced with right now.”
Future scheduling collaboration will affect the gambling world of college sports, too. Considering the way some sites like rubyfortune.com have already entered the sports betting world, expect more mobile sportsbooks to come into the fray.
More games between the Power 5 leagues likely means more money spent in this arena. The Big 12 could miss out on a lot of the action if something isn’t accomplished before OU and UT vacate.
This also has an NIL wrinkle. According to Dan Lust (via Twitter), the attorneys from the Alston vs NCAA case have sent a warning letter to the Alliance. Stating they will bring sanctions against them if they collaborate on the future of athlete compensation.
The letter was sent to remind them that the injunction in the Grant-in-Aid Cap limits NCAA member schools from fixing or limiting education-based compensation or benefits for student-athletes.
Still, no one really knows what the whole impact of this will be, but the remaining two big-time collegiate sports leagues not in the Alliance have now spoken.
Main image credit Embed from Getty Images