• Loading stock data...
Sunday, April 21, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

What ‘The Alliance’ Means

  • The Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC announced they would form a formal “alliance” less than a month after Texas and Oklahoma agreed to join the SEC.
  • But besides plans for inter-conference scheduling, the alliance's meaning is nebulous at best.
Photo: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY/Design: Alex Brooks

On Tuesday, the Big Ten, Pac-12, and ACC announced they would form a formal “alliance” — less than a month after Texas and Oklahoma agreed to join the SEC.

The alliance is based on a commitment to similar values among the conferences, and will include crossover scheduling, according to the press release. But even after an announcement and 45-minute press conference with all three commissioners, the details remain nebulous at best. 

There’s no contract, commissioners confirmed. And there’s no detailed explanation of where the three groups stand on several issues facing college sports they said they’ll discuss.

Commissioners seem to think the alliance is a way to “save” college sports as we know them. 

They noted the landscape is changing, from the Alston case to NIL. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said that the SEC’s move to add Texas and Oklahoma provided a chance to “evaluate” where college sports were headed.

“We had an opportunity to stabilize a volatile environment,” ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips said.

The Issues at Stake

In the official announcement, the conferences said they’ll be “collaborating and providing thought leadership” on a range of topics. Those included not just postseason structures and the future of the NCAA, but also gender equity, social justice, and mental and physical health and safety. 

None of the commissioners, however, shared where they stand on these issues, or if, when, and how they plan to announce recommendations.

A United Front?

This fall, the NCAA will host a Constitutional Convention to reconsider its role in college sports. The Alston case confirmed the NCAA was subject to strict antitrust scrutiny — and this convention is undoubtedly an attempt to make sure it can adjust to protect itself from more litigation.

It may also be a chance for college sports officials — and this new alliance — to discuss what they really want the NCAA to be. Perhaps Phillips, one of the committee members, will serve as a mouthpiece for the three conferences.

But again, the commissioners stopped short of promising their conferences would formally align on these issues.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Everything You Need To Know About the Legal Attempts To Kill the ACC

Four lawsuits involving the conference, Clemson, and FSU could determine the future.

A Bare-Knuckle Fighter Won His Pro Debut. The Far Right Scored a Marketing Win

With Proud Boys sponsoring him, experts say extremist groups will use his success to elevate their ideologies and recruit new believers.
Dec 27, 2023; San Diego, CA, USA; USC Trojans wide receiver Kyron Hudson (10) celebrates after scoring a touchdown against the Louisville Cardinals during the first half at Petco Park.

Hearings Have Concluded in the Pivotal USC Athlete Employment Case. What’s Next?

The potentially landmark labor case could end the NCAA amateurism model.

Players Accused of Sexual Misconduct Can Still Compete, Feds Say

New Title IX rules ban suspending accused athletes until a school investigation occurs.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Why Ian Rapoport Lives for the NFL Draft’s Chaos


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers

Memphis and FedEx Strike Unique Corporate NIL Deal For $25 Million

The logistics company has a long-standing relationship with the university.
April 11, 2024

‘Nothing Is Off the Table’: New AAC Commissioner Isn’t Afraid of the Controversial Ideas

Tim Pernetti told reporters he’s specifically interested in private equity—and didn’t rule out athlete employment or unionization models.
April 17, 2024

NCAA Made Empty Threats to Jim Harbaugh over Lawyer’s Twitter Posts

The attorney kept criticizing the NCAA on social media after the October warning.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 10, 2024

Deion Sanders: NFL Teams Manipulate Draft Positions

Coach Prime joined ‘Front Office Sports Today’ to discuss the state of college football.
April 10, 2024

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer Retires With ACC Move Looming

She set the all-time coaching record with 1,216 wins.
April 9, 2024

John Calipari’s Kentucky Exit Is As Slow and Awkward As a Dog in a Stroller

Calipari steps away from Kentucky with the Arkansas deal still unofficial.
April 9, 2024

Simultaneous Final Fours: An Untenable Logistical Conundrum

The women’s Final Four has gotten much too big to take place at the exact same time—in a different location—as its men’s counterpart.