Pac-12 Joins Alliance With ACC and Big Ten Conferences

The Internet has dubbed the alliance “Sum 41” as it represents 41 institutions across three conferences

SAN FRANCISCO – The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 scheduled a press conference Tuesday to announce what each conference characterizes as “an historic alliance that will bring 41 world-class institutions together on a collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling.”

“The historic alliance announced today between the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten is grounded in a commitment to our student-athletes,” said Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff. “We believe that collaborating together we are stronger in our commitment to addressing the broad issues and opportunities facing college athletics.”

The alliance includes no binding contract, nor specifics on how the alliance will have any significant impact to college football schedules already scheduled into the 2030’s.

The alliance was reportedly unanimously supported by the presidents, chancellors and athletics directors at all 41 institutions.

“The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 recognize the unique environment and challenges currently facing intercollegiate athletics, and we are proud and confident in this timely and necessary alliance that brings together like-minded institutions and conferences focused on the overall educational missions of our preeminent institutions,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips. “The alliance will ensure that the educational outcomes and experiences for student-athletes participating at the highest level of collegiate athletics will remain the driving factor in all decisions moving forward.”

The announcement made clear that this was not the seeds of a superconference destined to grow in the future, stating the three conferences “remain competitors in every sense.”

The alliance is focused instead on a set of issues 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

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“Student-athletes have been and will remain the focal point of the Big Ten, ACC and PAC-12 Conferences” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “Today, through this alliance, we furthered our commitment to our student-athletes by prioritizing our academics and athletics value systems. We are creating opportunities for student-athletes to have elite competition and are taking the necessary steps to shape and stabilize the future of college athletics.”

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 scheduling alliance will begin as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations.

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. All three leagues and their respective institutions understand that scheduling decisions will be an evolutionary process given current scheduling commitments.

“The Pac-12 is thrilled to join with so many world-class universities in a collaborative effort to support our student-athletes through an unwavering commitment to excellence in academics and athletics,” University of Oregon President & Chair of the Pac-12 Board of Directors Michael Schill said. “Together we can help shape a future for college athletics where broad-based athletic programs in concert with educational opportunities allow us to support the next generation of leaders.”

The football scheduling alliance will feature additional attractive matchups across the three conferences while continuing to honor historic rivalries and the best traditions of college football.

In women’s and men’s basketball, the three conferences will add early and mid-season games as well as annual events that feature premier matchups between the three leagues.

The three conferences will also explore opportunities for the vast and exceptional Olympic Sports programs to compete more frequently and forge additional attractive and meaningful rivalries.

The future scheduling component will benefit student-athletes and fans by offering new and memorable experiences that will extend coast-to-coast, across all time zones. The competition will bring a new level of excitement to the fans of the 41 schools while also allowing teams and conferences to have flexibility to continue to play opponents from other conferences, independents and various teams from other subdivisions.