Charlotte, N.C. — ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips held his opening forum as the conference kicked off its media tipoff for men’s basketball Tuesday.
Phillips, of course, was asked about The Alliance that the ACC formulated with the Big Ten and Pac-12, in response to the SEC expanding its membership. While it was a football-driven move, there’s certain benefits that basketball can reap as well.
“Well, first I think just to go back, the two overriding principles of that, one was to do something for the stabilization of, I think, hopefully, college sports, certainly the Power Five and maybe other conferences, to stabilize it in a rocky period,” Phillips said Tuesday.
“Second was to be creative and create some expansion without changing membership and having major disruption of changing membership.”
After Oklahoma and Texas announced that they would be joining the SEC, there was a level of instability that surrounded the college sports landscape, but Phillips and colleagues tried to weather the storm with the formation of The Alliance.
“There are three things that we have and consistently worked on over the last 45 to 60 days in our weekly meetings,” he said. “One is the student-athlete experience, best practices on and off the court, what are the things that we can and should be doing for our student-athletes that represent 28,000 young men and women over the 41 schools.
“Second is to come together on legislation and issues, future of college athletics with like-minded schools and to work collaboratively with all conferences, but certainly start within the framework of the three Power Five conferences.”
From a scheduling standpoint, the ACC has endless options. There’s a lot more flexibility to introduce non-conference matchups between teams within
“Third is scheduling, as you mentioned,” Phillips added. “It’s harder to do in football, a little easier to do in basketball. You’ll see this year, 51 games, 28 against the Big Ten, 23 against the Big Ten and Pac-12 on the men’s side and 23 on the women’s side. So you’ll see 51 games populated across those three conferences, and you’ll see more.”
“I think there’s a chance to do regular-season games. I think there’s a chance to do MTEs, in-season mini-tournaments at different sites, different cities across the country, and create some new inventory, some new content.”