ACC commish optimistic about future: ‘No better conference in the country’

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips discussed the future of his conference Wednesday, stating that he is happy with where the league currently stands.

“It remains my belief there is no better conference in the country,” Phillips said at the ACC media days, according to The News & Observer’s Steve Wiseman.

“When you combine our incredible student-athletes, world-class institutions, broad-based sports offerings, and our commitment to maximizing the educational and athletic opportunities for students.”

Phillips’ comments come amid significant changes in college sports. Realignment became a trending topic after Texas and Oklahoma decided to leave the Big 12 for the SEC by 2025 and USC and UCLA agreed to move from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten in 2024.

Those shifts sparked significant changes, but Phillips is confident the ACC won’t lose any programs.

“I love our 15 schools, and I’m confident in us staying together,” he said. “That’s all I’ve heard in the calls we’ve had. We are all on the same page.”

The SEC’s and Big Ten’s additions will give each 16 teams and significantly increase their financial advantage over other conferences.

“In all metrics, we are one of the leaders in the country, except the revenue part of it,” Phillips said. “And that’s been brought to life in recent moves from USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.”

Phillips doesn’t think those changes benefit college sports.

“The ecosystem is not dissimilar to our respective neighborhoods that we live in, keeping them healthy and diverse is a priority,” he said. “There will always be a variety of communities. Gated upper class, middle class, or more modest.

“This is not and should not be a winner-take-all or a zero-sum structure. I will continue to do what’s in the best interest of the ACC but will also strongly advocate for college athletics to be a healthy neighborhood, not both or three-gated homes.”

The ACC is locked in with a grant of rights deal until 2036, but Phillips has said he is considering ways to increase revenue with TV partner ESPN.

“They’re motivated, we’re motivated, and we’ve come together to have some discussions about what would be the next iteration for the ACC,” Phillips added.

Leave a Comment