Last week, we shared the news that Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and his counterparts at the Big Ten and ACC were discussing some sort of alliance. Nobody knew what that alliance might be, but we should know soon: Multiple reports shared that this alliance will be announced next week. That’s it—that ‘s the news. Whoever is in charge of preventing leaks is doing an incredible job.
Again, there have been no major leaks, with the only unnamed sources sharing that this is a “philosophical” alliance and any scheduling partnerships aren’t among the items:
“This is about seeing if there’s a philosophical alignment,” one AD told ESPN. “At this point, there’s no financial component.”
Added another AD: “No one is tearing up scheduling contracts at this point.”
I initially rolled my eyes at that, but here’s where things get interesting:
But with the NCAA’s role as a governing body in question in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s ruling in NCAA v. Alston — in which Justice Brett Kavanaugh opened the door to future antitrust litigation against the NCAA — there’s at least a tacit understanding that the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 need to find common ground or cede significant political clout to the SEC as major issues including playoff expansion, name, image and likeness (NIL) and player compensation loom.
The rationale is two-pronged, and would address both practical areas such as scheduling and larger, philosophical ones. Sources in the three leagues view an alliance as an alternative to expansion. They would work together rather than potentially hurt one another by poaching members.
Although the SEC’s moves sparked and accelerated conversations about an alliance, the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 also recognize there are many major changes in the sport, especially related to NCAA governance and whether a governing body will even exist in the near future.
“All this banter and talk about the new NCAA structure and governance, having 41 institutions that have similar values would be really important,” a veteran athletic director in one of the leagues said.
Added a source familiar with the alliance talks: “It allows for the focusing of points of view to the end that there may be more effectiveness for the 41, to the extent that they share a vision of what college sports should be.”
Are these schools preparing for a future without an NCAA? If so, who’s making the first move—the schools, where they up and leave the NCAA in unison, or the NCAA, which would disband or re-organize into something that isn’t the present NCAA. Can you imagine?
Leaving the NCAA as 41 united schools might just be the biggest shakeup of college athletics since the last one a few weeks ago (that would be NIL).
As for what this might mean for WSU....who the hell knows? Forty-one schools leaving the NCAA is a long shot right now, but it definitely sounds like they’re preparing for a future without the NCAA. We’ll find out more next week.
Men’s basketball weekend pairings are out, and WSU hosts UW when students are on Christmas break
Weird how this seems to only happen to one school.
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