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Report: ACC Pursuit of Cal, SMU and Stanford Has Hit Significant Roadblocks

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ACC commissioner Jim Phillips

It appears as though there isn’t enough support among the ACC presidents to expand at this time.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported that the ACC presidents met Wednesday night, but potential expansion in the form of Cal and Stanford — and SMU — has hit significant roadblocks.

Thamel further reported that conversations surrounding Cal, SMU and Stanford aren’t going anywhere.

Action Network’s Brett McMurphy reported that Notre Dame, a program that has a full vote despite resisting in joining the ACC in football, pushed for the conference to add Cal and Stanford. But, according to Yahoo Sports’ Ross Dellenger, there were four member programs pushing back against expansion.

The ACC would need 12 of its 15 members to vote yes in order to expand.

It appears as if the ACC’s expansion efforts are teetering on the edge of falling apart, but there will be furthering meetings in the coming days that could swing toward expansion — or close the matter without expansion.

Pat Narduzzi made his thoughts on the ACC’s potential expansion clear earlier this week, noting the ACC is looking for the right fit if any expansion were to occur.

“I think it’s crazy,” Narduzzi said. “I think it’s all money driven, which is sad. You look at different conferences across the country where they’re going from the Atlantic to the Pacific, and it just doesn’t make sense financially, especially for other sports. I just think it’s crazy. The one thing Commissioner Phillips has done is keep stability in the ACC and everyone can talk about how they didn’t expand, but they’re looking for the right fit, and it’s got to be the right fit.”

ACC commissioner Jim Phillips has been against the idea of ACC expansion in the past, but that tune has changed in recent weeks. In an interview with ESPN’s David Hale, Phillips was not against the idea of adding to the conference.

“The ACC has been and remains highly engaged in looking at anything that makes us a better and stronger conference,” Phillips told ESPN. “We’ve spent considerable time on expansion to see if there is anything that fits. We have a tremendous group of institutions but if there was something that made us better, we would absolutely be open to it.”

It would be very difficult for any ACC member program to get out of the current Grant-of-Rights agreement, but it appears that expansion would be much more feasible. However, it remains to be seen how adding the likes of Cal, SMU and Stanford would move the needle.

With the SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 all growing over the last couple of years, inking new TV deals, the ACC isn’t in a position to strike a new deal. But the conference can do whatever it can to remain profitable.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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TJ
TJ
11 months ago

Geography aside (although that’s the biggest negative point to me) … I like Cal and Stanford as schools. Academics are solid and they would be a nice addition if they were on the east coast. But not sure how many eyeballs (i.e., $$) they would bring outside of the west coast. One thing I don’t like is ND telling the conference what to do. Until their football program is in the ACC, they shouldn’t even have a full vote. Actually, I wonder how many eyeballs ($$) their hoops team, and the other non-revenue sports, bring to the ACC. Maybe it’s… Read more »

Last edited 11 months ago by TJ
TJ
TJ
11 months ago

When will we know which 4 schools are pushing back ?

kmp30
kmp30
11 months ago

I don’t like Notre Dame trying to influence this decision, but doesn’t the ACC not adding these teams basically shut the door to any chance of Notre Dame joining? Stanford is a ND rival, and part of the reason they want to be independent – so they can play their P5 rivals and still have a normal (not loaded with P5 teams) schedule. if Stanford were in conference…

I know it is a long shot to add ND now, but maybe read the tea leaves a bit for the future.

Just add Stanford and Navy. Go all in on ND.

Pittband
Pittband
11 months ago
Reply to  kmp30

In all sports except men’s hockey and football, Notre Dame is a full participating member. And they agreed to play five ACC schools a season. Football contract is too lucrative. Hockey, don’t know what that’s about, probably would rather play schools where the attendees aren’t wearing a tank top and shorts to the game.

kmp30
kmp30
11 months ago
Reply to  Pittband

Not uncommon for hockey to be separate. Do any ACC schools have hockey? There are only a handful of D1 hockey conferences.

Full ND membership in FB makes ACC a bona fide P3 conference – with a lot more money. That being said, I get it is lucrative for them to be independent. And they control their own fate. Only factor that might change that is their pathway to the playoffs gets a bit better being in a conference. Otherwise they have to be in like the top 12, or something, to make it as an independent.

kmp30
kmp30
11 months ago
Reply to  kmp30

Put your money where your mouth is ND…

Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick told ESPN’s Heather Dinich the reason they advocated for Cal and Stanford was because, “The notion that two of the very best academic institutions in the world who also play D1 sports could be abandoned in this latest chapter of realignment is an indictment of college athletics.”

Mike
Mike
11 months ago
Reply to  Pittband

There is only 64 D1 hockey teams and no other ACC school has a team. Kind of makes it hard to play in the conference then. I

Mdtkd
Mdtkd
11 months ago

If they can’t figure out an expansion of 3 to 6 teams, then the ACC won’t make it another 3 years. The schools will look at what happens if the ACC is dissolved like the pac-10 and then have no payment to leave. Or enough schools will challenge the legality at the same time, that it won’t be able to be saved. Shockingly the big 12 outmaneuvered everyone, and the Big 10 was ready to pounce.

Last edited 11 months ago by Mdtkd
Darren
Darren
11 months ago

First, I’ll apologize for my long-winded rant, but I feel like I got to get it out somehow. What is happening in college football is unfortunately one of the downsides to capitalism. People will take quick profits over ultimately what’s best for everyone (themselves included). It’s hard to blame them, as everyone likes money, and frankly, in most cases, it’s their job. If the BIG or SEC called Pitt officials tomorrow to see if they were interested, I’m sure they would do everything in their power to see how they could make it happen, and I think everyone on here… Read more »

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