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.
Sources: ACC Presidents met tonight and the pursuit of Stanford and Cal for conference membership has “hit significant roadblocks.” There’d always been long odds because there wasn’t ever a significant value add.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 10, 2023
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.