Stanford is willing to accept a low media rights payout or even no media rights payout in order to join the ACC, according to Ralph D. Russo of the AP.
“Leaders from Stanford, California, Oregon State and Washington State spoke Thursday, and Stanford told its colleagues it had informed the ACC that it would be open to joining the conference at greatly reduced or even no media rights payout for several years, a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press,” Russo wrote.
The source Russo used spoke on condition of anonymity because the schools are currently not making their discussions public.
The collapse of the Pac-12 started with both USC and UCLA announcing their decision to leave for the Big Ten in July 2022. Colorado started the leave this summer by announcing their decision to return to the Big 12, with Arizona, Arizona State and Utah choosing to join them shortly after. Oregon and Washington also decided to join the Big Ten with USC and UCLA, albeit, with a worse deal than than them.
Washington State, Oregon State, Cal and Stanford are the only four teams remaining in the Pac-12. This 2023-24 academic year is the last that the conference will have 12 members.
The ACC is the only Power 5 conference to not add or lose any teams, as the SEC will add Texas and Oklahoma from the Big 12 in 2024. There has been discussions of expansion with Cal and Stanford both heavily a part of them. SMU is also willing to put up a lot of money to join the ACC from the American conference.
Former U.S. President George Bush and former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice have both been instrumental in conference realignment. Bush has pushed SMU and Rice has pushed Stanford to try and join the ACC.
The conference did not have enough votes to add Cal and Stanford, as four schools opposed the expansion. Those schools are Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State.
The ACC needs 12 of its 15 members to vote yes on bringing teams on. Without the 12 schools needed for support of the move, it is unlikely that there will be a formal vote on whether or not to expand the conference.
Pitt is reportedly in favor of bringing in both Cal and Stanford into the conference, with athletic director Heather Lyke largely in favor.
Stanford and Cal have both been part of these conversations in joining the ACC. With Stanford looking to accept any deal, will Cal also choose to receive little media money from the conference if it gets them a chance to join the ACC?