SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — In response to the expansion of the SEC Conference, the heads of the Pac-12, Big-10 and ACC conferences unveiled a historic sports alliance Tuesday including a commitment to schedule high profile matchups between football and men’s and women’s basketball teams.
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said the alliance will help the conferences navigate through the rapidly changing environment surrounding the business of big time college sports.READ MORE: San Francisco Easing Indoor Masking Requirement On Feb. 1
The move comes less than a month after the Southeastern Conference invited Texas and Oklahoma to join the league and create a 16-school league by 2025. The move sent shockwaves through college athletics and will leave the Big 12 without its two premier schools in the paydirt sport of football.
“The foundation of college sports is in turmoil,” Kliavkoff said. “These matters, although challenging, also present a once in a generation opportunities to hit the reset button.”
ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips echoed those sentiments.
“The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 recognize the unique environment and challenges currently facing intercollegiate athletics, and we are proud and confident in this timely and necessary alliance that brings together like-minded institutions and conferences focused on the overall educational missions of our preeminent institutions,” Phillips said.
Kliavkoff said for the moment there was on written agreement between the schools.READ MORE: UC Berkeley Anthropology Museum Returns 1860 Massacre Remains To Wiyot Tribe
“There’s no contract. There’s no signed document. There doesn’t need to be,” he said.
The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 hope its alliance of 41 schools that span from Miami to Seattle leads to stability at the top of big-time college sports and thwarts future realignment.
The alliance is also being formed as the NCAA begins the process of handing off more responsibility to conferences and schools to run college sports, and with a proposal to expand the College Football Playoff in the pipeline.
Kevin Warren of the Big Ten called it “a year of seismic shifts” in the structure of college sports.
The scheduling alliance will begin as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations. A working group comprised of athletic directors representing the three conferences will oversee the scheduling component of the alliance, including determining the criteria upon which scheduling decisions will be made.
Warren said the Big 10 may be reducing the number of intra-conference games in the future to make the scheduling work.MORE NEWS: West Oakland Residents Eye Lawsuit Against Rock, Gravel Stockpile Plans At Port of Oakland
The three conferences will also explore opportunities for the Olympic Sports programs to compete more frequently and forge additional attractive and meaningful rivalries.