ACC commissioner Jim Phillips to reconstruct divisions to '3-5-5' model
May 12, 2022
Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner Jim Phillips a press briefing on Wednesday in Fernandina Beach, Florida, where he discussed a variety of topics related to the league and college athletics.
One of the topics was the league's potential plan to eliminate divisions. According to Phillips, the members were likely to vote on a "3-5-5" model.
Although it is not clear if this will happen in time to affect the 2023 season, the ACC is the first league to implement a championship-deciding format that is more modern.
Earlier this year, the Big Ten also proposed division-less football. The ACC has been discussing this concept for some time, but this was the first time the plan presented an actual proposal. Under the new plan, each team will have three permanent opponents and five rotations.
Coexisting with college football
One of the most talked-about topics in the NCAA's recent discussions is how the organization can co-exist with college football. The rise of the transfer portal and the increasing number of athletes have raised concerns about how the NCAA can no longer police its sport. With the help of a name, image, and likeness, athletes can now go anywhere they want to go.
Despite the various changes that have been proposed by the NCAA, Phillips said he was not ready to declare that a break from the organization was imminent. He noted that the current power structure was not sustainable.
The increasing number of agents and organizations involved in the amateur activities of athletes has become a major issue for the NCAA. Despite the organization's efforts to limit the use of NIL as a recruiting tool, it is still unable to prevent people from abusing this tool.
The organization will eventually need to change on a larger scale. Although Phillips said he did not believe that the governing body would implement many of the proposed changes, he was adamant that college football needed to be modernized.
John Swofford, the former commissioner of the ACC, made several significant moves during his time in the league. One of the most significant changes he made during his time in the league was the creation of a network. He also locked in all of the league's members for the next two decades.
One of the most pressing issues he faced was the league's financial situation. Since the TV contract for the ACC doesn't expire until 2036, the league is currently behind other major conferences in terms of financial resources.
According to reports, the SEC will receive a new TV contract that will reportedly pay each school around $83 million annually. While there is an apparent financial disparity between the league and other conferences, Phillips said he was working to increase the league's revenue.
The ACC recently opened a bidding process to find a new home for its headquarters. The league's preferred locations were Orlando, Charlotte, and Greensboro.
Since the league has such a large footprint, it is unlikely to choose another location. Aside from being the league's home, Charlotte also serves as the conference's football championship game site.