It's hard to be sympathetic to ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips -

It's hard to be sympathetic to ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips

by Jfann

Posted: 5/15/2024 6:24:35 AM

The ACC is having its spring meetings down in Amelia Island Florida this week, and ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips has his work cut out for him. The ACC is mired in lawsuits with Florida State and Clemson. You have a UNC BOT member openly questioning the UNC athletic finances and staring squarely at the UNC AD Bubba Cunningham, and the ACC. Things aren’t easy for Jim Phillips, and we know he inherited a mess of a TV Deal from which all this frustration originates.

Yet, I find it hard to be sympathetic to Phillips. Here’s why, and it’s something we haven’t talked about on the blog.

I think the ACC got fleeced with the CFP payout.

From ESPN’s article on the subject.

The financial distribution for the expected 14-team playoff will look radically different. On an annual basis, for example, Big Ten and SEC schools will each be making more than $21 million — a drastic increase from the nearly $5.5 million that schools in Power 5 conferences are currently being paid.

In the ACC, the schools will get more than $13 million annually and Big 12 schools will get more than $12 million each. Notre Dame is expected to get more than $12 million as well

The ACC as it is currently constructed is better than the Big 12, considerably better. The conference (thanks to Clemson has 2 National Titles) and multiple playoff appearances. Throw in Florida State’s 2014 appearance following their 2013 title for good measure. Why did the ACC end up just under $2 Million ahead of the Big 12, and then in the neighborhood of $8 Million behind the SEC and Big 10? Add that there is a lookin in 2027 for changing membership especially considering the ACC’s tenuous membership – why agree to a structure that further handcuffs the ACC financially?

This isn’t a John Swoffword situation where market conditions changed resulting in a deal that hurt the ACC. This is an eyes-wide-open negotiation where the ACC should have been able to get something in the 16-18 Million range at the very least.

Florida State and Clemson will leave the ACC one day, and maybe others will too. That day hasn’t arrived.

Jim Phillips can’t lament the state of the ACC or what he inherited when something like this occurs under his watch.

Pat Forde of in a recent article paints a picture of Jim Phillips as a really good guy trying to navigate the turmoil of the ACC.  I get it, he’s in a tough spot, maybe one with no chance of turning around, but if ACC fans saw something anything to point to you could at least feel like the ACC went down with a fight.


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