On April 22, the Atlantic Coast Conference Council of President’s agreed to sign the landmark Grant of Rights which effectively rules out any departures until 2027. This secures the conferences current structure primarily because if a school leaves the conference, they forfeit their media rights for the duration of the term.
Jeremy Fowler of CBS reports that media rights, will net each school an average of “$20M plus starting July 1.” This is a 15 percent increase from last season’s $17.5 million pay- out per school.
The league also appears to have their eyes on bigger fish to fry! So much so, that an idea has been raised about playing ACC football and basketball games in Europe, Commissioner John Swofford told CBSSports.com, “We need to think big, One of the things we brought up to our schools last week was we may play football, we may play basketball in Europe. Across the pond, so to speak.”
Although there are no definite plans or specifics yet, the message was sent out in terms of future goals by Commissioner Swofford.
“The NFL is going to London, as is the NBA with some regularity,” the commissioner said. “The Olympics are so successful over there. Basketball is an international sport. Football is not, but there is a growing interest in it in Great Britain."
The one thing that disturbed me with his statements is that there was no mention about how this would benefit student-athletes. All the emphasis appeared to be on the brands of ACC and their member schools.
What the commissioner may have forgotten is that NFL and NBA athletes are paid to play their respective sports and Olympic athletes can be paid through cooperate sponsors and endorsements. While on the other hand College student-athletes can’t even capitalize on the use of their own names.
Although I love the ACC and respect Commissioner John Swofford, the business as usual approach by the NCAA conferences and their member schools will lead to the door being opened for student-athletes’ especially those participating in the revenue producing sports (football and basketball) to be compensated in some form in the very near future.
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