Over at ESPN.com, David Hale and Andrea Adelson on the financial challenges facing the ACC as new commissioner Jim Phillips takes over. They got some frank opinions from league administrators speaking anonymously:
“I’m under no illusion that we’re going to close the gap and catch up with the SEC or Big Ten,” another ACC AD told ESPN. “I’m optimistic that we can maintain the gap at the same level of increase that the SEC just got and what the Big Ten will get in their next go-round. If we cannot let the gap get bigger and can cut into the gap in some other ways, that will be success to me.”
As of 2018-19, the ACC lagged behind the rest of the power five in payouts to some degree: per-school payouts were half what was distributed in the Big Ten, which continues to lead everybody else in that respect. The Pac-12 distributed about $3 million more per school than the ACC that year.
That’s the most recent year with publicly available financial information, and as you probably have realized, it’s also from before the ACC Network went live. Just how much has the network helped the league financially in its early stages? Will that get the ACC at least on even footing with the Pac-12 and Big 12?
The silver lining from 2020 is that coaches and administrators have given more thought to changes to the divisional format on the football side—which is good news for everyone in the Atlantic not named Clemson. If there are financially advantageous reasons to change, then it sounds like it’d be a serious consideration.