On Monday afternoon and evening, news broke out of spring ACC meetings that seven of the conference’s member schools have met with their legal teams in recent months in order to investigate the league’s grant-of-rights and its breakability.
Clemson, FSU, Miami, UNC, NC State, Virginia & Virginia Tech are “The Magnificent 7” ACC schools, sources told @ActionNetworkHQ. These schools, @RossDellenger reported, have met in past several months, w/lawyers examining grant-of-rights to determine just how unbreakable it is.…— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) May 15, 2023
ACC athletic directors emerged from 4-hour meeting w/commish Jim Phillips just now in Amelia Island & said they’re not allowed to talk to media today https://t.co/omBOwgaTKk— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) May 15, 2023
The schools involved in the discussions include Clemson, Florida State, Miami, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia and Virginia Tech. These schools could stand to gain a lot of interest from other conferences like the SEC or Big 10 if the ACC were to be disbanded, a move that would increase their overall revenue by a large portion. If the schools were to find a way out of the contract and out of the conference, it would spell bad news for Boston College.
In any likely scenario, Boston College would not be included in one of the “Big Two” conferences in any future rounds of NCAA realignment. Instead, BC would likely be looking to remain in a fractured ACC while they picked up the pieces and tried to recruit new members to join whoever’s left, like Syracuse, Wake Forest and others. And it’s fully possible that other ACC orphans could find a new home in the Big 12 instead, like Georgia Tech, Louisville, or Pitt.
If this scenario plays out, it would leave BC in a sort of second tier conference in the collegiate sports landscape, while the first tier of schools (SEC, Big Ten, maybe some others) would be the ones earning most of the money and getting the most exposure. It could even lead BC down a path to join a conference like the AAC and become a part of the Group of Five, known as college football’s lower class. Revenue would be reduced and Boston College’s success on the national landscape would likely diminish even further, effectively ending their era of playing with college athletics’ best athletes on the biggest stages.
This news out of the ACC Spring meetings seem to indicate that this scenario is on its way to fruition, sooner or later. If half of the ACC’s membership is looking extensively for a way out of the grant-of-rights, then they very likely could find some kind of collective solution and contribute to this modern wave of conference realignment. The ripple effect of schools like Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC or USC and UCLA joining the Big Ten is finally being felt all the way in the ACC. Once Clemson, FSU, and others find their way into that giant stream of revenue, Boston College will likely be left in the dust.