The Atlantic Coast Conference has committed to extending to the Pacific coast.
Presidents and chancellors from the 15 ACC member schools voted Friday morning to invite Stanford, Cal and SMU to join the conference in all sports, beginning with the 2024-25 academic year.
“This is a significant day for the ACC as we welcome Cal, SMU and Stanford to this incredible conference,” said James E. Ryan, president of the University of Virginia and chair of the ACC board of directors. “This expansion will enhance and strengthen the league now and in the future.”
The move will bring more than 2,200 student-athletes from Cal, SMU and Stanford to the conference, which currently numbers about 10,000.
With Cal and Stanford joining the ACC, it likely will be the death blow for the venerable Pac-12, which was decimated over the past month with the departures of all but those two California teams, Washington State and Oregon State to the Big Ten or Big 12. Those two remaining schools are expected to join the Mountain West Conference, stepping down from Power Five status.
For the ACC to issue the invitations, at least 12 schools needed to agree. ESPN reported that more than three weeks ago, Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina and North Carolina State stood opposed, but ESPN reported that NC State chancellor Randy Woodson voted to invite the three schools.
SMU gets its long-awaited chance to move to a power conference from the American Athletic Conference and has agreed to take no broadcast media revenues from the league for nine years, ESPN reported. Cal and Stanford will receive a 30 percent share for seven years, with a gradual increase until they receive their full allotment in the 10th year, per the report.
“This is a transformational day for SMU,” university President R. Gerald Turner said. “Becoming a member of the ACC will positively impact all aspects of the collegiate experience on the Hilltop and will raise SMU’s profile on a national level.”
Still to be determined are how often the current ACC teams will make the coast-to-coast travel to California. Yahoo Sports reported that a proposal is being floated in which the teams in Olympic sports from the eastern and western schools would play in Dallas — the home of SMU.
–Field Level Media