clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ACC/BIg Ten/PAC-12 Alliance To Be Announced Today

How far will it go?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Virginia v Miami
MIAMI, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 11: The ACC logo on the goal post prior to the game between the Miami Hurricanes and the Virginia Cavaliers at Hard Rock Stadium on October 11, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Looks like the alliance between the ACC, Big Ten and PAC-12 is going to be announced at 2:00 on Tuesday (EST).

According to the link above, “the PAC-12 is driving this,” which is very interesting. A few months ago, Larry Scott was still the commissioner of the PAC-12 and we cannot imagine him driving any such thing. New commissioner George Kliavkoff, who comes from the entertainment world, is quickly and decisively distinguishing himself from his preening predecessor, who seemed more interested in a nice league office than, say, a functional TV network.

And of course football is driving it too. The SEC’s move to take in Oklahoma and Texas has put the other leagues on notice.

The buzzword though seems to be philosophy. The three leagues have different values from the SEC and we’re guessing a lot of schools and leagues are repulsed by what the Situational Ethics Conference is doing, hence the alliance.

The ironic thing is that football has a questionable future. CTE, a condition that will affect many football players later in life, if not most, has changed everything even if it’s not apparent yet.

According to, “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a progressive and fatal brain disease associated with repeated traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions and repeated blows to the head. It is also associated with the development of dementia. Studies have shown that people who experience TBI in early to midlife are two to four times more at risk of developing dementia in late life. This risk appears to be much higher in people with several TBIs, although more research is needed to confirm this.“

And that’s pretty much every football player.

Some have assessed the situation and left the game early, and legendary running back Bo Jackson said he never would have played had he known and he doesn't want his children to play either.

And he’s not the only one.

Just ask yourself if you want your son to play a game that’s likely to end in dementia and an agonizing death, then look around and see how many people you know who don't let their children play.

In the long-term, two things are going to happen: parents will keep their kids away and lawsuits will be filed. Indeed, many have been.

Football is clearly the big dog in American sports right now but that wasn’t always the case: in the 1930s, the US was much more interested in boxing, horse racing and baseball. Of those three, the first two are significantly smaller today than they once were and really, baseball is too.

None of that changes the reality that football drives the bus right now, and the SEC is dominating. Football is not going away in the near future. But long term?

Football is a dicy bet.

It’s entirely possible that E-Sports, for instance, rises up and becomes the dominant mode of entertainment. We’re guessing that, like us, a lot of you know a kid you can’t pull away from video games and who has no interest in broadcast sports. Colleges are beginning to offer scholarships for E-Sports, as strange as that may sound, and even though most of us aren’t yet aware of it, online tournaments are drawing huge audiences. And they’re global.

So whatever the alliance announces today, whatever the SEC does, don’t believe that anything is static. Nothing is, least of all consumer tastes in a world that is evolving new entertainment options on a regular basis - and that doesn’t even get into the striking changes happening in college sports in just the last few months.

Keep an eye on Kliavkoff. He may become a very interesting figure in all of this.