Since USC and UCLA announced that they’d be bailing on the PAC-12 for the Big Ten, rumors have been floated constantly about what might happen to the ACC. Maybe the winds are, in fact, blowing toward a reality where four super-conferences are the future of college sports and anyone not invited to that party is hung out to dry. Maybe that reality is closer than it seemed a few weeks ago.
The fact is that, truly, no one willing to tell you anything knows. A lot of people want you to believe that they know, that they heard this or that, or that their sources are sitting on transactional details worth more millions than you or I could ever dream of. It’s hard to believe most of it.
My friend Matt Brown, whose Extra Points newsletter is a must-read for fans of college sports, made a very important point about all the rumors flying around about realignment:
This week....ask yourselves....whether you are reading a realignment story, a recruiting story, NIL, etc.— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) July 6, 2022
Is it likely that the author of this story is connected to an anonymous source who *really* has firsthand knowledge of what they're talking about?
If you partake in UNC Twitter at all, you know that fans of the program have been riding high on anxiety since the news broke about USC and UCLA. Something about that move sent things around Chapel Hill into a panic. Since then, there has been a steady stream of someone who heard something that sounds like UNC is on their way out the door.
Each and every rumor that gets blasted into the Twittersphere seems to get everyone worked up into a froth. Whether it’s a panic about UNC being left holding the ACC bag (this seems very unlikely) or ending up in some unfavorable position of being subjected to some fate like the Colonial Athletic Conference (haha no) it all feels like much ado about nothing for the time being.
The latest rumor to drop, which I will link here instead of embedding it because I truly don’t believe in fueling this kind of thing, feels excessively implausible. Yet it is being absolutely eaten up by the masses who are starving for a crumb of news about what is going to happen to the ACC.
gonna RT this for no particular reasonhttps://t.co/FToxe0pxiA— Matt Brown (@MattBrownEP) July 7, 2022
No one knows, and anyone who is saying so with the vague promise of sources almost certainly doesn’t. As Matt says above, ask yourself who would be leaking that kind of information to these individuals and why.
It is quite possible that at some point UNC decides to leave the ACC. By all accounts, the tv deal they are tied to is a load of junk. They can certainly do better elsewhere and they have the resumé to make them appealing to just about any conference that wants to let them in.
Unfortunately, what no one has been able to find a loophole in yet is the Grant of Rights that ties ACC schools to that bad tv deal for the next several years, even if they decide to depart for greener pastures in the SEC or Big Ten. You can be sure that people who are paid lots of money are consulting even better paid lawyers to find out if there is any way out of that in case the winds of change blow this direction.
Until that is sorted out, it’s reasonable to believe it will be business as usual. If that gets sorted out and the ACC is on the verge of dissolving, it will almost certainly not be leaked by @heelzfan4lyfe83293848 on Twitter. Just remember that.