College Football Leaders Are Plotting To Get More TV Money

It is only business.

There were reports that three of college football’s Power Five conferences, the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten and the Pac 12 have been talking about something. Just exactly what that something might be is unclear although it probably deals with some sort of an alliance between the three groups in an effort to either counter or catch up to the growing behemoth called the Southeastern Conference. The SEC is gaining enormous influence in college football circles with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas to its league. But ACC, Big Ten and Pac 12 officials know television executives are paying attention to the possibilities of some sort of link up of those three conferences. It is a bit stunning that billions of dollars could be sunk into an amateur endeavor where the players are still not paid by the people who recruit them and use them to make money for the business. Sure, some players can sell their faces in marketing deals but the colleges and universities are still not paying so-called student-athletes although the players do get a college scholarship should they have time and should they  want to pursue an education. The student-athletes are athletes first and foremost.

Whatever the college presidents and chancellors decide, and no one should be under the impression that athletic directors make decisions about conferences or TV deals, in the end the college presidents and chancellors call the shots and television executives will be in lock step with them. Television pays the bills and dictates what the industry needs to look like when a picture comes out of a screen whether it is cable TV, an over-the-air TV network or a streaming service. That is the business of college sports. It is all about money and the heads of the ACC, the Big Ten and the Pac 12 need to maximize revenues. An alliance between the three entities makes sense if the TV people are willing to pay for it.

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Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff fields questions during the Pac-12 Conference NCAA college football Media Day Tuesday, July 27, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)