Today kicks off the march to the 2021 season for ACC football as the conference held their annual ACC Kickoff media days in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today new ACC commissioner Jim Phillips spoke to the media about the upcoming season here are some of the takeaways from his comments.
5. NIL was a major moment for college sports, but there is still more work to do.
Phillips was supportive of the new NIL rulings, that allows players to profit off of their image and likeness. But he, like many think there needs to be more structure around it to prevent abuses and make it fair. "The best interests of our student-athletes was also a motivating force behind the ACC's decision to fully support their opportunity to benefit from their name, image and likeness. While we appreciate the interim policy now in place, we will continue to work with Congressional leaders to enact federal legislation that will protect and benefit all student-athletes in the long-term and that will also ensure fairness and equity in college sports that we can't afford to lose."
4. Vaccinations Will Remain A School to School Decision
COVID-19 has been a hot button item in the country, but in terms of the ACC it will remain a decision for each member school. Currently there are seven schools that are mandating vaccines, and according to his comments half of the school are above the 85% threshold. Phillips also said "As we approach the fall seasons, there's no question that increasing the number of vaccinations will provide the best chance for our student-athletes and teams to compete. Our office using resources from the Ad Council created a PSA to encourage everyone to learn more about the benefits of COVID-19 vaccine. I'm also confident that our campuses will continue their ongoing education and communication related to the importance of vaccinations and other mitigation strategies."
3. Getting the ACC Network on Comcast remains a priority.
One of the biggest critiques of the ACC Network has been that it has not been available on Comcast, one of the biggest carriers in the country. "Distribution is critical for us. When I visited those 15 institutions, that was kind of the cry of all of our schools, is how do we get distribution wider. I think we have a great plan coming up. A lot of the carriers and providers, including Comcast, renewals coming up this late summer and into the fall. I think we're making tremendous progress with them. Those frustrations are real. We'll never be the conference that we need to be until we get some of those issues taken care of. I think we have a great strategy. It's been top of point every conversation we've had with our TV partners. They understand it. They get it. So we're hopeful to make a big dent in the distribution piece coming up."
2. The BC and Clemson game on October 2 will be on ACC Network
The Eagles travel to Clemson in October, and Phillips explained that the game will be featured on the ACC Network. "I'm excited to announce two additional games that will be featured exclusively on ACCN this season: Boston College at Clemson on Saturday, October 2, and Notre Dame at Virginia Tech on Saturday, October 9. The addition of these games reinforces ACC Network's ongoing commitment to scheduling high-profile ACC events and surrounding them with comprehensive studio and on-campus programming as well as in-depth storytelling."
1. Notre Dame Updates For Football.
With Notre Dame leaving the ACC football after a one year emergency membership in 2020, the topic came up again. Phillips addressed the question "I think we all got a glimpse of what would be like to have Notre Dame in the conference this past fall. That was a really beautiful and beneficial relationship to both Notre Dame and the ACC. They had a chance to play a fantastic schedule. They had a chance to vie for a national championship and compete in the CFP. We have a real-life example of what that could look like."
Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley, Phil Jurkovec, Zion Johnson and Marcus Valdez are scheduled to speak tomorrow.