Ohio State Athletic Director Gene Smith Reacts To ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 Alliance

Smith was among the presidents, chancellors and athletic directors who unanimously supported the alliance.
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The ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 formally announced an alliance this week that represents their like-minded approach to the changing landscape of college football and could lead to a scheduling agreement between the three conferences in the future.

The alliance was unanimously supported by the presidents, chancellors and athletic directors at all 41 ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 schools, including Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith, who told The Columbus Dispatch he’s excited about the partnership.

“It has tremendous potential,” Smith said. "Obviously there's a lot of details that have to be worked out. (Tuesday) was more of announcement around the concept and the collaboration that we're going to have. But I'm excited about the details that eventually will be worked out that will allow us to actually function around all the different issues.”

The announcement noted that the three conferences will remain competitors on the field, but are now committed to working together on issues such as the mental and physical health, safety and wellness of student-athletes; diversity, equity and inclusion in athletics; and the future structure of postseason championships.

"There's a gravitational shift in what's happening in athletics and to know that you have partners who share your values and think like you, it's comforting that we'll be able to collaborate,” Smith said, “so I'm excited about it."

The alliance could eventually alter Ohio State’s future schedules, as the conferences have reportedly discussed a plan in which teams would play one opponent from the other two conferences on an annual basis. That could also mean the Big Ten drops from nine to eight conferences games per season to allow for those additional games.

That said, Smith said it was too early for him to speculate on such a move or offer an opinion.

"My opinion will evolve based upon my conversations with my colleagues," Smith said.

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