CLEMSON, S.C. — Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner Jim Phillips suggested it is time for major college football to move away from the NCAA.
In a news conference from Amelia Island, Fla., on Wednesday, Phillips told reporters it is time to look at alternative models for football. The ACC’s head man also confirmed reports from earlier in the week that the ACC was going to do away with divisions and go to a new scheduling model.
But the bigger news was Phillips’ comment on the FBS pulling away from the NCAA’s control. Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith told ESPN last week that FBS conferences are already operating under the direction of the College Football Playoff.
Also consider, the NCAA has never recognized the FBS National Champion as one of its official champions.
Phillips confirmed there have been talks inside the ACC and outside the conference on the possibility of major college football moving away from the NCAA.
“I’ll just say this. I think it’s time to look at alternative models for football,” he said.
Phillips’ comment is just another in a long line of issues surrounding college football this off-season. The transfer portal and NIL have been hot-button topics since the end of the 2021 season and now Phillips comments bring to light the issues major conferences are having with the NCAA ruling.
The ACC Commissioner is not the first person from the ACC to speak about the possibility of the FBS moving away from the NCAA’s control. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney told ESPN back in April he thinks there is going to be “a complete blowup,” especially in college football.
Swinney took it a step further than Phillips and made it seem like the Power Five Conferences could be making a break from the Group of Five.
“I think there’s going to be a complete blowup … especially in football, and there needs to be,” Swinney told ESPN’s Chris Low. “I think eventually there will be some type of break and another division. Right now, you got everybody in one group, and it’s not feasible. Alabama has different problems than Middle Tennessee, but we’re trying to make them all the same and it’s just not. I think you’ll have 40 or 50 teams and a commissioner and here are the rules.”
Swinney told Low current system is a “mess” and that it’s hard to get anything accomplished as college athletics continue to evolve in the new world of the transfer portal and NIL.
“There’s so much bureaucracy, and you can’t get anything done in a real-time manner. It’s frustrating,” he said. “The communication is not good, and the rules are outdated. Again, there have been a lot of positives when it comes to the scholarships. But you’ve got all these people voting on things, and it’s just not apples to apples.”
As for the ACC getting ride of divisions, Phillips confirmed the league is looking into a 3-5-5 scheduling model, meaning each team will have three permanent opponents and will have five rotating teams every other year.
The league is expecting to make a change in its scheduling and getting rid of divisions for the 2023 season.