CHARLOTTE, N.C (WNCN) – Every school but Notre Dame was in Charlotte for the ACC Football Kickoff event however, when commissioner Jim Phillips took the stage, the questions had nothing to do with football.
First on people’s mind is COVID. Nobody wants a repeat of the numerous hoops and hurdles schools had to overcome just to pull off last season. Despite the presence of a vaccine, commissioner Phillips said vaccination decisions will remain at the discretion of each school. He reminded everyone the decision to get vaccinated is a personal one but a majority of student-athletes did get the shot.
“We have over half of our group above that 85% threshold with several others on the cusp. We all feel like that’s a reasonable target across the ACC,” said Phillips. “Overall from a student-athlete population, that number is even higher according to those schools.”
The very next question was about name, image and likeness. He was excited for the opportunities afforded students and complimentary of the way schools proceeded in this uncharted territory. He was however very critical of the way the NCAA has handled this.
“Not having a national standard will cause major disruption,” said Phillips. “You’re already seeing across the country the wide-ranging disparity at times, depending on what state you’re in, what people are able to do.”
He reiterated it cannot be a recruiting advantage and the equity from those resources have to be equally distributed but the biggest eye opener wasn’t an answer to a question but a possible solution he offered up to these issues.
“This is the right time to have a complete holistic review of the NCAA, leadership, structure, what do we want to do moving forward,” said Phillips. “There’s been so many things that have happened in our space here that the timing is right. No predetermined outcomes. Let’s take a look.”