North Carolina’s public system will require colleges to get OK before changing sports conferences

Feb 29, 2024, 11:22 AM

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — The board overseeing North Carolina’s public university system will require schools to get approval to change athletic conferences, which most notably could impact any potential move by Atlantic Coast Conference members North Carolina and North Carolina State.

The system’s board of governors approved the measure Thursday. It comes amid another wave of realignment set to take effect next season, including the ACC adding California and Stanford from the Pac-12 along with SMU of the American Athletic Conference.

It also comes as Florida State is in a legal fight with the ACC as it seeks to exit and avoid paying more than $500 million in fees and penalties to get out of a grant-of-rights deal running through 2036.

The system oversees 16 public universities, including Bowl Subdivision programs like Appalachian State, East Carolina and Charlotte.

The measure requires schools to provide advance notice of any conference change, including a report on the financial impact, for the board president’s approval. The president can approve or reject the plan, while the board could also vote to reject a plan initially approved.

UNC and N.C. State are charter ACC members with a long-standing rivalry and neighboring campuses separated by about a 30-minute drive. The measure in theory could make it tougher for one to leave the other behind in a lucrative conference move.


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North Carolina’s public system will require colleges to get OK before changing sports conferences