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‘Nothing Is Off the Table’: New AAC Commissioner Isn’t Afraid of the Controversial Ideas

Apr 12, 2024

During his introductory press events with media members Thursday, incoming AAC commissioner Tim Pernetti kept repeating two phrases: “take big swings” and “nothing is off the table.” Pernetti does not begin his tenure at the AAC until June, but already he’s hinting that he’s taking those ideas literally.

Pernetti, to varying degrees, appears interested in bringing private equity money into the AAC, and in considering some sort of athlete unionization or employment model. On the former, specifically, he observed that “private equity is heavily investing in sports,” noting that “it’s circling the neighborhood in college sports.” He believes it’s inevitable that the industry will enter the NCAA space and that it could be a major benefit to the AAC.

Pernetti didn’t specify how he might bring private equity investment into the conference, but there’s a model to follow, set by Florida State, that could create more capital for school distributions—which, in many ways, is the glue to keeping a conference together. Currently, the AAC distributes only between $9 million and $10 million to each member school every year, just a fraction of what the ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Big 12 provide. The conference could also work with private equity investors on funding outside events or other conference-related initiatives.

Source: Front Office Sports

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