Stanford to join the ACC in 2024
A message from Jerry Yang, Richard Saller, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Bernard Muir, and Condoleezza Rice
Dear Stanford community,
We are pleased to let you know that Stanford will be joining the Atlantic Coast Conference in August 2024. Joining the ACC aligns Stanford with an athletic conference of leading peer institutions who share a deep history of athletic success and a commitment to the pursuit of academic excellence, and we are excited to join them.
Athletics are an integral part of Stanford and of student life at Stanford. Over our history as a university, we have established a proud and nationally recognized tradition of pursuing excellence at the very highest levels in both academics and athletics.
Student-athletes come to Stanford to pursue their highest potential, both in the classroom and on the playing field. Joining the ACC gives us the ability to continue offering them that opportunity. This step will provide national competition for our student-athletes while sustaining our vision for the scholar-athlete model at Stanford.
The academic success and personal wellbeing of Stanford student-athletes have been a foremost consideration for us in this process. This means reasonable amounts of travel for competition.
In joining the ACC, we expect that 22 of Stanford’s 36 sports will see either no scheduling impacts or minimal scheduling impacts. For our other sports, we will be working with the ACC to optimize scheduling to minimize the impacts of travel – much of which will continue to occur over weekends – as well as on additional solutions to support our students’ academic success. We intend to be engaged with faculty on these issues.
Joining the ACC also provides the Power Conference competitive infrastructure and long-term media revenues that are critical for our student-athletes to compete. Conference affiliations and the broadcast revenue they generate provide key financial support for the wide array of sports that Stanford offers, and joining the ACC will ensure national exposure through the ACCʼs TV partners and competition with leading national universities.
Stanford will join the ACC as a full member – both in terms of governance and share of media distributions. However, we will be contributing a portion of our media distributions back to the conference for several years. The level of these contributions will decrease over time. Amid a changing national collegiate athletics landscape, we are confident that with the spirited support of our campus community as well as our alumni and friends, we will be able to sustain excellence in our extraordinary athletics program and in our larger academic mission.
Recently, our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee provided input from Stanford student-athletes on the subject of conference realignment. They emphasized two priorities to us: first and foremost, joining a conference “that provides the highest level of competition” across sports; second, supporting students’ mental health and academic pursuits if additional travel is required. We are committed to both of these priorities and believe our path forward with the ACC allows us to support them.
Stanford will continue to be a member of the Pac-12 Conference through the conclusion of the 2023-24 season. Stanford has spent more than a century in the conference known today as the Pac-12, and student-athletes and fans across our community will forever have memories of many thrilling moments in Stanford’s Pac-12 years. With the decision of other institutions to leave the Pac-12, however, we are extremely fortunate to have found such an exciting new conference home in the ACC.
We appreciate the invitation of the ACC member institutions to join them, along with the University of California, Berkeley, and Southern Methodist University, which also will be joining the conference. We look forward to an exciting new chapter in the story of Stanford Athletics. Go Card!
Jerry Yang, Chair, Stanford Board of Trustees
Richard Saller, President
Marc Tessier-Lavigne, President Emeritus
Bernard Muir, Jaquish & Kenninger Director of Athletics
Condoleezza Rice, Director, Hoover Institution and Special Advisor on Athletics to the President