AAC Commissioner Mike Aresco Releases Open Letter Complaining About The P5

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AAC commissioner Mike Aresco really wants people to stop referring to conferences as members of the P5 and G5.

For years, the SEC, Big Ten, ACC, PAC-12 and Big 12 have been known as the Power 5 – P5 for short. Those five conferences drive college sports. The Big Ten and SEC set the tone and the other three fall in behind.

After that, you have what’s known as the Group of 5 – G5 for short. It’s pretty simple and straightforward. The powerful and rich control college sports.

American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco releases open letter about P5 and G5 labels. (Brad Horrigan/Hartford Courant/Tribune News Service via Getty Images)

Mike Aresco rips P5 branding.

However, Aresco has long had a problem with the framing of the situation and he released an open letter trashing the fact everything is looked at through the lens of the P5 and G5.

The AAC commissioner wrote, in part:

First and foremost, is it healthy to have created and furthered a P5 nomenclature in college sports that relegates half of the FBS conferences, regardless of their accomplishments, to a perceived second-class status that often causes these non-P5 conferences to be ignored in media articles and discussions? To have given it credibility quasi-officially? Is that inclusion? Is that a concern for student-athletes’ health and well-being? Is that pro-competitive? Is that furthering fair competition and equality of opportunity? The answer to all these questions is a resounding “no.” 

How often do we hear NCAA members extolling the value of inclusion and the importance of student-athlete well-being? Yet the current system, and the media narrative, exclude, devalue and diminish the very real achievements of over half of FBS football. The current system and nomenclature, in ways obvious and also subtle, reduces half of FBS college football to a perceived irrelevancy, to a second-class citizenship that is not healthy and that it does not deserve. This has to stop. The NCAA and the select five conferences cannot tout inclusion as a major goal and value and yet continue tacitly or overtly to accept the P5 label, which excludes half of FBS football from meaningful participation and discussion on that basis. Diversity and exclusion are not an acceptable pairing. 

Is Aresco creating an issue out of nothing?

To be clear, it should be Aresco’s goal to advocate for smaller schools. That’s his job as the commissioner of the AAC, which is a G5 conference.

His conference also lost UCF, Cincinnati and Houston to the Big 12 starting this football season. So, he has extra reason to be a little bitter.

A P5 conference came in and plucked what it wanted and left. Welcome to life, Mike. That’s the way the world works.

As the saying goes, the strong do what they want and the weak do what they must. G5 schools simply don’t have the resources, money or draw to compete with the likes of Alabama and Ohio State.

Does Mike Aresco really believe if the P5 label is dropped that all of a sudden Navy and other AAC teams will start lighting up Michigan and Clemson?

If he does believe that, I have some oceanfront property in Nebraska with his name on it.

Mike Aresco releases open letter slamming the P5 label. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

There are things you can justifiably complain about in college football. NIL is starting to get out of control, the same group of teams seems to dominate the CFP (this could change with expansion) and the transfer portal has become the wild west. However, complaining about the P5 label is just ridiculous. Again, it’s Mike Aresco’s job to look out for smaller schools, but this is a bit much. Let’s just hope he stretched before this massive reach!

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

One Comment

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  1. So he’s upset about words? He just wants to do away with the P5 and G5 labels? What a softy. Let’s do away with those labels to appease this thin-skin, and then the big boys should stop scheduling his cupcake teams. No more big payday to travel and get your butt’s kicked but hey, no more hurt words!

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