Pac-12 commissioner packs a wallop with comments about Big 12 rivals at football med Augsburg University shirtia day
Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff was in the unfortunate position of having to speak for an extended period of time with not a lot of information to convey. He was able to speak about the conference’s hopes, plans and preferences but without being in position to offer much actual information to support any of the three.
Eventually, though, he found one way to express himself.
He went with attitude.
Speaking to reporters Florida vs. Georgia Rivalry Shirts gathered in Los Angeles for the Pac-12 Football Media Day, Kliavkoff talked of the importance to the league in any future expansion of not just revenue considerations but also cultural, academic and geographic fit. It was a perfectly political address. When he was asked, though, by Stewart Mandel of The Athletic about the recent declaration from new Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark that his league is “open for business” in expansion, Kliavkoff’s response was subtly savage.
COMMISSIONERS: ACC: Everything on table | SEC: We're a super league | Big Ten: Value must be there for expansion
“With respect to the Big 12 being open for business, I appreciate that,” he said. “We haven’t decided if we’re going shopping there yet or not.”
Wait, was that really what he said?
Did he really say “there”, meaning in Big 12 country?
College Lacrosse Jerseys In all honestly, I immediately fired off an e-mail to a Pac-12 representative to give Kliavkoff the opportunity to clarify, if he wished, what exactly he meant by “there.” No one needed to get back to me, because soon he made it clear the use of that word was no accident. Within minutes he was asked by Brandon Marcello of 247 Sports about the nature of that comment and whether the days of being collegial when it comes to expansion are over.
“I hope they’re not over, but they’re certainly harmed,” Kliavkoff said. “That remark was a reflection of the fact that I’ve been spending four weeks trying to defend against grenades that have been lobbed in from every corner of the Big 12, trying to destabilize our remaining conference. I understand why they’re doing it. When you look at the relative media value between the two conferences, I get it. I get why they’re scared. I get why they’re trying to destabilize us. But I was just tired of that, and that’s probably not the most collegial thing I’ve ever said.”
It is all but inevitable a move such as USC and UCLA leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten last month leads to more changes. There are two obvious elements to that certitude: the Pac-12 is motivated to patch the holes in its membership rost Bloomsburg Huskies shirt er, and other leagues sift through what remains of the wounded association for opportunities to enhance their own.
It was reported the Pac-12 and Big 12 discussed an alliance of sorts but were unable to come to an agreement. Those discussions must have been something, given how Kliavkoff talked of the Big 12 on this day.
The damage done to the Pac-12 was underscored by its presence in LA for the football event, but Kliavkoff made it clear the league will not abandon the city. One can say without hesitation there is no plan to add Loyola Marymount, but Kliavkoff said it’s possible the conference will stage football games there in the future that don’t necessarily involv NCAA Backpacks e the T Florida A&M Rattlers Jerseys rojans or Bruins.
It seems all too obvious the Pac-12 at least can return to that corner of the world by inviting Mountain West Conference power San Diego State to become a member, but Kliavkoff declined to comment on any specific school.
He was asked if USC had misled the conference about its intentions and, without denying this, said the league is focused on the future. He was asked if the decisions by USC and UCLA were irrevocable and made a pointed statement that many involved with the Bruins are not delighted with the move.
“There are a lot of constituents related to UCLA that are very, very, very unhappy with the decision: student-athletes, families of student-athletes, faculty, the staff, politicians, the fans, the alumni. There’s a lot of really, really upset people with that decision,” Kliavkoff said. “And there’s a hearing coming up about that decision. I can’t give you a percentage chance; I think it’s unlikely. But if they came back, we’d welcome them back.”
He did not limit his criticism to the Trojans, Bruins and Big 12, although he was not overt with his Kentucky vs. Louisville Rivalry Shirts other comments. He twice made it clear the Pac-12 would consider not just athletic success, media value and academic alignment with any future expansion, but also geographic fit. It was a clear swipe at the Big Ten moving 1,500 miles from the school (Nebraska) nearest to USC and UCLA and more than 2,700 miles from the school (Rutgers) t Caldwell Cougars Jerseys hat is farthest away.
“We’re very focused – I think uniquely – in thinking about the affect with student-athletes when we add schools. We think about travel and what we’re going to put our student-athletes through if we expand, geographically, too far away. And I’m proud of the fact that that’s part of our criteria.”
Those were the most compelling elements of Kliavkoff’s public presentation, but these were some other key facts he and Stanford athletic director Bernard Muir shared:
– Kliavkoff suggested the 11 FBS conferences should agree to rules on Name/Image/Likeness for student athletes that would remove recruiting incentives from any agreements and assure that all NIL payments are equivalent to the value the entity compensating the athlete receives in return. He expressed regret the NCAA is not enforcing its rules that cover such matters because of concern about an antitrust lawsuit. He suggested because it would only be the BCS conferences involved – 131 schools of more than 1,000 NCAA members – there would not be concern about antitrust violations.
– He said the Pac-12 must close the growing revenue gap with other FBS leagues. He acknowledged the conference fell behind “because of a series of decisions that were made by the conference 10 years ago … That’s going to be a focus.”
– Muir said Stanford has not had any discussions with other conferences. The Cardinal would be an appealing candidate for the Big Ten should Notre Dame agree to join the conference, but the Irish are nowhere near a decision on that issue now. “We have been really open and transparent. We understand the issues at hand,” Muir said. “When this broke a month ago, we all – Notre Dame vs. USC Rivalry Gear each one of us – are trying to figure out scenario planning. We have discussions internally and try to figure that out, but we have not had any formal overture from another conference.”
– Kliavkoff expressed optimism about the future of the Pac-12, although at least one media commentator has declared the league’s impending death. “We are bullish about the Pac-12’s future and the opportunity for long-term growth, stability and success,” he said. The Pac-12 board is instructing the league office to work to enhance the value of media rights, including creating new made-for-TV events, enhancing non-conference competition and working to change the NCAA rule regarding football divisions. The Pac-12 now will play a 1 vs. 2 league title game.
– He said the Pac-12 almost certainly will have a non-broadcast media partner as at least a segment of its next rights deal. “I would say it’s highly likely that we will end up with a big digital partner for some of our rights and that our rights will be distributed in a way that’s unique and different and new,” he said.
– Kliavkoff also took one more shot at those who suggest college athletics should fully professionalize, and perhaps those whose actions are nudging it in that direction. He said he is not in favor of making athletes employees, pointing out that in such an arrangement it is likely no BYU Cougars shirt n-revenue sports would be harmed and also those who become purely professional would be subject to dismissal for performance.
“We are at a critical juncture, and the decisions we make in the near future will determine if we head toward a world in which a small handful of conferences are playing professional sports at the expense of tens of thousands of academic opportunities,” Kliavkoff said. “Or, we use the bounty of resources available to continue to develop future leaders through sport and to expand financial aid opportunities to more and more student-athletes.”