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Would Pac-12 Follow Suit If Big Ten Reverses Course On Fall Football?

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott at the pre-game press conference before the Pac-12 Championship football game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Levi's Stadium on December 6, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. The Oregon Ducks won 37-15. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – It seems like the Pac-12 follows any direction that the Big Ten takes when it comes to big decisions for their athletic programs.

Reports have surfaced over the last week that the Big Ten has had conversations about potentially starting the football season around Thanksgiving. That has since sparked talks on social media about the Pac-12 following in that path.

If you recall, the Big Ten announced the postponement of their fall sports including football on August 11. The Pac-12 did the same later that day. According to Twitter, the Big Ten put out their official release announcing the cancellation of fall sports at 1:04 p.m. MT. For the Pac-12, they put out their official release on Twitter at 2:16 p.m. MT. Just over one hour.

It’s widely known that the Pac-12 has a good relationship with the Big Ten. They have a bowl agreement with the Rose Bowl where the best non-college football playoff team from the Pac-12 faces the best non-CFP team from the Big Ten in the big bowl game in Pasadena, California – that is when the Rose Bowl is not a part of the CFP bowl games.

The Big Ten announced on Monday that their presidents and chancellors voted 11-3 to postpone fall sports, responding to a lawsuit made by the Nebraska players.

President Speaks To Big Ten Commissioner

On Tuesday, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren received a phone call from President Trump.

Conference officials released a statement following the conversation between President Trump and Kevin Warren.

“A White House representative reached out to Big Ten Conference Commissioner Kevin Warren on Monday, August 31, 2020 to facilitate a phone call between President Donald J. Trump and Commissioner Warren,” the statement read. “On Tuesday, September 1, 2020 Commissioner Warren and the President had a productive conversation. The Big Ten Conference and its Return to Competition Task Force, on behalf of the Big Ten Council of Presidents and Chancellors (COP/C), are exhausting every resource to help student-athletes get back to playing the sports they love, at the appropriate time, in the safest and healthiest way possible.”

No Contact Between Pac-12, White House

According to Jon Wilner of Mercury News, the Pac-12 has not been in contact with the White House. That is still the case as of the time this story was published. Is the perception nationally that the Pac-12 will just follow the lead of the Big Ten, which is why the conference hasn’t spoken to the White House?

It sure seems that way.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has taken a lot of criticism about not leading the conference through this pandemic and that he is just doing whatever Kevin Warren is doing for the Big Ten.

Scott’s contract expires in 2022. If he wants to save his job, he needs to lead this conference and make the best decision that benefits the conference and the student-athletes that compete in the Pac-12.

Two other conferences have postponed fall sports other than the Big Ten and Pac-12. The MAC and Mountain West also halted fall sports. According to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the President has not contacted the Pac-12, MAC or Mountain West Conferences.

Trevor Allen is a Utah Utes Insider for KSLSports.com and host of the Crimson Corner podcast. Follow him on Twitter: @TrevorASportsYou can download and listen to the podcast, here.

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