Utah President Taylor Randall Says ‘Everything Is On The Table’ In Regards To Conference Realignment

Jul 14, 2022, 12:55 PM
Utah Utes vs. Oregon Ducks 2021...
The Utah football team runs onto the field before a game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes November 20, 2021, at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Boyd Ivey/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – University of Utah President Taylor Randall spoke publicly about where the Utes are at in regards to conference realignment and potential options.

Taylor Randall joined “Dave and Dujanovic” on KSL Newsradio on Thursday morning and was asked about where Utah is currently in regards to potentially changing conferences.

“Right now, the 10 schools that remain in the Pacific Athletic Conference are holding together,” said Randall. “We still think we have a strong league. What we like is a shared sense of values to get students graduated. We actually think that we have a lot of options in front of us. People always ask me about every single rumor and ‘are you chasing down all these different opportunities?’ I would say they are probably all true. Everything is on the table. We’re looking for a strong position in athletics for years to come. Given the types of schools we still have in our conference, we feel really good about that.”

Reports have surfaced wide with many different destinations. It’s safe to say that Randall and athletic director Mark Harlan have options, but do they have a timeline of when a decision will be made?

“As much as we would like for it to happen quickly, we actually don’t have to rush this,” stated Randall. “There is plenty of time to think through and construct a conference that will provide us durability into the future. I would expect it to take some time.”

It’s been a busy time for Randall as he is touring the state of Utah on behalf of the university. He is also on the phone constantly and in conversations with conferences and other schools.

“We are on the phone daily, many times a day talking about the different options,” Randall mentioned. “Certainly, the presidents of the schools are in frequent contact as are the athletic directors.”

All of this chaos started when USC and UCLA decided to leave the Pac-12 and join the Big Ten. That move is official with both schools beginning competition in the conference in 2024. The news came as a surprise to Randall, much like the rest of the world of college sports.

“There is no question that when that announcement was made (USC and UCLA going to the Big Ten), it was a surprise to all of us,” Randall said. “It is emblematic of what’s happening in college sports and college football. There is massive change that has to do with whether or not our athletes are employees. It has a lot to do with name image and likeness. Certainly, the move of USC and UCLA was a bit of a surprise.”

The full interview can be heard, below.

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