COLLEGE SPORTS

Arizona President Says Realignment Talk Premature Until Pac-12 Has Hard Numbers On TV Deal

Jun 8, 2023, 10:05 AM

WASHINGTON (AP)University of Arizona President Robby Robbins says until Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff gives the conference’s leaders hard numbers on a future media rights deal, any talk about schools leaving the league is premature.

Robbins spoke to a small group of reporters Wednesday, the day before the university hosted a Future of College Athletics Summit not far from Capitol Hill.

Robbins was cautious about providing a timetable for when the Pac-12 schools would be presented a new television contract, saying only he expected to Kilavkoff to deliver a deal “soon.”

The Pac-12’s current deal expires after the 2023-24 school year.

“We have not seen a deal,” Robbins said. “If we see a working document that gives us numbers, that’s what we don’t have. Until we have it, nobody can make an informed decision because we will not have been informed.”

Robbins called the steady drum beat of speculative media reports that have the Pac-12 on the verge of falling apart “propaganda.” He acknowledged that he has spoken with Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark, just not recently.

Yormark has said he would like the Big 12 to expand West and include more schools in the Mountain and Pacific time zones.

“He’s aggressive. He has big plans for the Big 12. I wish him well. All 10 of us are focused on the (media rights) deal,” Robbins said.

The Big 12 jumped ahead of the Pac-12 and agreed to a six-year extensions to its current deal with Fox and ESPN late last year, though that has also not been officially announced from any of the parties.

RELATED: Big 12 Exit Meetings With ‘A Plan’ For Conference Expansion

Earlier in 2022, the Big Ten landed a landmark set of deal with three networks — CBS, NBC and Fox — that will be worth more than $7 billion over seven years. The Southeastern Conference has contracts with ESPN that are worth upward of $7 billion over 10 years.

“We’re not going to get a Big Ten deal. We’re not going to get an SEC deal,” Robbins said. “But if we finish third in this sweepstakes … I’ve never thought that winning the bronze medal was a great aspirational goal. But if we win a bronze medal, I think we’d all declare victory.”

Robbins said his preference, and the consensus among his colleagues in the Pac-12, is to keep the current 10 schools together.

Robbins said he was “cautiously optimistic.”

Whether the Pac-12 expands is dependent on whether a new television deal will include an equal share for potential new members and not cut into what the existing members receive, Robbins said.

Robbins said the Pac-12 having a presence in Southern California, following the departures of USC and UCLA to the Big Ten in 2024, would be desirable. He mentioned San Diego State as a possible fit, along with maybe expanding to Texas. Kilavkoff visited SMU, located in Dallas, earlier this year.

Recent reports suggest Colorado could be the first Pac-12 school to jump at the Big 12’s overtures. But Robbins said — taking a line from the movie “Jerry Maguire” — until Kilavkoff can show the Pac-12 presidents the money in a new television deal, any further conference realignment at the top-tier of college football is likely on hold.

“Each of us will make our own independent analysis,” Robbins said of the Pac-12 schools. “My prediction is that we’re all going to stay together as a Pac-12. There’s 10 of us right now. I’m hopeful that the deal is going to be good enough to keep us together.”

Download the new & improved KSL Sports app from Utah’s sports leader. You can stream live radio, video and stay up to date on all of your favorite teams.

College Sports

BYU Football, Newcomers, Helmet...

Mitch Harper

First Glimpse At BYU Football Newcomers In Game Day Uniforms

BYU is set to welcome 22 newcomers during fall camp.

15 hours ago

Follow @Mitch_Harper...

Mitch Harper

BYU Athletes Set To Compete In 2024 Paris Olympics

Keep tabs on BYU athletes throughout the Summer Olympics in Paris.

16 hours ago

Utah State Aggies Football Andre Seldon passes away...

Chandler Holt

Utah State Mourns Loss Of Football Student-Athlete Andre Seldon Jr.

Utah State Football honored newly-transferred cornerback Andre Seldon who passed away in a tragic accident on Saturday.

1 day ago

Jerry-Bovee-Press-Conference...

Amy Donaldson

Former Utah State Administrator Jerry Bovee Disputes School’s Accusations, Recounts Firing

When the pain of being fired from a job that was more of an identity than a paycheck feels unbearable, Jerry Bovee summons the reason he ever started chasing his dream of being a college athletic director.

1 day ago

Blake-Anderson-Utah-State-Aggies...

Chandler Holt

Blake Anderson’s Representation Releases Part Of Response To Utah State University

Former Utah State football head coach Blake Anderson's legal team released parts of his 70-page response to Utah State University.

3 days ago

olympic-cauldron-park-outside-newly-renovated-rice-eccles-stadium-2022...

Michelle Bodkin

Former Utah Utes Athletes Set To Compete At 2024 Paris Olympics

All eyes turn to Paris, France, next week for the 2024 Summer Olympics and there will be a few former Utah athletes taking the big stage.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

KSL Sports

Utah Hockey Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Want to get the latest info on Utah's newest sports franchise? Sign up for the Utah Hockey newsletter!

ksl-sports-newsletter...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

...

KSL Sports

Jazz Notes Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the Jazz Notes newsletter. Get insider analysis, game recaps and opportunities to win tickets!

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Arizona President Says Realignment Talk Premature Until Pac-12 Has Hard Numbers On TV Deal