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Bay Area Broadcaster On Pac-12, Cal, Stanford: ‘How Do You Mess This Up So Badly?’

Aug 7, 2023, 3:45 PM | Updated: 4:32 pm

SALT LAKE CITYLarry Beil of the Bay Area’s KGO-TV went off on the Pac-12 Conference, Cal, and Stanford amid the league’s dire situation following the departures of all but four programs.

Bay Area Broadcaster Breaks Down Pac-12’s Mess

On July 27, the Colorado Buffaloes announced their exit from the Pac-12 and return to the Big 12 Conference. CU’s move created a fast-moving domino effect in college athletics.

A little over a week after Colorado’s move, the Oregon Ducks and Washington Huskies bounced to the Big Ten on August 4. A few hours later, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah followed Colorado from the Pac-12 to the Big 12.

After the series of moves, the only schools left in the Pac-12 are Cal, Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington State.

“Today’s news is incredibly disappointing for student-athletes, fans, alumni and staff of the Pac-12 who cherish the over 100-year history, tradition and rivalries of the Conference of Champions. We remain focused on securing the best possible future for each of our member universities,” the league said in a statement.

RELATED: Who Is In The Big 12? Sizing Up Membership After Realignment Moves

On August 5, Beil took to television with his passionate opinion on what happened to the Pac-12 Conference and its Bay Area schools.

“It’s a shame. 108 years… come on? How do you mess this up so badly?” the sports anchor said.

Beil continued by expressing frustration at Cal and Stanford for their lack of focus on athletics.

“Let’s just be real about it. They don’t care that much. Fine, that’s fine. They’re a great academic institution at Cal, same at Stanford,” Beil stated. “Sports is just not their focus. So that’s fine. Maybe they belong elsewhere. I don’t know.”

The former ESPN anchor added that poor decision-making got the Pac-12, and in turn Cal and Stanford, into its current situation.

“Your exploration is why you’re here right now. Because you’re inactive and you got caught with your pants down and with two guys running your conference that should never have been running your conference,” Beil said. “Right now, it’s a mess and they did it to themselves.”

Joel Klatt Explains Business Behind Conference Realignment

On his podcast, the Joel Klatt Show, FOX Sports’ Joel Klatt broke down the business behind why conference realignment is happening and the Big 12 Conference’s expansion.

Klatt explained the impact of TV deals following Colorado’s exit and prior to the other moves made by soon-to-be former Pac-12 schools.

“This was and is a business decision,” Klatt said of CU’s move.

The college football analyst listed multiple reasons why conference realignment was occurring.

“It’s born out of a very tried and true business model in terms of this television revenue distribution and the conferences,” Klatt said. “It’s also born out of a shifting business model.”

The former college quarterback compared the TV market to a pie, one that was being “gobbled up” by the NFL, SEC, and Big Ten. Klatt said that the remaining amount of pie was only enough for one more conference, the Pac-12 or Big 12.

“Well, we are in this position because there was one television deal to be had between the Pac-12 and the Big 12,” Klatt said. “These two conferences had two very different outlooks about this situation, this reality that I was just discussing to you.”

After the Big 12 locked up their media deal for the foreseeable future in 2022, the Pac-12 was left looking for something to eat, the rest of the pie that had already been devoured by Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark and his league.

“The Pac-12 had this view…they had this notion that it’s like ‘No, the pie is actually much bigger than it is and there’s bigger deals to be had because of streamers and don’t worry, we’re gonna be rescued and our deal is gonna be bigger because of streamers and technology.'” Klatt explained. “They actually thought the pie was bigger than it was.”

Then, Klatt broke down how the Big 12’s decisive action in 2022 saved the league and ultimately put the Pac-12 into its current dire situation.

“The Big 12’s viewpoint was actually more, I would call it rooted in reality. Which was, they needed to get to the table first and eat first. And so they did. Brett Yormark’s decision and the Big 12’s leadership’s decision to get to that deal first is why we are here.”

Now, Cal, Oregon State, Stanford, and Washington State are on the look to secure their futures, whether that be in the Pac-12 or another situation.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on X/Twitter (@kyleireland), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl), and Threads (@kyleirelandksl).

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Bay Area Broadcaster On Pac-12, Cal, Stanford: ‘How Do You Mess This Up So Badly?’