Pac-12 fall meetings: University presidents gather with huge issues on the agenda

Arizona Sports News online

Pac-12 presidents and chancellors will meet Monday in San Francisco as they do every year at this time, just never with an agenda like the one currently before them.

No, they are not expected to vote on a new media rights contract, although there will be updates from commissioner George Kliavkoff.

And no, USC president Carol Folt and UCLA chancellor Gene Block won’t participate for any portion of the meeting given their planned moves to the Big Ten in 2024.

Typically, the fall meetings include a gathering of the presidents, athletic directors and conference executives, then a session with only the presidents and high-level conference staff.

The agenda will include many of the topics covered every year, including operational, financial, legal and NCAA updates. But three additional items reflect the dynamic state of college sports generally and Pac-12 survival specifically.

Kliavkoff and his executive staff will brief the presidents on:

— The University of California Board of Regents’ ongoing review of UCLA’s entry into the Big Ten.

The regents, who are scheduled to meet Nov. 15-17 in San Francisco, have the authority to block the move, slap UCLA with a financial penalty or let the Bruins join the Big Ten unencumbered.

— The latest on College Football Playoff expansion.

The event will grow to 12 teams for the 2026 season, but FBS commissioners are attempting to solve complicated logistical issues in time for expansion to be implemented for either 2024 or 2025.

Washington State president Kirk Schulz, who represents the Pac-12 on the CFP’s Board of Managers, will undoubtedly have insight on this matter.

— The Pac-12’s media rights negotiations.

Although the negotiations likely are closer to the finish than start, the presidents aren’t expected to formalize an agreement.

A conclusion is weeks away, at least, as the Pac-12 waits for a resolution on UCLA’s move to the Big Ten.

Once the conference and potential media partners have full clarity on the Bruins’ future, contract details can be presented to the presidents for approval.

At this point, it does not appear the Big Ten is on the verge of offering membership to Washington, Oregon, Stanford and Cal; nor does it appear that a jump to the Big 12 is imminent for Arizona, ASU, Utah and Colorado.

However, the situation is highly fluid until the 10 remaining schools sign a media rights contract.

The conference’s two longtime partners, ESPN and Fox, have interest in Pac-12 football and basketball, according to sources.

ESPN needs inventory for the valuable 7:30 p.m. (PT) kickoff, and perhaps for windows on ESPN+. Meanwhile, Fox has approximately 22 time slots currently allocated to Pac-12 football that would need to be filled by another means if the network completely abandons its partnership with the conference.

Amazon and Apple are believed to have interest in the Pac-12, as well. The streaming giants don’t produce their own events but could use the Pac-12 Network’s cutting-edge infrastructure for that purpose.

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