Title: Big Ten and Big 12 Conferences Apply Pressure as Pac-12 Schools Consider Jumping Ship
In a stunning turn of events, the Pac-12 conference finds itself in a precarious position as two major conferences, the Big Ten and Big 12, put pressure on its member schools, raising concerns about the conference’s future.
Recent reports indicate that Arizona, one of the Pac-12’s longstanding members, is in talks to join the Big 12. Simultaneously, the Big Ten is discussing potential membership with Oregon and Washington, further fueling speculation about the conference’s stability.
The possibility of more Pac-12 schools leaving has alarmed stakeholders, who worry about the survival of the once-prominent conference. Arizona State’s consideration of a move to the Big 12 adds another layer of complexity to Arizona’s decision-making process.
Meetings held by the boards of regents for the University of Arizona and the University of Washington have intensified concerns about further departures from the Pac-12. While talks have been ongoing, no formal offers have been made by the Big Ten to Oregon and Washington.
Sources familiar with the negotiations reveal that the proposed deal for Oregon and Washington’s potential entry into the Big Ten involves an annual payout in the low-to-mid $30 millions, which could increase to over $40 million with advance payments. Although this payout falls short of what current Big Ten members receive, it exceeds what the two schools could expect from a Pac-12 media rights deal with Apple.
The Pac-12 has already begun losing schools to other conferences, with South California, UCLA, and Colorado set to leave. With only nine schools remaining, the conference now faces uncertainty regarding its future media rights deals.
Meanwhile, the Big 12 is actively targeting Utah to expand its membership to 16 schools following the departure of Texas and Oklahoma. This further adds to the complications faced by the Pac-12.
The potential loss of rivalries and local fan support has triggered concern among Pac-12 stakeholders. Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff recently presented a media rights deal centered around Apple TV as the conference’s primary platform. However, it remains unclear if the proposal was enticing enough to solidify the Pac-12’s future.
As the Pac-12’s historic legacy in sports hangs in the balance, the conference finds itself at a critical juncture. With the Big Ten and Big 12 applying pressure and schools considering departures, the future of the once-dominant Pac-12 conference remains uncertain.
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