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George Kliavkoff Hired as Pac-12 Commissioner to Replace Larry Scott

Adam WellsMay 13, 2021

Soobum Im/Getty Images

The Pac-12 has hired George Kliavkoff as its new commissioner. 

In a statement released by the conference, Michael H. Schill, University of Oregon President and chair of the five-member search committee, explained the decision to hire Kliavkoff:

“He is the new prototype for a sports commissioner. While George has deep sports experience, his biggest asset is his ability to listen, connect with diverse groups, find common ground, collaborate and navigate an evolving landscape. We believe George’s overall skills and experience will become even more prevalent in college sports leadership.”

Kliavkoff is the president of entertainment and sports at MGM Resorts. 

Per Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News, Kliavkoff worked for Major League Baseball in the early 2000s and helped oversee the development of MLB Advanced Media. 

"He's proven he knows how to get s--t done," one source told Bruce Feldman of The Athletic and Fox Sports. "He's not Larry Scott. He's gonna listen, collaborate and build trust with ADs."

In January, the Pac-12 announced that Scott would assist in the transition to a new commissioner before departing June 30. 

Scott is leaving with one year remaining on his contract, which was set to expire in June 2022.

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ESPN's Kyle Bonagura noted Pac-12 presidents and chancellors "expressed to [Scott] a belief that a change in leadership would make sense."

Scott told Bonagura he agreed with them, so the decision was made for him to move on.

The 56-year-old had early success in his run as Pac-12 commissioner. He helped expand the conference when Utah and Colorado came on board in 2011, developed the Pac-12 Championship Game in football and negotiated a 12-year, $3 billion television deal with ESPN and Fox that at the time was the largest of any college conference in the country.

As television rights deals for sports have exploded in recent years, the Pac-12 deal signed in 2011 has fallen behind some of the contracts signed by other Power Five conferences.

Bonagura wrote in January that Pac-12 revenues for the 2018-19 academic year trailed the Big Ten by more than $250 million. 

Disney signed a 10-year, $3 billion television deal with the SEC to broadcast football games on ABC and ESPN starting in 2024.

Scott has been commissioner of the Pac-12 since 2009 when he took over from the retiring Tom Hansen.

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