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Pac-12 Commish George Kliavkoff Throws Shade at Big 12 Being 'Open for Business'

Adam WellsJuly 29, 2022

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff had some fun at the expense of his Big 12 counterpart during the conference's media day session.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Kliavkoff said: "With respect to the Big 12 being open for business, I appreciate that. We haven't decided if we're going shopping there yet or not."

Kliavkoff was referencing Brett Yormark's comment July 13 about the Big 12 being "open for business," which was intended to make it clear the conference was exploring all of its options with Oklahoma and Texas set to leave for the SEC, possibly as soon as the 2024-25 academic year.

The Big 12 reacted to Oklahoma and Texas' announcement by voting to accept BYU, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston into the conference. All four programs will be added to the fold in 2023.

Barring any changes with the Sooners and Longhorns, the Big 12 will have 14 teams for the 2023-24 academic year.

The long-term viability of the Pac-12 is uncertain after USC and UCLA were approved to join the Big Ten starting in 2024.

The announcement that the two Pac-12 schools were leaving for the Big Ten came 10 months after commissioners for the ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 said in a joint video conference they formed an alliance in response to realignment and ongoing expansion of the SEC.

Per Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports, the Big 12 has been "involved in deep discussions" with multiple Pac-12 programs to help shore up its membership.

Dodd cited Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah as being on the Big 12's radar, while Oregon and Washington also received consideration.

Michael McCarthy of Front Office Sports noted the Pac-12 could lose "hundreds of millions in rights fees" on its next television contract with two high-profile programs leaving.

The Pac-12 has broadcast deals with ESPN and Fox that expire in the summer of 2024. McCarthy noted the conference was hoping to double its annual rights fees from the $250 million it currently makes to roughly $500 million.

This iteration of the Pac-12 has been in place since 2011 when Colorado and Utah joined. The conference dates back to 1915 when it was known as the Pacific Coast Conference.

Kliavkoff is entering his second year as the conference's commissioner. He replaced Larry Scott, who served in the role from 2009 to 2021.

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