Like a jealous ex-lover, the Pac-12 has descended on the home of those who have spurned it. While USC and UCLA are technically still in the conference for now, the conference’s annual media day in Los Angeles has a foreboding air about it. We will be updating developments through the day, so check back for news as it hits.
12:30: Moer Deboer
I asked Kalen DeBoer how important it is for UW to preserve the Apple Cup, regardless of what happens in conference realignment. Here's what he said. pic.twitter.com/suSCzegHvo— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) July 29, 2022
Kalen DeBoer was asked if USC and UCLA's departure has become a conversation with the Huskies' recruiting targets. “I’m dead serious. It has not."— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) July 29, 2022
10:54: A Tangential Update
Amber Bunch, who was hired by UW last year as its assistant director of NIL education, is transitioning into a new role working exclusively with the football program. Her new title is "director of football NIL strategy." UW is planning to backfill her old position as well.— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) July 29, 2022
10:07: Dawgs on the Mic
Jaxson Kirkland and Alex Cook joined Kalen Deboer as UW’s representatives at media day. Deboer clearly chose to take the high road on conference realignment and the palace intrigue around college football. He expressed some surprise at USC and UCLA’s defection, but didn’t indulge in any name calling or complaints.
The players also appeared to have fun, complimenting Ryan Grubb and talking about the return of the NCAA Football video game.
Kalen DeBoer is on the main stage pic.twitter.com/M5Of7rWvxq— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) July 29, 2022
Should say Jaxson, not Jason— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) July 29, 2022
And he truly is ... pic.twitter.com/7L3b1RuQCB
8:35 AM: Pac-12 Media Day Opens with a Bang
Whoever laid out the format for media day did not save the biggest news for last. Conference Commissioner George Kliavkoff opened the ceremonies with his first public address since the news that USC and UCLA would leave the Pac-12 for the Big 10. Kliavkoff expressed disappointment with those schools and lamented that revenue generation has seemingly overtaken all other considerations in college sports. At the same time, he expressed optimism about a future Pac media rights deal, the ability of the remaining programs to recruit in all sports, and the prospect of expansion.
George Kliavkoff: "The decisions we make in our future will determine whether we head toward a world in which a small handful of conferences are playing professional sports."— Nicole Auerbach (@NicoleAuerbach) July 29, 2022
Kliavkoff says in college athletics "a singular focus on money will certainly cause more harm than good."— Mike Vorel (@mikevorel) July 29, 2022
Pac-12 Commissioner, George Kliavkoff on his state of PAC-12 football, "We are very disappointed of the decisions of UCLA and USC" pic.twitter.com/Q15qeNOCJV— RedditCFB (@RedditCFB) July 29, 2022