Kliavkoff: I’m very focused on things under my control

SALT LAKE CITY- The turmoil surrounding the Pac-12 and conference realignment has quieted considerably since news broke this summer that USC and UCLA were moving to the Big Ten. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t yet some curiosity about the remaining members of the Pac-12, their commissioner George Kliavkoff, and what ultimately happens next.

Both Jon Wilner and John Canzano have been at the forefront of the latest Pac-12 conference realignment news, and had Commissioner Kliavkoff on their podcast to talk about the current situation. Kliavkoff’s position? Staying focused on what he can control, but feeling confident if something else seismic were to happen, it would have happened already.

Kliavkoff controlling what can be controlled

Kliavkoff has never been lacking in confidence since taking over from Larry Scott as Pac-12 commissioner in the summer of 2021. That came through loud and clear during his interview on the Canzano and Wilner podcast early Tuesday morning.

“Look, I think if the schools had gone to the Big Ten, they would have already gone to the Big Ten,” Kliavkoff said. “Also, what I’m going to tell you is that I’m very focused on things that are in my control. Things that are not in my control, I don’t find any value in spending time on them.

On the other hand, not only is Kliavkoff convinced that no one else will leave for the Big Ten, but he is also convinced that schools like Utah, Colorado, Arizona and Arizona State will not leave. for the Big 12. Kliavkoff and Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark have traded something of a “war of words” since the Big Ten ended their move in late June.

“I talk to our presidents, chancellors and sporting directors all the time and we have conversations about it,” Kliavkoff said. “Everyone is committed to working together to get a great rights concession following a good media rights deal. I take people at their word.

Of particular note, and widely discussed on Hans and Scotty G.’s Tuesday afternoon show, is Kliavkoff’s comment about taking people at their word. It comes a year after Kliavkoff agreed to an “alliance” with the Big Ten and the ACC only on parole in response to Texas and Oklahoma leaving the Big 12 for the SEC. Clearly, a year after the fact, questions arose as to the wisdom of leaving this “alliance” open with the Big Ten finally negotiating to take USC and UCLA. Certainly, it is difficult not to draw a comparison with the “alliance” and the agreement now pronounced between the 10 remaining members of the Pac-12 and Kliavkoff.

To draw conclusions

It’s hard to gauge what, if anything, can be gleaned from Kliavkoff’s interview. On the one hand, the confidence that Kliavkoff exhibits in his answers is very reassuring. On the other hand, the spoken word agreement with the remaining Pac-12 member schools seems very confusing – mainly because of a bad previous experience that has necessarily nothing to do with the current situation. Then you feel like you have to weigh how realistic is it to expect Kliavkoff to control what schools choose to do until he can actually present a contract with a concession of rights and a deal with the media?

At the end of the line ? The Pac-12 is in a tough spot until Kliavkoff can present the remaining 10 members with a plan of action moving forward. It’s hard to know exactly what this will look like due to the nature of these types of business transactions.

In the meantime, until there is some kind of concrete resolution, fans and even the media are going to have to deal with constant rumors and the idea of ​​”sleeping with one eye open” because no one can do trust until the ink dries. Even then, as we have seen recently, it is debatable.

Maybe it’s time we all took a page from Kliavkoff’s book and focused only on what each of us can control. For the most part, this will have nothing to do with the realignment of the conference.

About Michelle Anderson

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