Arizona State, Colorado publicly reaffirm commitment to Pac-12 amid Big 12 speculation
On Tuesday, reports emerged that Arizona State was meeting with the Big 12 along with Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. With last week’s stunning news that USC and UCLA will exit the Pac-12 in 2024, speculation has ramped up that other members of the Pac-12 will look to secure their exit as well.
In light of that, Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson released a statement which, at the very least, publicly reaffirmed the Sun Devils commitment to the Pac-12.
“ASU remains fully committed to the Pac-12 Conference,” Anderson said, via CBS 5’s Brad Denny. “ASU continues to work closely with the other remaining conference members to advance the best interests of its student-athletes as well as to support the continued success of the conference itself.”
ASU AD Ray Anderson:
“ASU remains fully committed to the Pac-12 Conference. ASU continues to work closely with the other remaining conference members to advance the best interests of its student-athletes as well as to support the continued success of the conference itself.”
— Brad Denny (@BDenny29) July 5, 2022
Arizona State’s public comment was in keeping with the one Colorado also released on Tuesday, expressing commitment to the league and promising to be an “active participant” in the conference’s exploration of expansion options.
From CU chancellor Philip DiStefano and AD Rick George:
"CU Boulder supports the decision of the Pac-12 BOR this morning to begin conference media rights negotiations. We are committed to the Pac-12 Conference & look forward to being an active participant in those conversations" pic.twitter.com/kOWCDJDtvZ
— Saturday Out West (@satoutwest) July 5, 2022
Utah, via The Salt Lake Tribune’s Joshua Newman, also called the report the four schools were in discussions with the Big 12 over a conference jump “blatantly false.” There’s also a report from Pac-12 insider John Canzano wherein a “high-ranking official” from one of the four schools said no such meeting was on the books.
For the time being, the Pac-12’s remaining members are publicly working together to try and map out the conference’s future.
In an attempt to tamp down the angst, the Pac-12 has released a pair of statements saying the league’s Board of Directors has both authorized commissioner George Kliavkoff to explore all expansion opportunities and immediately move into the formal negotiating phase for the league’s next media rights deal.