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Michael Crow: ASU football vs. Michigan scheduling ‘in the works’

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (Getty), left, and ASU president Michael Crow (Matt Layman/Arizona Sports), right.

Arizona State University president Michael Crow believes in the Pac-12 model that puts Olympic sports on a more even level than the money-makers in football and men’s basketball.

But he’s quick to point out that ASU’s football team, for example, can compete just fine with the more lucrative, football-forward conferences like the Big Ten and SEC.

“(Athletic director and VP for university athletics Ray Anderson) and I are in total alignment here and that is that college sports needs to be college sports across the entire spectrum. We’ve got some runaway things going on in some of the conferences relative to salaries for coaches and all kinds of other things,” Crow told Doug & Wolf on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

“We need football and men’s basketball to be very competitive because they generate the revenue by which we make our programs work. But we’re not going to buy in to the endless model of whatever it takes, whatever happens, this sport is more important than these other sports. At the same time, we did beat Michigan State twice in the last two years, we did beat Wisconsin, we a few years ago barely lost to LSU, we handled Iowa. We’re playing Michigan coming up. We’re not concerned about these programs. Our sport programs are as competitive as any sports programs that are out there.”

Former Colorado head football coach Mel Tucker jumping ship for a bigger salary at Michigan State this week might indicate the problem with the Pac-12’s model.

As for Arizona State, a series with Michigan has yet to be formally announced, but Crow confirmed it is a work in progress.

The university president also made it clear that such bold scheduling endeavors will continue proving that ASU and the Pac-12 can compete with other conferences that have more money to dangle in front of head coaches for football and men’s hoops.

“I don’t know where we are exactly, but (a Michigan matchup) in the works,” Crow added, “and so the most important point that I want to make relative to that is we want our model to be a model where we compensate our coaches moderately, we compensate them highly if they’re very successful. Everybody graduates, everybody goes on and has a great life. We want to crush all these other teams.

“(Jim) Harbaugh, the coach at Michigan, he was the quarterback when ASU won the (1987) Rose Bowl. I would love — before whatever happens to him, since he can’t beat Ohio State, I would love to see us now take him on and beat him as coach.”

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