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George Kliavkoff set to be next Pac-12 commissioner

(Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Pac-12 has found its new commissioner, hiring president of entertainment and sports at MGM Resorts George Kliavkoff on Thursday to replace Larry Scott.

“I am thrilled to be the Pac-12 commissioner. This is a challenging time for intercollegiate athletics, but I believe these challenges also create significant opportunities,” Kliavkoff said in a press release. “I loved being a student-athlete, and I’m passionate about the doors that college sports and higher education open for young women and men.

“My job at the Pac-12 will be to help manage the balance between continued academic excellence, student-athlete well-being and an even higher level of athletic achievement.”

Before working for MGM Resorts, Kliavkoff, 54, was the executive VP-business development of MLB Advanced Media and chief digital officer for NBC Universal Cable, among other things.

“At each step of his career, George has navigated complex, quickly changing environments and has been a successful consensus builder. George is a visionary leader with an extraordinary background as a pioneering sports, entertainment and digital media executive, and we are delighted and honored that he has agreed to become our next Pac-12 Commissioner,” Oregon president Michael H. Schill, who served on the five-member search committee, said in a release.

“He is the new prototype for a sports commissioner. While George has deep sports experience, his biggest asset is his ability to listen, connect with diverse groups, find common ground, collaborate and navigate an evolving landscape. We believe George’s overall skills and experience will become even more prevalent in college sports leadership.”

The Pac-12 announced in January it and Scott were parting ways after 11 years at the helm. Scott originally took over for Tom Hansen in 2009.

Scott, who had one year left on his contract, will officially leave his role on June 30.

The former chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association oversaw the conference’s expansion to 12 teams in 2010, adding Colorado and Utah.

Scott came under fire repeatedly from fans and administrators during his tenure, most notably for the way his administration handled the roll out of the Pac-12 Network and the conference’s lack of appearances in primetime matchups like the College Football Playoff.

He laid out the reasons why he decided to part ways with the conference, saying he is looking to take on other opportunities outside of his current role.

“I was in pro sports for 20 years, I’ve now been in college athletics for more than 10 years, and now is a great time in my life to pursue other exciting opportunities,” Scott said in a press release back in January.

“This moment, when college athletics are moving in a new direction and with the Conference soon commencing the next round of media negotiations, it seems the right time to make a change.”


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