Arizona Board of Regents to meet on ASU, Arizona futures in Pac-12

Aug 2, 2023, 6:53 PM | Updated: 7:16 pm

Arizona Wildcats...

Arizona Wildcats helmet. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)

The Arizona Board of Regents will meet virtually Thursday evening to address Arizona State and Arizona athletics with uncertainty surrounding the Pac-12.

ASU and Arizona are reportedly being targeted by the Big 12 after the conference earned a commitment from the Colorado Buffaloes last week. The schools would need approval from the ABOR in order to leave the Pac-12.

The board met Tuesday in a private executive session. It was unclear whether conference affiliation and the media rights deal was discussed.

Thursday’s meeting will begin at 6 p.m.

The board will convene in executive session for the following items:

A. Pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03(A)(1), (3) and (4) for a review of assignments for Arizona State University President Michael Crow and the University of Arizona President Robert Robbins.

B. Pursuant to A.R.S. §38-431.03(A)(3) and (4) for possible legal advice and discussion regarding university athletics.

UCLA, USC and CU are the three schools already committed to leaving the Pac-12, while the Big Ten reportedly has held conversations about potentially expanding with Oregon, Washington, Stanford and Cal.

USC’s and UCLA’s move to the Big Ten, announced in June 2022, were the first blows to send the Pac-12 reeling into uncertainty over the past year.

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff presented schools with proposed TV rights contracts on Tuesday, but talks ended without a resolution.

The proposal focused on streaming with Apple and incentivized tiers based on subscriptions raised.

The current Big 12 media rights deal will reportedly pay out $31.7 million per school, not something the Pac-12 is expected to equal in any new TV contract.

The Big 12 is attempting to restructure after the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas Longhorns announced a departure for the SEC. Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark has been blunt about the conference’s desire to expand West, with Pac-12 schools as obvious expansion targets.

Wildcats head football coach Jedd Fisch has acknowledged that Arizona leaving the Pac-12 is on the table, saying Arizona will do what is best for Arizona.

“Athletics are very expensive and to run sports programs is very expensive,” Fisch said to reporters on Tuesday.

Fisch told reporters in Tucson that he held a Zoom press conference with players’ families to reinforce that Arizona would be fine with any decision it makes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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