Reports: Arizona’s Big 12 move on hold; Pac-12 doesn’t vote on future

Aug 4, 2023, 7:31 AM | Updated: 9:34 am

The Pac-12 planned to vote on a grant of rights to bind committed members of the conference together on a meeting Friday morning, but that didn’t happen with the Oregon Ducks showing hesitancy about the future of the conference, reports Action Network’s Brett McMurphy and Yahoo!’s Ross Dellenger.

Oregon’s hesitancy about the proposed media deal on the table, according to Dellenger, played a role in no movement.

Dellenger and Dan Wetzel report for Yahoo! that the fate of the Pac-12 likely rests on the Ducks considering leaving and the Big Ten accepting their entry if Oregon seeks a new home.

As of Thursday night, it looked like the Pac-12’s meeting could determine the fate of the conference’s survival entirely.

Renewed optimism Friday morning made it appear more about who wanted to help the league move forward with USC, UCLA and Colorado already set to depart after this upcoming season.

In Arizona, reports of the Wildcats’ interest in moving to the Big 12 gained steam heading into the board of regents meeting on Thursday night. The Big 12 even approved the admittance of Arizona on Thursday.

The Arizona Board of Regents meeting Thursday did not resolve whether the Wildcats jump to Big 12 as they’ve reportedly shown interest in.

Multiple reports indicate the Arizona State Sun Devils’ reluctance to leave the Pac-12 and the regents’ desire for the rivals in the desert to stay in the same conference could swing one or both schools to remain in the Pac-12. Dellenger and Wetzel went as far as reporting that the Arizona Board of Regents “controls the decision — for both Arizona and ASU.”

“The Arizona schools I think do feel compelled to stay together one way or the other,” Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde told Arizona Sports Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “Not saying it’s done, but there may be more synergy to just stay where they are.

“(One) thing I do think improved what George Kliavkoff and the Pac-12 could put on the table for everybody was some sort of involvement with the ACC, whether it’s a scheduling agreement or an alliance of some kind. I think there has been something that sweetens the pot that they can put down as revenue sources for the schools.”

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach also reported that the Pac-12 and ACC had discussed ways to build a partnership.

The Sun Devils, under president Michael Crow, have reportedly remained hesitant to consider leaving.

Elsewhere in the Pac-12, The Athletic reported that interest in leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten at Oregon and Washington diminished overnight. Washington held its own regents meeting Thursday, and reports of concerns over travel costs at both schools — not to mention reduced fares and income compared to confirmed Big Ten transfers USC and UCLA — appear to have played a factor.

The Big Ten in the past 48 hours opened the door to explore adding those two schools, and potentially Cal and Stanford. But the Big Ten was wanting to wait on moves such as an Arizona jump to the Big 12 before aggressively poaching more Pac-12 universities. Now it appears the Big Ten’s decision-making in concert with Oregon’s might have more impact than the Arizona schools’ potential Big 12 move.

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