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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

February 9, 2010 at 12:13 PM

Pac-10 expansion to get consideration over next year

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott held a conference call with reporters today to discuss the hiring on Monday of Kevin Weiberg as a deputy commissioner.
And the overriding topic of questions was expansion — Weiberg’s history working with other conferences during times of expansion is hard to ignore.
Expansion is not a new topic and Scott has said ever since he was hired last July 1 that it is something he will explore.
What he said new today is that there is something of a defined window of opportunity right now to consider it with the TV contracts expiring in 2012 and negotiations on new media deals set to begin soon.
“Realistically, if we are going to consider this in the forseeable future, it really is in the next 12 months,” he said.
That only makes sense that the conference would want to have its lineup solidified before finalizing any TV agreements.
Otherwise, it was hard to tell if there is really much new on the expansion front.
Scott said there is “more intriuge, perhaps” about expansion from some conference presidents, chancellors and athletic directors due to the fact that other conferences are also again considering expansion (notably, the Big Ten).
But he also said there is no pressure to expand just because others are, and he said that the requirements for schools that would enter the conference haven’t changed, saying again that any new entry would have to be the proper fit “academically and culturally” — which means, I think you can say safely, no Boise State or BYU or California state school (none of which fit either as research institutions or having the total academic and athletic package. Also, TV market will be important, and not just what a school would add but having it be more than what it would also take away as the percentage of the pie for all schools shrinks with every school that is added).
Scott said no schools have been approached about their interest in possibly joining the Pac-10 and said the entire process is in a “very premilinary” stage of information gathering.
He also discussed a Pac-10 network and frankly, nothing new was really said about that other than that it’s a topic they will continue to explore (conference officials seem to do more exploring than Jacques Cousteau).
But again, with the TV agreements ending in two years and new negotiations on the horizon, some decisions will have to be made relatively soon.
UPDATE — Percy Allen has his own take on the conference call on the basketball blog.

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