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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

June 18, 2010 at 10:51 AM

Woodward on KJR — “No decisions made” on Pac-10 divisions

I’ve been reporting for a couple of days now that UW athletic director Scott Woodward has said that there have been no decisions made on the manner in which the Pac-12 will be split into divisions.
And he said it again today on KJR-AM with Dave “Softy” Mahler.
Woodward said that not playing in Los Angeles every year is a “big, very big” concern and something he has talked about regularly with football coach Steve Sarkisian.
But he said again that nothing has been decided.
“There have been no decisions made,” he said. “If we want to play a Pac-10 championship game in football, we are going to have to split into divisions. What that looks like is yet to be determined. I can assure you and the rest of the fans that I will be at the table, fists pounding, representing the University of Washington’s interests.”
Coaches feel that not having an annual presence in LA could impact recruiting, and not having an annual home game against an LA school also takes away a marquee attraction.
Woodward said the the North-South model is “kind of the front-runner” but said the “down the spine model” couldn’t be ruled out. That’s one where the conference would essentially be split East-West, putting UW in a division with one of the LA schools. In that scenario, schools would still play their traditional rival every year.
Woodward also said it was a possibility that there could just be eight conference games. And he also said that divisions would likely exist only for football, with every other sport having just one 12-team conference.
“There are a lot of things going to be discussed because it’s not a fait accompli yet,” Woodward said.
Woodward also said again he is pleased with the final result of this expansion, saying it should at least double the money UW will get in TV money (which he estimated at $6.5 million for this year).
“We cannot continue to compete with the Big Ten and the SEC if we do not close the gap financially,” he said, adding that the expansion and a new TV deal will allow the Pac-10/12 to do that.
He also praised Larry Scott, saying that if he’d pulled off the Pac-16 it would have been like “hitting a grand slam in the first inning.” He said instead that Scott got a double and that “he gets an A-plus in my book.”
He also said he doesn’t buy that there was no chance that the Big 12 was never going to break up.
“I think where Texas ended up was their end game, and it could have ended up one way or the other,” he said. “The Big 12 could have unraveled in my opinion, but it didn’t.”
He said of Texas AD DeLoss Dodds that “he got a better deal for them and it’s great. But that being said, I think the Big 12 may have some problems going forward. … Whenever you have disparity in revenue like that in a big way, the seven junior partners in the deal, the animosity kicks in.”

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