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The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 20, 2011 at 8:49 PM

Pac-12 announces it won’t expand

The Pac-12 Conference has just released a statement saying it will not expand and will stay with its current lineup of schools.

Here is the statement:

In light of the widespread speculation about potential scenarios for Conference re-alignment, the Pac-12 Presidents and Chancellors have affirmed their decision to remain a 12-team conference. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said, “after careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference. While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us.”

A couple of quick thoughts:

— I know the general tenor at UW was against expansion for both academic and athletic reasons. I think those at UW were in line with a lot of others in the conference that there was no need to expand now after having recently gone to 12, which allowed the conference to add a football title game and get a rich, new TV deal.

— None of the schools wanted to do anything that would decrease even further their annual presence in Los Angeles.

— Some of the smaller-market schools were rumored to be worried about what the possible long-term effects of further expansion might be (such as the possibility of the league adding, then a contraction at some point down the road, as happened with the old 16-team WAC).

— Given the way everything is going, this hardly slams the door on expansion in future years. But this puts an end to all the talk that we’d have a Pac-16 by the end of the weekend.

UPDATE 9:40 p.m.

Here are a few links with a few more thoughts on this. …

— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller says the words “culture of equality” were the key ones to take out of the conference’s statement.

— Here are Jon Wilner’s thoughts.

— From USA Today.

— And from The New York Times.

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