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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

May 9, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Pac-12 officially announces hiring of Neuheisel, Lott, Sanders

The Pac-12 officially announced its first three on-air hires for its new TV networks, which will debut in August.

Here’s the release with details.

All are familiar names — Rick Neuheisel, Ronnie Lott and Olympic swimmer Summer Sanders.

Neuheisel and Lott will be football game analysts and have other still-undefined roles. Sounds like Sanders will help head up Olympic-sport coverage.

Today’s announcement was the first of what the conference said will be “a succession” of announcements regarding on-air talent and programming. It also said a full fall schedule, which will include 35 football games, should be announced sometime in mid-June.

As the release states, the Pac-12 Networks will have one National network and six regional networks — each one devoted to a specific two-school geographical area (the state of Washington, Oregon, Bay Area, etc.).

The conference said today the plan is for 35 football games, 125-plus men’s basketball games, 50 or so women’s basketball games and 200 or so Olympic sports to go on the national network. There would be another “50 events from each campus” on the regional networks — so on the regional channel for the state of Washington that would mean another 50 UW sports events, another 50 WSU events, etc.

The channels will debut in August.

Neuheisel obviously was something of a lightning-rod for controversy during his coaching career.

He poked some fun at that image during a teleconference today to announce the hire, saying that in his initial meeting with Pac-12 officials he said that “if your resume requires that you’ve either been fired or booed by every team in the conference, then I am certainly your leading candidate.”

Neuheisel, now 51, is reportedly being paid as much as $300,000 by the conference, though those details weren’t revealed today (nor likely would they ever be). He said he isn’t ruling out a return to coaching someday but that for now he is “all in” on a new career in TV, saying it allows him to remain in Los Angeles where his sons are in school (including Jerry, a QB at UCLA).

“It’s a new direction,” Neuheisel said. “But it’s not something I’m going into to bide my time.”

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