Exiting Pac-12 Chief Urges a Bigger Playoff and a More Responsive N.C.A.A.
What was the secret sauce, in your mind, for what worked?
We operate in a completely different orbit now than when I arrived in 2009 as a modern, progressive and innovative league. The things I’m most proud of, besides our success as a student-athlete, is the five-fold growth in income, leading initiatives around student-athlete income, doing having the biggest college sports television deal in 2012 and, through a owned and controlled media company, setting us up for great future success.
You’ve been hit with the Pac-12 network, and a lot of people are saying it hasn’t lived up to expectations.
I am very optimistic about the value of university sports law in general, but of Pac-12 in particular because the conference is in a position to own its rights. The value of premium college sports continues to increase, and I think that validated the initial strategy. The challenges, of course, were that although we had the biggest TV deal in college sport in 2012, other conferences have since had the chance to rebuild their business. Our time is coming in 2024, and I am very confident that the conference will see a massive increase in its television rights.
Have you had any doubts about the network, seeing the numbers as they have been over the years?
For those involved at the time, they realized that this was a long-term strategy and that owning and controlling the rights was the right decision despite the challenges of distributing with a network when you didn’t grant your rights. rights to a partner. Looking back, I think we could have taken less money and had a less impressive deal in 2012 if we had kept our deal shorter and had the chance to reset earlier. I probably didn’t fully understand the short-term pressures our campuses would feel when another league renewed a deal.
You have been criticized for the way you have handled the conference and its operations, from refereeing to moving the league office to San Francisco. You were the highest paid college sports commissioner. Do you think you’ve earned it?
That is for others to determine, but ultimately it was the Presidents and Chancellors who decided how much value I brought. My contract has been repeatedly re-signed and extended and increased. Keep in mind that the Pac-12’s revenue increased five times during my tenure, as well as the network equity value.
You want the football playoffs to expand. It’s on the table. Do you think this will actually happen?
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