PAC-12 MEDIA DAY
Published; July 29, 2022
By Mykell Mathieu
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff opened in what would be a terse and tense day with the opening remarks during his 20-minute speech. Kliavkoff mentioned the impact of losing USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, Name, Image, and License (NIL) deals for student-athletes and talked of how the Pac-12 is now “actively exploring expansion” and is considering pilfering the Big-12 of suitors that align with the conference’s media value, athletic strength, academic and cultural fits, and geographic location.
Although Kliavkoff thought it is unlikely for UCLA to return to the conference, he did note that the Bruins are in a “difficult” situation as the University of California Regents convene later this year to review their decision to defect to the Big Ten. Kliavkoff did mention, “If they (UCLA) came back, we will welcome them back.”
USC head coach Lincoln Riley and quarterback Caleb Williams were the darlings of this year’s media day. The two were bombarded with questions about their move from Oklahoma to USC, and school’s looming move to the Big Ten.
The impact of NIL deals was widely discussed throughout the day, as both coaches and players discussed the negative and positive impact of this new procedure on college sports. Many coaches stated that college sports are at the beginning stages of losing their amateurism with the impact of the NIL and the transfer portal.
With all the talking done, all 12 programs will now prepare for what all brought the media out -- football. Utah, the defending conference champions, look poised to defend their title as the 11 other teams look to unseat them.