FLASHBACK: Arizona President’s Previous Comments On A Streaming Deal Could Spell Doom For The PAC-12

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Some old comments from University of Arizona leader Robert Robbins might hint at the future of the Wildcats.

The PAC-12’s future hangs in the balance as Arizona and all remaining nine programs have a simple decision to make:

Stay with the conference and potentially accept a terrible media deal, or rush to the lifeboats.

PAC-12 leaders met Tuesday and were presented a “primarily subscription-based Apple streaming deal” as the primary option by commissioner George Kliavkoff, according to ESPN.

Arizona leader was previously against a heavy streaming deal for the PAC-12.

Well, Robbins is already on the record that a majority streaming deal wasn’t going to happen. A deal that included streaming was possible, but not one that went over 50% of games. The Apple option reportedly presented Tuesday cruised past that number.

Robbins told CBS the following back in March when talking about a strictly or heavy streaming deal for the PAC-12:

No way. … [You hear talk of] it’s going to be all streaming. Nobody is going for that. Over 50%? No, I don’t think so. I think that’s too much. It’s OK if it’s 50-50. … You have to remember, guys our age, people that I went to high school with aren’t going to want to deal with streaming. I don’t think it will be more than 50%, but if it ended up 50%, I think it would be OK. But we are West Coast and we have to recruit the whole nation. If the football coaches come back and say, ‘Are you out of your mind?’ We’re the final decision makers without a question, but we’re going to heavily consult our ADs and coaches and all that stuff.

Has Robbins’ opinion changed?

The biggest question now is whether or not the comments from March still hold true. It’s hard to imagine Robert Robbins and any other PAC-12 leader would have changed their mind in a short period of time.

Realistically, there’s no reason for major brands in the PAC-12 to change their minds and accept an Apple deal that doesn’t pay what they could earn in the Big 12.

The number to beat is $31.7 million. That’s what Big 12 teams will earn with the conference’s new media deal. Every new P5 member is guaranteed to earn the same.

If Robbins’ comments are a sign of things to come, it might already be a wrap for the PAC-12. He was committed to not accepting a deal that was majority streaming. It appears that’s now the main option on the table.

Will Arizona join the Big 12? (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

While the situation remains incredibly fluid, all signs continue to point to more chaos. Are you not entertained? This is the kind of offseason drama fans crave. Keep checking back to OutKick for the latest updates as we have them.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.

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