Videos by OutKick
It sounds like the PAC-12 isn’t actually close to signing a new media deal.
Over the past few weeks, it appeared there was growing momentum for commissioner George Kliavkoff to slap a new deal together. The conference’s survival depends on it.
However, if there’s one thing we’ve learned about the PAC-12 during this experience, nothing is done until it’s set in stone.
Well, it sounds like that’s not even close to happening.
University of Arizona president Robert Robbins, who recently expressed optimism about the state of the conference, now makes it seem there’s still a way to go.
“I have heard nothing to suggest [a deal is] imminent. There’s all these things about, well, ‘We want to wait until [after] the Final Four.’ That has nothing to do with it. It has to do with assessing who is the right fit, who assesses us. I hope [commissioner George Kliavkoff] gets something done sooner rather than later so that the whole thing stops, so we don’t have focus on it. [But] I am perfectly willing to sit here and wait,” Robbins told CBS Sports when explaining the current state of the situation.
CBS Sports described the PAC-12’s current situation as “not close but hopeful,” and that a lot of real or fictional deadlines have passed without much happening.
The PAC-12’s current deal expires next summer. Without some progress soon, the conference could face a doomsday scenario.
The conference could be facing down the barrel of a crisis.
The biggest fear the PAC-12 has is Oregon and Washington jump ship for the Big Ten. The outcome seems to have cooled recently.
After that doomsday scenario, the next nightmare is Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado cutting and running to the Big 12.
While there’s no evidence to suggest that will happen, the Big 12 currently has one thing the PAC-12 doesn’t:
A guaranteed future and security.
The Big 12’s new media deal pays conference members roughly $31.7 million annually. There’s no reason to believe the PAC-12 will exceed that number or even match it until it actually happens.
That means PAC-12 teams might start looking to a conference with more stability. It’s unlikely members are there yet, but with no deal “imminent,” you have to ask how long before it happens.
One thing remains crystal clear. The PAC-12 remains in very choppy waters, and nobody involved with the conference can be comfortable with that.