Utah Athletic Director Responds To Big 12 Rumors

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Utah AD Mark Harlan appeared to dispute the belief the Utes are interested in running the Big 12.

Amid the PAC-12 inability to land a new media deal, speculation has been running out of control Utah, Arizona, Arizona State and Colorado could cut and run to the Big 12.

After all, the Big 12 has a media deal locked down that will pay member programs $31.7 million annually. That’s a lot more than can be said for the PAC-12. The Big 12 has stability and a guaranteed future.

George Kliavkoff, so far, hasn’t done the same for his conference. However, that doesn’t mean Utah is leaving.

Utah AD punches back.

While the media might be running with the idea of Utah’s time in the PAC-12, AD Mark Harlan is attempting to kill that line of thinking…..or that’s at least what he’s doing publicly.

Harlan tweeted “Give me a break,” in response to Dennis Dodd’s article about the Big 12 preparing “to pounce on Four Corner schools” amid speculation about the PAC-12’s future.

Should anyone buy Harlan’s tweet?

To be clear, Utah AD Mark Harlan is hardly the only person attempting to urge calmness as chaos engulfs the PAC-12.

George Kliavkoff has been doing a Baghdad Bob impression ever since USC and UCLA announced they were leaving for the Big Ten.

Arizona State AD Ray Anderson also hinted a deal would get done. The man running the Sun Devils previously claimed the final deal “may not be the projections originally contemplated but will be a solid enough financial situation to keep this conference together.”

However, those comments came last month. Since then, potential media partners have reportedly dropped out, and there’s little to no hope on the horizon.

What we do know is someone isn’t telling the truth. Either multiple PAC-12 teams are in talks with the Big 12 or they’re not. It’s truly that simple. Who is telling the truth? Who is lying? That remains to be seen but there are simply too many dueling narratives.

Will Utah leave the PAC-12? (Photo by Chris Gardner/ Getty Images)

Harlan will definitely want to smash the delete button if the Utes do ultimately make a run for it. This tweet will certainly haunt him.

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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  1. EVERY TIME a big name coach is finalizing a deal to jump ship at School A for another job at School B … He categorically DENIES it until the ink dries on the contract and School B’s jet arrives to whisk him away from School A ….

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