Las Vegas, Nev.—-With all of the teams moving around to different conferences like checkers, Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff gave his annual state of the conference monologue at the PAC12’s football media day in Las Vegas on Friday morning.
It was the first open public comments about the impending media rights negotiations by Kliavkoff, who has been very tight lipped about any topics regarding the direction of the negotiations.
Pac-12 senior associate commissioner Merton Hanks and Utah athletic director Mark Harlan spoke at the Zouk Nightclub in Las Vegas on Friday morning.
Kliavkoff gave his take on the media negotiations and the exiting of UCLA and USC who has been in the conference nearly 200 combined years.
Here are some of Kliavkoff excerpts:
Good morning and welcome to the 2023 Pac-12 Media Day. Thank you all for being here today. We’re excited to be hosting this event in Las Vegas, home of our football championship game the last two years and longtime host of our men’s and women’s basketball tournaments.
We are joined today by 11 of our highly accomplished head football coaches, along with the defensive coordinator of Colorado, and 24 of our incredible student-athletes.
I know I speak for the entire football community in sending out our thoughts to Coach Prime following his surgery earlier this week. We wish him a speedy and full recovery.
Each one of our head coaches and student-athletes possesses great talent and leadership on and off the field. I know you and our fans across the country will enjoy the opportunity that today presents to get to know them and their personal stories better.
I think it’s fair to say this is the most highly anticipated Pac-12 Media Day in recent memory, first and foremost because of the strength of our football programs and the opportunity our teams have to compete for CFP invitations and the national championship this season.
At the same time, I’m guessing a few of our media friends might have interest in other topics related to the Pac-12 and might even have a question or two on those topics.
I’ll keep my remarks relatively brief, then I’ll take questions on the issues other than football before welcoming the chair of our athletic directors group, Mark Harlan of Utah, and Merton Hanks, the Pac-12′s executive associate commissioner of football, to help us refocus on the football season ahead.
Speaking of football, the Pac-12 is the strongest it has been in two decades. This is a direct result of the investments made by our schools and their athletic departments, particularly over the past few years. We have nationally recognized head coaches, both returning and new to the conference, with track records of great success.
We have an incredibly strong returning class of football student-athletes, highlighted by the most elite group of quarterbacks of any conference in the country and highly touted incoming recruits. Our conference boasts elite teams capable of competing for the CFP and national championship, great depth up and down our league.