O'Neil: Time for the commish to Pac up
George Kliavkoff inherited a bad hand, played it as best he could, but we know he's been bluffing the past five months and it's time for him to go.
Note from Tyson: Danny O’Neil writes The Dang Apostrophe here on Substack and I’ve always enjoyed his perspective on sports in the Pacific Northwest. He was kind enough to offer his column today on Colorado’s departure to the Big 12 for The I-5 Corridor’s paid subscribers.
George Kliavkoff needs to resign as the Pac-12 commissioner. Now.
I say this not because the conference is on the brink of losing Colorado to the Big 12. Truth is, I don’t care about the Buffs all that much. They’ve only been in the conference since 2011 and were two states removed from the West Coast.
It’s not because the conference remains locked in what appears to be a death spiral, either. Kliavkoff isn’t responsible for this; his predecessor — Larry Scott — is.
Kliavkoff needs to resign because it’s absolutely impossible to take anything that guy says seriously. For almost half a year he has been saying the conference is on the brink of a new media rights deal, insisting the members would be pleased. He has offered no tangible evidence in this regard. He has asked us to trust him and now Colorado has gotten a look at the TV deal the Pac-12 has positioned itself for and decided the Big 12 had a better arrangement already in place.
That’s a hell of a reality check for people like me who’ve been hoping that the Pac-12 can survive the defections of USC and UCLA, remaining a relevant albeit reduced conference.
Colorado’s departure ends any hope the conference had of keeping pace with the Big 12 and the ACC in the race to play second fiddle to the Big Ten and SEC. It brings me no joy to say this, but it’s the truth.