Pac-12 Presidents, ADs Voice Concerns Over Falling Behind Peers
While the sky is "not falling" for the Pac-12 as it prepares for the '18-19 athletics calendar, "cracks are beginning to appear in a once-solid foundation," according to Dennis Dodd of CBSSPORTS.com. The Pac-12 generated $509M in revenue for FY '17, and the conference spun it as the "largest in its history." But that number "cemented the league at No. 5 in Power Five revenue." Arizona State VP/Athletics Ray Anderson said, "The gap between us and the other (leagues) continues to grow." Washington State President Kirk Schulz: "This is a concern of the Pac-12 presidents, and I can tell you it's a large discussion point with meetings with the commissioner at every single meeting. ... The Pac-12 schools have got to be competitive with the ACC, the SEC and the Big Ten and Big 12, and we're falling behind." Dodd noted Pac-12 schools took in an estimated $2.5M each from the "much-maligned Pac-12 Networks," while LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda "makes that much by himself." Pac-12 schools average $30.9M in "annual revenue," with the SEC No. 1 at $41M. That $10M difference could be the "difference in paying a top-notch coach." Meanwhile, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott "oversees a struggling network in a distant time zone." It is "not harsh to call the Pac-12 Networks a failure -- at least in comparison to its Big Ten and SEC peers." Anderson said, "No one is satisfied with the (revenue) production of the Pac-12 Network." Dodd noted it may be until the conference's "next media rights deal expires" -- in '23 -- for that network to be "valued as highly as the Pac-12 views it" (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/15).