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Sorting through the chaos that is college athletics

Navigating the shifting landscape can be daunting for coaches and players of the Pac-12 Conference

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Utah coach Kyle Whittingham walks to practice for the Rose Bowl at a field at Harbor College in Wilmington, Calif.

Utah football coach Kyle Whittingham walks to a Rose Bowl practice in Wilmington, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. Whittingham, along with other Pac-12 coaches, are among those waiting to see what the next falling domino will bring to the embattled league.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

This article was first published in the Ute Insiders newsletter. Sign up to receive the newsletter in your inbox each Wednesday night.

Weeks have passed since USC and UCLA announced they are leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten in 2024.

When it comes to the consequences caused by that shocking move, there are still many unanswered questions regarding realignment.

What to make of the fate of Utah and the Pac-12? Will another shoe drop or will things stand pat for a while?

Will the Pac-12 and Big 12 merge? Or will the Pac-12 remain together?

And to add to the drama, as columnist Doug Robinson points out, politics may play a role in what happens moving forward:

In 2016, you might recall, California Gov. Gavin Newson and the State Legislature enacted a law that prohibits state-funded and state-sponsored travel to states that ‘discriminate’ against LGBTQ people.

The bill states, ‘California must take action to avoid supporting or financing discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.’

In other words, they would fight what they perceive as ‘intolerance’ with intolerance. If you don’t agree with their definition of tolerance, then they won’t do business with you.

Makes you want to look forward to the start of the college football season even more.

In case you missed it

Former Utah star Britain Covey will be heading to Philadelphia Eagles’ training camp soon. Here’s what a reporter that covers the Eagles thinks about Covey’s chances of making the final roster.

Numbers game

35: Utah’s ranking according to Sports Illustrated’s Power Five Desirability Ratings.

41: BYU’s ranking according to Sports Illustrated’s Power Five Desirability Ratings.

From the archives

Extra points

  • Utah’s Tavion Thomas, USU’s Calvin Tyler Jr. named to Doak Walker Award watch list (Deseret News)
  • USC, UCLA and California’s naughty list (Deseret News)
  • Is there more to Pac-12, ACC talk? Expansion chatter continues (Deseret News)


Comments from Deseret News readers

The ACC is in a worse boat than the Pac-12 was in with their contract issues. Fortunately for the Pac-12, they are (finally) at the end of their nightmare media contracts, but losing their two biggest draws would suggest that any new contract will have less value. The ACC still has their grant of rights issue that extends to 2036, meaning that ANY team(s) that join would have to also sign on to that grant of rights. That would be insane for teams from the Pac-12 to sign on to. The Pac-12 adding G5 teams that do not align themselves with the snobbish idea that they have to have certain academic accreditations limits most teams, including San Diego State, Fresno State, Utah State and Boise State. The Pac-12 is in a pack of trouble, and the best teams would be smart to jump ship before it goes down in flames. I sure hope Utah can come out of this in decent shape! I am concerned!

— water rocket

Nobody takes these laws seriously. Money can easily just be moved around so that games in Utah or Indiana or wherever Republicans live are paid for by for by private donors. In any event, UCLA’s entire athletic department is privately funded anyway. UCLA doesn’t get any money from this Newsom guy so his opinions and everyone look at me what I passed laws are irrelevant. This guy doesn’t pay for a dollar of UCLA’s athletic expenses but his policies have contributed to literally $65 million worth of debt so he’s the last person the athletic department cares to take input from. If you’re upset about UCLA and USC leaving the Pac-12, this is the primary person you should direct your anger towards. He’s very lucky the UCLA and USC athletic departments haven’t ripped him a new one yet. If he keeps it up, they just might.

— ShowtimeBruin

Up next

Sept. 3 | 5 p.m. | Football | vs. Florida | @Gainesville, Florida | ESPN