Whether the Utah Utes should leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12 is a matter of debate these days, and one prominent voice has made his opinion on the subject known.
On Wednesday, a piece by Pac-12 insider Jon Wilner was published in which he interviewed former Utes athletic director Chris Hill, who led Utah from the Mountain West to the Pac-12 in 2011.
Hill’s stance: Utah shouldn’t leave the Pac-12, as he sees “no benefit” from departing for the Big 12.
Additionally, Hill said that the Utah athletic department administration does not want to leave the Pac-12.
“They all want to stay,” he said. “They love the schools they’re associated with and the areas they recruit and play. Utah has a lot of alumni in the Bay Area. There aren’t alumni in Waco (Texas, where Big 12 school Baylor is located). Those things matter.”
As for the question of Utah joining rival BYU in the Big 12, Hill said, “They just need to play each other. Do they need to be in the same league to do that? Maybe, but maybe not.”
Hill said regarding media markets that a school’s “market is their market,” regardless of what conference it plays in.
“The only benefit from switching is to destroy the other league,” he said.
Hill also said that he feels the Pac-12 should not try to add more schools right now after losing USC and UCLA to the Big Ten.
“If the Big 12 schools are off the table, then you could go to the Mountain West,” Hill said. “But I’d stabilize. I wouldn’t feel the need to take somebody now. Take a breath.”