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Welcome, new Pac-12 commissioner — now what?

The Pac-12 logo is displayed on the field at Sun Devil Stadium during an NCAA college football game between Arizona State and Kent State in Tempe, Ariz. on Aug. 29, 2019.
The Pac-12 named its new commissioner last week and it was a name unfamiliar to most — George Kliavkoff. While Kliavkoff has an impressive resume in the professional sports, broadcasting and entertainment realm, he doesn’t have much experience in the world of college sports.
Ralph Freso, Associated Press

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For years, Pac-12 media and fans have been clamoring for a change at the top. The consensus was that it was time for Larry Scott to go.

The Pac-12 named its new commissioner last week and it was a name unfamiliar to most — George Kliavkoff.

While Kliavkoff has an impressive resume in the professional sports, broadcasting and entertainment realm, he doesn’t have much experience in the world of college sports.

But as he stated on the day he was hired, Kliavkoff plans to go on a “listening tour,” visiting each Pac-12 campus to build relationships and figure out how the conference can help the schools maximize their potential.

University of Oregon President Michael H. Schill, chairman of the five-member search committee stated that Kliavkoff is the “new prototype” for a conference commissioner, adding, “I firmly believe that had we not hired George, we may have been competing against him later.”

Numbers game

8.1: Points averaged per game by new Utah commit Bostyn Holt over two seasons at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas.

11: Number of wins by the Pac-12 in its last 33 bowl games.

13.3%: The Pac-12’s decline in attendance in football from 2013-18, almost twice that of any other conference.

From the archives

Extra points

Issues Kliavkoff is dealing with as he takes the reins of the Pac-12 (Deseret News)

Devin Kaufusi’s transition from BYU to Utah (Deseret News)

Utes making first regional golf appearance since 1992 (Deseret News)

Bostyn Holt commits to Runnin’ Utes (Deseret News)

New Pac-12 commissioner is ‘the new prototype’ (Deseret News)

Fanalyst

The (Pac-12) has some problems that must be addressed. One is seeming mismanagement of funds. The overpay on the offices is absurd and is an omen of other financial problems. It is widely considered the lesser of the power conferences. And it has political problems as evidenced by the players’ manifesto and the conference’s lack of unity in response.

What they hired is, in Kliavkoff, is a guy who, although he may be a great sports follower, has experience in media. He may be able to fix Pac-12 Network problem (although I have doubts whether keeping it a monolithic network is the answer). He may be able to increase national visibility via media optimization. But we will see if he is savvy on the political end and has the chops to fix the financial challenges.

I don’t know of the other candidates, but this hire is definitely open to question. We shall see how he does.

— BrianB

The Pac-12 conference used to be one of the strongest in the nation. I don’t know if it was (Larry) Scott or his predecessor, but at some point they got so high and mighty that they wouldn’t schedule any football games with any team outside their own conference unless they could use PAC officials. When Texas was the national champion, they refused to play any PAC schools under those conditions. Other P5 schools, to one degree or another, followed suit. I don’t know if this had any effect on the decline of the PPAC12 or not, but the PAC has been shunned in the bowl games to decide the national championship.

I really believe that even though some of our top talent in Utah choose to go to the west coast teams, Utah is due to win the PAC. WHEN they do, I hope the powers that be will give them a chance for the national title. They should have won it when they beat Alabama in their bowl game a few years ago. I hope it is this year!

— water rocket

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