“It is clear that UCLA and USC made the decision to achieve short-term financial gain at the expense of student-athletes,” said PAC 12 commissioner George Klyavkov. the athlete Friday. “It’s 100 percent clear to me. It’s really unfortunate, and I think they really regret it, given the trauma they’ve received from almost every corner of their communities. I think they’ll regret it more as time goes on.”
Klyavkov was on his first vacation since taking over as commissioner a year ago when the news broke. He was in Montana, heading to Idaho, in an area with not much cellular reception when he received several text messages from his deputy.
“The surprising part to me is that Pac-12 has a mission related to the health and well-being of student-athletes, and this is a decision that, in my opinion, is in direct conflict with health and wellness – being a student-athlete. That is the surprise to me.”
One of the Pac-12 sports directors said the athlete On Friday, the most surprising aspect of the move was UCLA, because it is a public school connected to California-Berkeley, and California Governor Gavin Newsom tore up Bruins’ move. The University of California Board of Regents ordered a review of how the decision was implemented.
“I wasn’t shocked that I had been in this business long enough, but I was surprised that I accepted the idea that UCLA can’t be separated from Cal because of the whole thing,” said another Pac-12 AD. the athlete. “They are ruled by the same group, and it makes no sense that the same Oversight Board would jump on one at the expense of the other. This goes against their responsibility. This is where the surprise really came in.”
“Look at all the work Oklahoma and Texas had to do when the Pac-12 tried to raid them 12 years ago. But Oklahoma and Texas always paired them up, and that stopped them. So, they obviously learned their lessons, whatever the work was They needed to get it done behind the scenes to fix it, they did. UCLA obviously didn’t work because that shouldn’t be a political issue at this point. It will be interesting to see what happens in that session.”
Kliavkoff also didn’t hold back his feelings for the Big 12 leadership in the wake of what he said were several initiatives to try to snap up the Pac-12 programs that, he says, were sent to him from officials in his league.
“I’ve been trying to focus on the things that are moving the conference forward, and I’ve been trying to spend as little time as possible responding to the fake news and rhetoric that has come from other conferences in an effort to destabilize us,” he said.
When asked about his relationship with Brett Yormark, Klyavkov said he’s spoken with the new Big 12 commissioner several times in the past month. “I told him I think college athletics is healthier when we have Big 12 healthy and energetic and Pac-12 healthy and energetic. Getting those votes in the CFP (College Football Playoff) room is valuable. We have those conversations, and then people in the His congress did their best to try to destabilize our congress. I still remind him of that, and it’s a recurring pattern.”
Kliavkoff declined to go into details of how Yormark would respond to that, other than adding, “It would be in the best interests of college athletics if both conferences were strong. I know for a fact that we’d be strong, and I think if he did the right things, they’d be fine.”
About the league
Cameron Ward might be the guy: There are a lot of promising quarterbacks in the Pac-12 this year, but the one with the biggest fanfare is USC’s Caleb Williams, Oklahoma’s transfer. But Washington State’s new offensive coordinator, Eric Morris, said he believes his man, Cameron Ward, could be the best quarterback in the league.
“They will see soon enough,” Morris said of people who might ignore the transmission of the Incarnate Word. “This kid has some special things. I’ve been around some greats. I know what that sounds like. It would be fun for the world to see this kid come to life.”
Ward said Friday that listening makes him feel good.
“A guy like Coach Morris who takes a snapshot of a kid not a single star from a small town in Texas and takes me all the way to Pullman, Washington, is crazy,” he said. “Just having him in my corner, knowing that he trusts me and believes in me to run this system is something I live every day, and I’m just ready to prove myself.”
He chose Washington State over the Ole Miss, Indiana, and West Virginia. Ward, who threw for the FCS’ top 47 touchdowns and nearly 4,700 yards in the Incarnate Word, said he’s especially proud of one day being a potential team. “I do it because I know in my head I’ve always been a five-star. I felt like I could always compete with these guys, but the situation I was in, in high school, playing heavy attack at Wing-T – I probably threw the ball on a Friday night Normal seven or eight times. There aren’t a lot of movies out there. … But everything happens for a reason.”
Utah has plenty of reasons to be optimistic: Cameron Rising made his first All-Pac-12 last season, scoring a 20-to-5 touchdown to interception and running for 499 yards and six touchdowns for the conference champions, which the league’s media speculated to repeat.
high said the athlete He didn’t have all of his arm strength last season, coming out of major shoulder surgery, but now he has the “extra oomph” to deliver the ball. He said it was probably about 80 percent last year. “I didn’t really feel comfortable throwing a deep ball sometimes. I felt like I really had to put in some effort to do those throws, but now I feel like I have the confidence to let it go off.”
The player is ready to hack: Stanford’s E.J. Smith, son of legendary Emmett Smith, ran for just 133 yards last season, but the 6-foot-2, 213-pound junior player was Q. Blue Kelly and Tanner Mackie named the Stanford MVP for the breakout season.
McKee predicted “he’s going to have a great year.” “He’s so versatile. He can run on roads, great pro passes, he’s really patient, great vision, really hits the pit, and he can miss people in space. He’s the complete package. We’re very excited about him.”
Stanford reinforcement can be used. Last season, the Cardinal ranked last in the Pac-12 in rushing, with fewer than 87 yards to the ground per game. It was the third time in the past four seasons that Stanford, once the most physically fit team in the league, finished in the bottom two quickly.
Look for the appearance of beavers: Jonathan Smith had two talented runners during his four seasons training in Oregon. Two seasons ago, Germar Jefferson drove the Pac 12 in a hurry. Last season, BJ Baylor did. Deshawn Fenwick, who ran for 127 yards against Washington State last season, returns. But watch freshman Damian Martinez, a 5-foot-11, 228-pound three-star recruit from Texas. Smith isn’t a flow person, but he is excited about Martinez’s physicality and how quickly he picks things up during the spring.
Is that you, Arizona State University?: Arizona State, which came off the season with major staff changes stemming from a recruiting scandal that prompted an ongoing NCAA investigation, had as much roster turnover as any team in the state. Beleaguered coach Herm Edwards indicated that the Sun Devils have 43 new players. It’s worth noting that last season Utah welcomed 44 newcomers and they went from a one-win season to the Mountain West title. Edwards said he has a target date when he has a better sense of what kind of team he has.
(Photo by George Klyavkov, left, Associate Senior Commissioner Pac-12, Merton Hanks, center, and Stanford A.D. Bernard Muir: Kirby Lee/USA Today)