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#pounditSunday, December 5, 2021

New Pac-12 commissioner has clear message about conference’s struggles


For years, many people associated with the Pac-12 have been deeply frustrated about the league’s lack of success nationally. The fact that former commissioner Larry Scott seemed either incapable or indifferent about changing that trend was one of the biggest factors working against him during his tenure.

The conference announced the surprise hire of MGM Resorts entertainment executive George Kliavkoff as its new commissioner on Thursday, and the new boss immediately worked on setting a new tone for the league. Kliavkoff was not shy about noting that the league’s greatest weakness was its lack of championships in football and men’s basketball.

Kliavkoff made clear that the league will focus on elevating teams in those two sports to help change its national perception.

This should be precisely what Pac-12 fans want to hear. UCLA’s surprise Final Four run in 2021 was only the second time a Pac-12 team reached a national semifinal in March Madness since Scott took over as commissioner in 2009. The league has only sent two teams to the College Football Playoff since its creation as well, and it is one of the two Power 5 leagues yet to win a championship in that competition.

In addition to making schools more competitive, Kliavkoff’s biggest job will be fixing one of the biggest blunders Scott leaves behind.


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