The Pacific Conference (notice no number) has had a fantastic existence and a long history of academic and athletic success. They are touting some of the highest numbers of championships across the schools that represented the conference over the years. Like any conference, they have had their share of outstanding leadership and, sadly, very questionable leadership. The most recent has been the most painful experience, with George Kliavkoff taking over for the real culprit in this demise, Larry Scott. Much has been said, and many articles are written but are these two gentlemen who own the problem, or was it right below them and hiding in plain sight?
In my humble opinion, the University Presidents who make up or made up the Pacific Conference are the real culprits. They guided and voted every which way during the Scott era and again in the latest with Kliavkoff. So don't always assume it's the person in charge. I see the problem as an intensely focused group of Presidents more concerned with geo-political standings for their institutions than sports in general.
So let's look at the latest victim, Kliavkoff. George was hailed as a master of the media. No real college sports experience but a master of negotiations and knowledge of how the real drivers of the CFB work. The Media. The networks that pay the bills run the sport. We all know this. We all see this every day. The SEC was smart enough to see this coming many years ago and hitched their wagon to ESPN. Nicely done. Kliavkoff took the reins and immediately stated that he had no idea how much travel the job would require. Red Flag #1. He then pivoted and made a beeline to meet with former AD Michael Bohn and shake hands with the school that would begin the demise, as he clearly did not resonate any comfort to USC and perhaps UCLA during those days. Many pleasantries were made and hugs dispensed, but this was ground zero as we know it today.
How many times did George state that the media deal would be great and position the PAC as the premiere conference once again post USC/UCLA's departure to the B1G? He was clueless to understand the grand picture. FOX, ESPN, and CBS Sports were battling to keep APPLE from getting a toe on the dance floor. By stripping the last remaining schools of any value recently, the deal went poof in the night, and now you have this sinkhole devouring whatever we call is left.
What about the Pacific Conference's non-football sports that relied on Football revenues to exist? Poof? Are these student-athletes now transferring? That is the next step in this aging disaster unfolding live on Twitter.
Fight On - A Moment of Silence for the once proud Bill Walton, "Conference of Champions"