Pac-10 to take 'serious' look at expansion
Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2010
Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott said Tuesday that within the next year, conference leadership will engage in "serious analysis" of expanding its membership.
Scott said the timetable will allow for conference officials to know its membership as it negotiates new TV contracts, likely to occur in 2011. The move also answers the Big Ten's internal discussions of possibly growing to 12 teams, which has sparked discussion among administrators at Pac-10 schools.
Scott said he will not establish a committee to explore expansion, leaving the chore to the league's presidents.
"With an issue as important to the future of the conference as its makeup," he saidin a teleconference, "it's going to be dealt with directly by them."
Speculation has swirled about Pac-10 expansion since the 1990s, when the SEC started a football championship game and eventually a more lucrative TV contract as a 12-team league. Reported candidates for expansion range from Hawaii to Texas, Boise State to UNLV.
In other Pac-10 news, new deputy commissioner Kevin Weiberg will help Scott manage expansion issues and determine whether the conference creates a network. Weiberg, a former commissioner of the Big 12 and deputy commissioner in the Big Ten, helped the Big Ten add Penn State and helped create the Big Ten Network, which launched in 2006.
Also, Scott said Tuesday conference officials and school administrators will discuss taking men's basketball games away from the traditional Thursday-Saturday schedule if it makes a potential television package more valuable.