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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pac-10 ADs to discuss impact of additional teams

The Pacific 10 Conference has added Utah and Colorado to its conference but many questions still remain.

What will be the conference’s new name?

When will Utah and Colorado officially compete in the conference?

What network will offer the conference the best TV deals?

All Pac-10 athletic directors will discuss the possibilities today via conference call, to move a step closer to answering those questions. Arizona athletic director Greg Byrne heads into the meeting hoping that the conference decisions will benefit Arizona.

“”One thing that’s important to keep in mind is to first and foremost do what’s best for Arizona,”” Byrne said. “”At the same time we need to balance what’s best for the strength of our league long term.””

One of the main focuses for Arizona will be that the university makes sure the Wildcats are put in the same region as the California schools when the conference gets split in half.

“”From a competitive standpoint and a recruiting standpoint, it’s important to stay connected with California,”” Byrne said. “”That was one of the debates when we were talking about 16 teams.

“”I can’t speak for our friends in Tempe, but we made sure we knew we couldn’t lose contact with California,”” he added. “”The Pacific Northwest schools are concerned about that, understandably, so how do we find that balance to positively benefit everyone in the league?””

Byrne acknowledges that the conference has given out six to eight different scenarios that the conference can split teams into, but didn’t give specific scenarios.

“”It’s a critical decision for everybody involved,”” he said. “”I’ll be surprised if this is resolved by the end of July, but it may be, but there are a lot of issues we must work through first.””

Utah is expected to join the conference in 2011 and Colorado is expected in 2012, but there is still uncertainty due to debate in the Big 12 Conference on whether Colorado can come to the Pac-10 sooner.

The conference will wait until both schools are able to join the conference before finalizing the schedule with all 12 teams included.

Will Pacific time zone affect TV deals?

Many people believe that the Pacific time zone will affect the Pac-10 conference getting a TV deal. Byrne doesn’t see the Pacific time zone being a problem to getting a major TV deal.

“”I know sometimes people say that the Pacific time zone is a disadvantage for us,”” he said.

“”I think it’s a great advantage. I remember in Starkville (Mississippi) we would get home and watch every second of the night Pac-10 game.

“”I know ESPN is interested in us as a brand,”” he added.

12–Pac?

Byrne said the 12-Pac was one of the names that he had heard as possible names to rename the Pac-10. It is also possible that the name can stay the same, although it wouldn’t make sense with 12 teams.

“”It would be nice since we’re in education that we can get the numbers right,”” Byrne joked.

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