87 Comments

This is what we get letting people from academia who know nothing of the real world. they have been in their campus bubble with their worthless faculty senate for their whole lives

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Spot on, living in a bubble

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What choice did she have ….? Seriously … what would you have done? I wouldn’t have taken the Apple TV deal. Nobody at UW or Oregon would have … ever … it would have been an admission of defeat and been crippling to both of those institution’s respective athletic departments.

It sucks the pac 12 is gone. But the responsibility for the downfall is at the feet of many … and over a period of two decades …Anna Marie had to make a difficult decision. And yeah, she probably feels bad. She would however be seen as a failure by myself and the rest of the Husky faithful had she ritualized her expectations down to accepting the likely categorization as a ‘mid-major’ in cfb by taking the Apple TV deal and relegating the conference to television purgatory.

As someone who is an academic …some of the criticisms of academics are spot on. But equally as many are off the mark. Anna Marie’s life story is far more than one difficult decision …

I wish it hadn’t gone this way … but the entire conference blew its last chance when it spurned ESPN in October of ‘22.

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Maybe take the original $30 million annually per school offer from ESPN instead of asking for $50 million?

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Exactly

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Cauce was the Chair of the Pac-12 when they said "no thanks" to $35M from ESPN in October of 2022.

She was the boss of George K.

What should have happened is they should have signed the deal, or made concessions in the form of incentives around TV ratings or something, to make the deal work.

Instead, she allowed the foolishness to rule both George K. and the Pac-12 Presidents to kill a conference.

She is not innocent. In fact, very guilty of what went down.

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Some may also say if UW wanted in the Big-10, then Cauce was conflicted in the Pac-12 negotiations and knew the conference needed to blow up to create the momentum to land a Big-10 offer (at half price) so the UW boosters would be happy.

This whole thing wreaked then and it still wreaks now. The powers that be that made this mess all to get to enjoy generous retirements while washing their hands of the problems they created.

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The entire pac 12 voted that down on the advice of Utah’s President who had a media Professor tell him that the league was worth $50. They then convinced the pac 12 Presidents to vote it down … which they all did. The entire league voted it down … including WSU … Dr. Cauce didn’t make a unilateral decision.

Here’s a thought … why don’t you get over it?

Also, it isn’t UW’s responsibility to take care of WSU.

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The chair of the Pac-12 had a responsibility to take care of the Pac-12, not actively engaging in a deal with the Big-10, or due diligence (which was rumored) while being the boss of the Pac-12.

In fact, if proven to be true, WSU and OSU would have had a massive lawsuit on their hands and a huge public embarrassment for UW. Which is why the Pac-12 was settled and WSU and OSU got the assets.

The point stands, UW's President is/was very responsible for the Pac-12's implosion. If she said, "my school is apart of the Pac-12"....this conversation isn't happening.

The fact that she was 12 months from retirement, and could have withstood the political heat of staying in the Pac-12 is more of a validation of her errs than not.

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So the UW is responsible … even though the entire league voted down a deal that that would have kept it around for another year? And UW is solely responsible even though USC, UCLA and Colorado all left prior to UW leaving … which we did after seeing the Apple deal was non-viable…

Got it.

It’s always someone else’s fault I guess when you can’t survive on your own.

WSU and OSU has control of the conference and a three year lifeline. Congrats! I also think they deserve to be in control since they stayed. But the end result is going to be an unsustainable situation … and that is why all but two schools found a better deal (it’s all about money, not some maniacal personal vendetta).

Best of luck.

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Seriously?

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Dean,

Tell that Husky to pound sand. I am UW graduate and I say the guy has his head up his....

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I think there is a majority of Husky fans/boosters that believe UW is apart of a conference that is regional and the teams/fans are our neighbors and that's how it should be. SEC conference will never change based on that principle.

The conference blew up because of a bad media strategy and a bad revenue sharing agreement. As a Coug, I acknowledge USC and UW deserve more money that WSU in media distributions based on the viewing audience. The middle of the road Pac-12 teams (see Colorado, with historically lower TV ratings - Prime changed that), disagreed.

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Shawn gets it

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Spot on with your analysis.

Ultimately, the responsibility for the Pac-12 Conference's demise lies in the poor commissioner hires. Larry Scott set an absurdly low bar to clear. Kliavkoff still managed to trip over that bar. Kliavkoff apparently didn't have the competent foresight to counsel the Presidents as to the lunacy of a $50M/yr ask without the L.A. schools and/or didn't have capability of swaying the Presidents' away from the disaster of making that ask. An effective commissioner (like Mike Slive-R.I.P. or Greg Sankey) would have found a way to convince the Presidents to change course. Kliavkoff didn't/ couldn't and here we are.

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Exactly right. The conference died because the presidents hired two incompetent commissioners in a row. It probably could have been saved if Scott had been fired after his first three years, but instead the presidents let Tennis Larry stay too long and then replaced him with someone even worse.

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Shawn...there is ALWAYS a choice. maybe not the one we'd want or choose, but there is always a choice.

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Earlier they had a semi reasonable offer from ESPN they rejected with a counter offer so ridiculous ESPN just walked away.

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There were numerous errors before and after that one, but it is THE pivotal, and most egregious, one.

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You are delusional. Phil Knight liked the Apple deal. Kaleb DeBoer said no to the Pac and now he is in Alabama. If DeBoer said yes Oregon would have said yes and we would have our conference Get your facts right.

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We had a coach named Kalen DeBoer … that might be who you are referencing?

If the University of Oregon had like the Apple deal they could have stayed .. they didn’t … they followed UW to the Big 10 because that move provided more security than staying and taking the Apple deal. It’s pretty simple.

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No. UW followed the UO to the Big 10. They clearly stated they would if UO left and that’s what they did.

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Thanks John - Its so frustrating that many of the people responsible for the downfall of our beloved Pac-12 are no longer (or soon will no longer) be in their roles, leaving the ashes of their decisions behind.

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It is an inherent problem when the people with the greatest power and ability to effect change have the least amount of consequences to deal with when they make a bad decision.

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At least she Owned up to what she did.

And yes, the BIG 10 and SEC are the tail that wags the dog for college football. Let UO and UW run with the big dogs. The rest of the schools, such as OSU and WSU, should become the leaders of the movement for a separate national championship for those schools who don't want to bankrupt their institutions and sell their souls for a bowl of oatmeal. The smart ones, would have rules and limits for NIL and pay for play, unlike the above mentioned schools. Bring some sanity back to college sports!!!

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My boys (grown men, actually) and I have been talking as the recruiting stories and scheduling stories are coming out and we are finding we just don't care. We all independently arrived at the fact that we will be watching the Beavs and Cougs and the rest of the MWC and that will be it.

We all miss what's gone and don't begrudge anyone their money, but we are finding it just doesn't matter to us.

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founding

I will be right in line with you and your sons David. I am looking forward to seeing the Beavs play the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs this fall as well as UNLV at Reser in October. The tailgating will still be a blast, the beer will still be cold and the BEAVS will still be wearing orange and black!!! GO BEAVS/GO COUGS!!!

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I agree, and that’s exactly why the decision makers don’t consider the fan base over money. They need the money to compete at the highest level, and the fans will follow regardless. Maybe not at first, but as u described, the beer will still be cold at the tailgater.

I don’t historically watch SEC or ACC or B1G games. Fans aren’t going to watch B1G games just bc of “what was.” If ur team goes to a new conference, fans will watch that conference, and leave the rest behind, outside of the occasional curiosity for a game when nothing else is on.

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founding

Agree with you 100% RD!!

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There are some great fan bases in the Mt. West. Loyal, dedicated, energized, fun to be around, with program traditions. In several ways, more attuned to the culture of OSU and WSU. Be open minded.

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founding

I am looking forward to it BD! Boise State and Fresno State have 2 of the best fan bases in the country!!!

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Right on John, especially about the revolving door of college presidents. This is an enormous change and not for the better.

Perhaps the best ever Oregon college president was home grown: David Frohnmayer. He was about the last before the “rise of the administrators” and the havoc wreaked on higher education in form of huge tuition hikes.

Instead of administrators being chosen mostly from the ranks of a school’s faculty or administrators, we now have administrators spending big money to conduct nationwide searches for administrators. And since Frohnmayer retired, Oregon’s top job has mostly been a revolving door, a stepping stone for the greater advancement of the administrative class.

Here’s some fun facts about the rise of the administrators in my state, California. The numbers are rough, based on memory of stories we wrote at the LA Times. In 2000ish the entire UC system (now nine campuses), had 8200 faculty and 3,000 administrators. By 2016ish, enrollment had risen 24 percent. Faculty had grown from 8200 to 8800 (7.3 percent) but the administrative ranks had swelled to just over 10,000–more than tripled. And boy are they well paid.

Books have been written about this. Administrators hire more administrators. That simple.

The administrative class brought about the destruction of the Pac 12. No way Oregon would have gone that way on the watch of a home grown Oregonian like David Frohnmayer.

End of rant.

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Jun 12·edited Jun 12

"they were pointing pistols at each other beneath it" Exactly. True words. These college CEOs are some of the least trustworthy people you will ever meet. Some of them even plagiarize their work (Harvard and Stanford Presidents). What a great example for their tens of thousands of students. It is easy to understand how the American university system has gone down the drain.

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Love the Steinbeck quote. Puts things into perspective.

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So sad to hear about Jerry West.I haven’t cheered for Lakers since he left.Played game with intensity and class and took same character to the management side.Long live the Logo!

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This was the biggest sports story on your radar?? How many more stories about the demise of the PAC 12 are in the hopper. When does it cross the line and just become nostalgic daydreams of a bygone era. Can we move forward …the PAC 12 is gone and over…Hey NW athletes are getting ready for the Olympics ..qualifying will start soon for many..might be a story

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The president of the university is quitting. That’s the story.

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But it is not really a sports story…Jerry West died today..thats a sports story.

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Greed, avarice, stupidity, arrogance, and incompetence rule the world of past and present Pac 12 University Presidents; no thought about the Alumni and fans that supported the grear PAC 12- Conference of Champions, rightfully called due to the athletic accopmplishments of Pac 12 teams and Pac 12 individuals. This group of 10 Numb and Dumb so called "Presidents", FAILED to look at the accomplishments of the Pac 12 Conference compared to the other major 4 Conferences. Wait till all the travel expenses, werried Fans tired of travel and the additional expense, and university budgetery problems come to to roost on the shoulders of these "wanna be a buckeye school" ignorant Presidents ! The 10 renegade universities will regret deeply the stupid move to these Lesser conferences void of the PAC 12 accolades and superior Conference Wins. So will All of the Alumni and fans who supported "I wanna be a Buckeye School" ! Dumb and Dumber are in charge now.

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No

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It seems to me that are certain positions that when attained elevates the person to a position of status and respect that they can only know through these attainment. A person adds title of doctor to their title. They are no smarter than before the title but nevertheless we treat them differently.

And when thinking of prestigious titles I think University President may be at the very tip of the top of the mountain. Probably no smarter than average professor but profoundly more power. So allow these Presidents to wield a stick they know nothing about swinging. But together we other stick swinging Presidents they convince themselves they know what is right.

Did they when it came to Pac 12? This lady of Washington has no regrets, no sense she made the wrong choice… how could she. She is a University President, hoisted onto the pedestal.

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John, thank you for continuing with elements of the fall of the Pac-12, one of the biggest sports stories in a long while. Many of us appreciate it. Some others don't want to be inconvenienced with any reminders of the harm created by their schools' leadership. They're desperate to avoid glancing in the rear-view mirror at the bodies left in the ditch behind.

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After reading your article last week regarding the interview with the acting WSU AD, I was going comment but decided to hold my tongue. Now, after reading this from the UW president I just can't. Everyone keeps telling the fans to "get over it", "get excited", "now is the time to open your pocketbooks", "you need to support your school now more than ever", etc. It's all coming from presidents who abandoned their schools, and fans ADs that abandoned their schools and fans,, coaches that abandoned their schools and fans, and now players that abandoned their schools and fans. Every single one of them has the option and opportunity to flip the bird at their fans in the blink of an eye now, yet it's us fans who are supposed to blindly give our loyalty AND MONEY as if nothing has happened. I'm not sure about the WSU situation, but studies have showed Oregon State fans overall were paying the highest overall donation fees for football tickets in the conference and some of the highest in the nation in the past. Just how much do these non-loyal back stabbing administrators, coaches and players expect fans to pay for the privilege of letting them piss all over us whenever they feel like? You nailed it John, the fans are the only ones who lose. I know I won't make a difference, but after the last out of Beavers game Monday, after 60 years my college athletics fandom is over. I refuse to be part of this unethical ses pool any longer. If the college presidents, ADs, coaches and players need more money for their programs, they can pay for it themselves. I've got better things to do with my money now, and better ways to spend my time.

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That's one of the things that is great about America. The freedom you have to make the choices you are able to make...with your eyes, shoes, and wallet. Turn off the TV & radio, walk away, and refuse to buy memorabilia, tickets to events, and refuse to donate.

I am...I donated to the DAF, I donated to the NIL, I bought season tickets, year after year since the 80's. I purchased jerseys for my boys, hats, coats, parking, media day events...NOT ANY MORE! the collapse of the PAC, the idiocy of chancellors & presidents with no repercussions, The greed of the current players, the collapse of "amatuerism" in sports. all have contributed to my decision and I feel good about it. I still consider myself a Duck, but not nearly the devoted Duck I was until the last few years.

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There's a reason that university faculty are referred to as living and working in "the ivory tower." It's a pale facsimile of the real world without real world consequences.

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