A conversation with OSU president Jayathi Murthy
“We understand that we share geography, we share culture, we share a culture of academics.”
Make light if you will, but I don’t see these comments from a fairly new, possibly cautious president as meaningless or clueless — in fact, I see the opposite.
“Geography” — the conference footprint isn’t likely to be meaningfully altered through expansion. SDSU, perhaps UNLV … less likely to venture as far as Texas.
“Culture” — religious institutions (like Gonzaga) need not apply.
“Culture of academics” — doctoral degree-granting universities with genuine research credentials on the table; state universities that feature bachelors/masters degrees but offer few if any PhD. programs, thanks for stopping by.
This all aligns with most of John’s reporting. Shouldn’t surprise anyone. What we see is pretty much what we’re gonna get.
"The president said the mission of higher education and the money in college athletics are sometimes at odds."
No truer words were ever spoken.
Great stuff John! She seems like a great person! But she needs to look at OSU’s endowment (smallest in the pac 12 at $819.6 million). She needs football and basketball to be a university at the D1 level going forward. In other words, money/football makes it that and the small endowment level states that fact glaringly. I get the prestige of being an academic first university league. But, as an engineering and ag school she needs to really really focus on athletics to maintain that “academic” prowess at the D1 level. She literally can’t afford not to. She needs to run it like a business. “We share a culture of academics”. Ok. But going broke won’t help share those values. Pay attention to the straw that stirs the drink… a lot more, and little less about the kumbaya of shared values.
OSU president seems like a wonderful woman, but I don't think she has a clue about athletics and its impact vis-a-vis the conference. She's not alone.
The conference will hold together until it doesn't.
Let’s be honest. OSU and WSU have the most to lose from a PAC-12 diaspora and I would expect nothing less than hope and optimistic talk from either of them. Color me skeptical until this deal is actually done.
One thing is clear, the PAC12 PR team needs to be cut loose. They’ve allowed roughly nine months of negative press to spiral out of control. It comes across as a league that takes its fans for granted. We’ve endured major networks (and trolls on crap news sites) attacking our teams and conference for far too long. Even if we walk away with a decent GoR agreement, we’ll still have been given a black eye and looking weak. As an alumni, I’m pissed at how this has been handled. I expect better. There’s really no excuse for poor public relations after this long.
Seems like a very intelligent president focused on students with an appropriate mindset for athletics’ place within an institution of higher ed.
Trouble is, that’s the exact wrong mindset for conference negotiations and positioning to compete at a high level, particularly in football. You need a good ole boy football fanatic parroting their AD and holding their commish’s feet to the fire.
So as an alum, I’m proud of her words. As an OSU football fan they are very troubling.
You and Wilner have been taking a lot of heat lately from other podcast shows and media
sources for not reading the tea leafs... One leaf would be the out of the blue inclusion of
ION TV. This would indicate how bad the negotiations are going along with most of the
media outlets leaving the table. I just don't see the Pac accepting anything in the mid 20's
which would put them out of any real competition with the other conferences. I've been a Duck fan since the 60's, In some ways it would be fun to see Oregon play in a different conference
and start new rivals.
Pres knows the forthcoming deal could be the last for the Beavers as a power member.
I don't see the conference dissolving in this year. But without some new major members, or interesting deals, long term viability is in doubt with the way the other big conferences are expanding.
When reading her comments, they sound like they come from an elitist country club. If the schools will not accept lessor standards for expansion then the PAC 12 is on the path to irrelevance. We can join Harvard and Yale fans around the bonfires and make sure guards in place to keep the riff raff out of the compound.
Once again JC, nicely reported. BUt it's hard to be optinmistic with a bunch of boiler-plate answers like she gave. Regardless of what's being said about the current negotiations, including Pac 12 shools being poached and expansion within the remainig Pac10 schools, the Pac 12 is not holding aces in spite of the attraction of the west coast's viewing audiance. I suspect George K. is getting his negotiating skills tested in a big way. The slope may prove too steep for the Pac 12 to even come close to achieving media parity with other conferences.
I hope she also touched on “Oversight and diligence” of the Pac 12 network and other aspects that fall under their leadership charges.
As a fan of the Big12, I've been through three sets of poachings (Nebraska/Colorado, Mizzou, and UT/OU). What I'm hearing out of the Pac12 (and their fans) sounds so much like what happened here. Fans unrealistic to the impending doom talking about tradition and "culture of academics", "geography".... burying their heads in the sand. First, OSU is no bastion of higher education. They're an average state school, maybe lower than Colorado, Arizona and ASU. Geography means nothing, especially if you're looking to add SMU. The remaining members best bet is to be proactive and find their best partner, now. Adding SDSU and SMU is a waste. Garbage. Leverage dies with each day. If I were OSU and WSU, I'd approch the Big12 now. They've said they want a Pacific time zone team and if Washington and Oregon bolt for the B1G, the four corners immediately move to Big12 and WSU is left standing all alone. Proactive now or join the MWC later.
How does the PAC 12 Network factor into the media deal? Is there any chance of the conference moving towards a more traditional partnership? Could the network be sold out right and run by a 3rd party?