Pac-12 Conference Staying Put After Talk of Expansion

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With a three-conference alliance in place, the Pac-12 announced Thursday that it isn’t looking for new member schools.

“Following consultation with our Presidents, Chancellors and Athletic Directors, the Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to not pursue expansion of our membership at this time,” the Pac-12 said in a statement. “This decision was made following extensive internal discussion and analysis, and is based on the current competitive strength and cohesiveness of our 12 universities. It is also grounded in our confidence in our ability as a conference to best support our student-athletes and to grow and thrive both academically and athletically.”

There has been talk of widespread conference realignment since earlier this summer, when Texas and Oklahoma agreed to leave the Big 12 for the SEC in 2025. That led to more realignment speculation due to the remaining Big 12 teams potentially looking to change conferences, including to the 12-team Pac-12.

With the SEC growing to 16 teams, the Pac-12, ACC and Big Ten announced an alliance on Tuesday.

Related content: Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC Alliance Announcement Imminent

“The decision by Texas and Oklahoma led to significant instability in college athletics and I don’t think instability is good for college athletics, particularly given all the other issues that are facing us right now,” Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told The Associated Press. “I think you heard my colleagues in the ACC and Big Ten agree with that position that we need to bring a stability back to college athletics.”

The alliance between three of the Power Five conferences “will be guided in all cases by a commitment to, and prioritization of, supporting student-athlete well-being, academic and athletic opportunities, experiences and diverse educational programming. The three conferences are grounded in their support of broad-based athletic programs, the collegiate model and opportunities for student-athletes as part of the educational missions of the institutions.

“The alliance includes a scheduling component for football and women’s and men’s basketball designed to create new inter-conference games, enhance opportunities for student-athletes, and optimize the college athletics experience for both student-athletes and fans across the country. The scheduling alliance will begin as soon as practical while honoring current contractual obligations.”

Related content: Texas, Oklahoma Add Scheduling Challenge for SEC

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