Nebraska Football: Pac-12 commish makes laughable last ditch effort to keep USC, UCLA

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports /

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff is pulling out all the stops to try and stop UCLA and USC from joining the Nebraska football team and the rest of the Big Ten conference. The problem is that Kliavkoff’s latest attempt rings of pure and utter desperation.

According to ESPN, Kliavkoff is bragging about the fact that he’s talked to “dozens” of people who don’t want the two schools to make the jump. Just who these people aren’t clear. He said the number “includes” players and coaches.

"“I think saying hundreds would be an exaggeration — dozens, more than a hundred,” he said. “And I have yet to talk to anyone in the UCLA and USC community who’s in favor of the move. I will say that I probably hear from folks who are not in favor, not surprisingly.”"

It’s true. It’s not surprising that the Pac-12 commissioner chooses to hear from people that are not in favor of going up against the Nebraska football team and the rest of the Big Ten than those who are in favor of it. Unless he’s spending a ton of time with people openly trolling him by telling him how glad they are the Trojans and Bruins are efforting to end his job.

It’s also amazing that he actually admitting it’s “dozens” of people. Almost 100! Never mind, there are thousands of players and coaches in the Pac-12. There are hundreds at USC and UCLA.

His latest comments are part of a last ditch effort that’s been going on since the summer started. He’s even enlisted the Board of Regents of the California school system. While there’s been a lot of talk that the Regents might somehow stop the teams from leaving the Pac-12 it unlikely simply because of the massive amount of money the programs will get when they join the Big Ten. That’s the same money Nebraska football fans are hoping will land them a big name head coach.

Kliavkoff had a response to this too. It was equally silly as talking to “dozens” of people.

"“We believe that between the travel and coaches’ salaries and some of the other expenses that you incur when you join the Big Ten, that the small delta in the [Big Ten] media rights deal will be more than offset and we stand by those numbers.”"

Let’s ignore the “small delta” comments. Because the Big Ten media rights deal is going to be massive. But the idea that “coaches salaries” are apparently going to increase is just … weird. UCLA and USC are paying coaches now. Considering the level of success both coaches are having right now, it would appear they will be the same coaches in 2024. So how are their salaries somehow going to be a bigger burden? Even talking about other athletic programs, coaching salaries might increase in the next few years but not because they joined the Big Ten.

In defense of Kliavkoff, he’s doing what he’s supposed to do. He’s trying to keep his conference together. He’s just doing a very good job of it.