Pac 12 Football News

"Disappointed" George Kliavkoff has message for Pac-12 regarding USC Trojans

Evan Desai
George Kliavkoff, USC Football, USC Trojans
George Kliavkoff, USC Football, USC Trojans / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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The USC Trojans athletic department leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten puts the Pac in a tough spot. USC is the reason the Pac-12 had life. Now, the Pac-12 is having a tough time figuring out where to go, and isn't attractive to others due to not having any more big brands left.

On Pac-12 Media Day, Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff made it clear that he was disappointed about the move. That being said, he did have another message for the entire conference about it. He wants to give USC its full respect as a member of this conference until they leave.

"As a conference, we are of course very disappointed by the decisions by USC and UCLA to leave the Pac-12 and a century of tradition and rivalries after 2024. That said, USC and UCLA have been proud members of the Pac-12 for almost a century. Despite their decision, we cherish our relationship with their student-athletes, coaches, staff, faculty, alumni and fans. For that reason I personally have instructed everyone at our conference to make sure that USC and UCLA student-athletes are given every opportunity to compete and succeed for as long as they remain in the Pac-12."

George Kliavkoff, Pac-12 Commissioner

George Kliavkoff made the right move when discussing the USC Trojans' departure from the Big Ten.

George Kliavkoff was 100% right in his discussion of the USC Trojans on Pac-12 Media Day. USC truly has been a proud member of the conference for close to 100 years. The conference SHOULD cherish their "relationship with their student-athletes, coaches, staff, faculty, alumni and fans."

USC football's tradition, history, TV viewership, and USC's academic pedigree were altogether more valuable to the conference than any other school. The reason they had to leave was due to the fact that the conference beneath them wasn't chipping in their fair share of revenue for the top dogs.

The Big Ten clearly knew that too. They wanted USC and UCLA before anyone else. But going off of that, the Pac-12 needs to use USC to their advantage for the two more years they have with them.

Kliavkoff is right to make sure that USC "student-athletes are given every opportunity to compete and succeed for as long as they remain in the Pac-12." For instance, if USC is 12-1 with a Pac-12 Championship as they head into the final CFP selection show, the Pac-12 NEEDS to do what they can to sell them hard.

The conference can't do what Larry Scott did in 2020 when SC was coming off of an undefeated regular season, and Scott didn't offer much support for USC in the CFP selection ranking debates despite the Big Ten begging for Ohio State to be in after their undefeated five-game regular season as well.

USC didn't end up winning their Conference Championship, so they ended up not having anything to stand on for a Playoff bid, but the point remains that the Pac proved that they weren't doing what they could--while they could--to promote their conference for the Playoff. A conference that had only made it twice in history.

If the Pac wants any sort of chance at survival, they want a strong USC. The last time the Pac-12 was healthy was when USC was thriving. They need their top brand and top program performing at an elite level. Now with Lincoln Riley running the show, that's possible.

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It's important for the Pac-12 not to try to scorn the Trojans in any unfair way due to disappointment over leaving the conference. The Pac needs to be as strong as possible in the next two years if they want to live after realignment, and a dominant USC would surely give them that chance.

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