In recent days, rumors have circulated about Arizona potentially joining in on the collegiate sports realignment frenzy with a move from the Pac-12 to the Big 12.
However, university president Bobby Robbins cleared the air on Wednesday when speaking to media, noting the school’s ties with in-state rival and fellow Pac-12 member Arizona State.
“We [the two schools] don’t have to do the same thing,” Robbins said, via ESPN’s Pete Thamel. “But [ASU] President [Michael] Crow and I are very, very tight. I think it’d be unlikely that we’d be split up. Right now with 10 schools, we control a very nice 20% of solidarity.”
One big question surrounding the Pac-12 right now is the broadcast rights deal that expires next summer. Robbins confirmed to media that a new deal with exact numbers has not been seen yet.
“My prediction is that we’re all going to stay together,” Robbins said, via Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger. Robbins also noted that he’s hopeful the deal will be “good enough to keep us together.”
Additionally, the Pac-12 announced on Wednesday the schools verbally agreed on a Grant of Rights. The schools can still leave the conference in the future, but Pac-12 would control their rights and there would be a penalty involved if a school decides to leave.
The uncertainty of what the future holds for other Pac-12 schools began last summer when UCLA and USC released the bombshell announcement they would be leaving the conference for the Big Ten. Various schools have been rumored to potentially jump ship since then, with Arizona and Colorado being among the recent rumors.
As for the Big 12, the conference will be undergoing its own changes next year as Oklahoma and Texas are slated to leave to join the SEC, and four new schools join starting in the fall.