Just got off the phone with Dan Guerrero. He understandably would not address what’s going down across town, but he talked a bit about Colorado joining the Pac-10.
Talk about the decision to give Larry Scott the go-ahead to add more teams:
“Early in the process, and when I say that, I mean early in Larry Scott’s tenure, he was given the charge to optimize the potential for the Pac-10. Clearly, it was the belief of many that the Pac-10 had been undervalued from the standpoint of media rights, especially given the competitive excellence of the conference. The process to explore possible expansion, to do due diligence and see if there was any interest along the landscape, was one that he got into pretty early on. The addition of Colorado is really a byproduct of that exploration and that due diligence. They’re a very good fit in a lot of ways to our conference, a university that’s been part of a major conference and from an academic standpoint, a university that is compatible.”
How does it affect UCLA?
“This is a first-step if you will. We need to assess and evaluate what else might occur down the road. It’s very clear that in order for the Pac-10 to remain prominent as a national player in athletics, it needs to grow. It needs to grow in a number of ways. Primarily it needs to grow consistently with the growth of other conferences in the country that have optimized their value.”
How many teams do you want to see in the Pac-10?
“I’m not in the pos to say how many I’d want to see. It’s all about being able to evaluate what makes sense given what the landscape is like, in addition to what’s happening in other conferences. I leave that to Larry to expedite and move forward. He has marching orders from our CEOs and presidents.”
Do you think adding more teams to the Pac-10 will affect UCLA in the Olympic sports?
“No. We are by all accounts one of the premier institutions in the country, especially as it relates to the sponsoring of an outstanding broad-based program. Our ability to maintain that status is not changed in any way shape or form.”
How will the landscape of college sports look tomorrow, in a week, in a month?
“You’re asking me to pull out a crystal ball, Jon! I really don’t know. Our commissioner was given marching orders to move forward and evaluate the waterfront. If it makes sense to extend invitations, he’ll do that. I couldn’t tell you what’s imminent, what offers have been made, and certainly what the outcomes might be.”