The city of Las Vegas is known for many things. Despite being in the middle of the desert, people travel from all over the world for Vegas’s giant casinos, resorts, and world-class entertainment. No matter what you are looking for, you can find it in Sin City.
Of course, I am sure that you have heard of that old saying “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Unfortunately for the Pac-12 Conference, that is not true. On Friday, they held their annual media days at Resorts World in Las Vegas and commissioner George Kliavkoff talked with the media to kick things off.
Now, before I go in on what he said, I do want to give the Pac-12 credit for having their media days in Las Vegas. I have never been jealous of the Pac-12 when it comes to anything, but I am not going to lie, I wish the Big 12 could have media days in Las Vegas, too. But, it’s probably best for the sake of this website, and my liver, that we don’t have media days there because I wouldn’t be very helpful when it comes to actual coverage.
First, we’ve go to address the teleprompter. Seriously George? You aren’t a news anchor, you are a commissioner of the conference. You couldn’t just have some talking points ready to go?
It didn’t take Klaivkoff long to say something ignorant, which shouldn’t surprise any of us at this point.
The Pac-12 has been open for almost a full year now and he’s been lying and sitting on his hands the entire time. He has been talking about a deal for months, yet, nothing has happened.
He also said that “the longer we wait for the media deal, the better our options get.” That is hilarious, and honestly, George should just stay in Las Vegas for a couple more weeks to see if he can pick up some open spots at a comedy club.
As for the press conference, it was boring for a while, but the fireworks went off at the end. Just take a look at this exchange with Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff and the media.
Question: Is it at all frustrating for you personally and professionally that despite what you’re trying to push, the football, the quarterbacks that you’re still dealing with questions about media rights timelines in the midst of all that?
George: “I don’t consider it frustrating. It’s a reinforcement for me of what dedicated and passionate fans we have and how much people care about college athletics. I get it. At the same time, I don’t want the opportunity to be missed today to talk about football. We’re not announcing a deal on purpose today because I want the focus to be on football.”
Question: You just said you’re not announcing a deal today on purpose because you want the attention to be on football.
Question: To be clear, that would imply that the deal is done and codified, and just you’re waiting until after today.
George: “I think you’re reading too much into that.”
Q. So then what is the purpose behind not announcing something, which is what you just said?
George: “We want to have the focus on football today. We have an incredibly good football story to tell, and we want that to be the focus today.”
Right after this, they brought in two other people to take questions. What in the world is he talking about? There was never any deal to begin with, and this man acted like “Oh we have one, but we aren’t announcing it today because we want to focus on football.” Why would he say that? If the Pac-12 had a media deal done, they would be shouting it from every rooftop on the west coast within seconds of it being done. Plus, if the media was “reading too much into it,” it was the way George worded the statement. The only thing they were reading into was his dumb comment in the first place.
Personally, I like John’s take on what Kliavkoff said.
They are on the losing end of a PR battle, and they think they are smarter than everyone else. Yet, when the commissioner or the school presidents speak, they sound clueless and uneducated. Remember when George said this last year at Pac-12 media days?
Or how about when ASU president Michael Crowe said a deal was close back in March? Or, when Washington State president Kirk Schulz said that a deal was a little over a month away back in May? We have been hearing for months that a deal was close, yet, every time a deadline was set a new one followed right behind it.
In the end, is this really surprising to anyone? The Pac-12 is a ship that has been sinking for over a year now. From the commissioner and athletic directors to the school presidents and media members (looking at you Jon Wilner and John Canzano), this entire thing is one big dumpster fire.
If I were in Vegas right now, I would be betting on the Pac-12 to crumble. Viva Las Vegas.