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Utah Not Returning Big 12’s Phone Calls Amid Expansion Talks: Report

NCAA Football: Southern Utah at Utah

With expansion and realignment talks continuing to rev up, the Utah Utes now own one of the pettiest actions of the offseason despite an uncertain future in the Pac-12 Conference.

According to a report from GoPowercat’s Tim Fitzgerald, ESPN’s Ian Fitzsimmons spoke on SiriusXM College Sports radio mentioning that he was told, “Utah isn’t exactly returning the phone calls,” with the Big 12 Conference.


Fitzsimmons mentioned that he spoke about Utah to an official of the Big 12 Conference official who said, “They’re OK in hoops, but they sell out (their football stadium) in a top 35 media market.” He then asked about when it comes to TV dollars why aren’t they going after the Utes? He was reportedly told that Utah isn’t exactly returning the phone calls.

He continued by saying, “I was told that Utah doesn’t want to appear to be following their rival in BYU. We all know that college athletics can be damn petty but I mean, look, we’re talking about your future. Pick up the phone.”

While I somewhat understand avoiding a former rival to an extent, the lack of interest in the Big 12 Conference by Utah makes absolutely no sense. You’d have to be crazy to want to avoid the Big 12 specifically because BYU is in the conference, given the circumstances of the Pac-12 conference members standing in water while the ship is sinking.

The Pac-12 Conference is reportedly set to unveil its proposed media rights deal with the remaining nine schools tomorrow in hopes of reaching a deal to keep the conference together, as reported by Jason Scheer of WildcatAuthority. Reports surrounding the meeting have mentioned that there’s pessimism within the conference, saying that there’s no confidence that a deal is coming and that it’s unclear where the linear aspect of the deal will be coming from.


When it comes down to it, Utah’s higher-ups can say whatever they want about stability and faith in the Pac-12, but at the end of the day, when money is on the table ($32M dollars worth of money), things change. In the words of famous boxer Mike Tyson, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

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