SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey Feels Great Sadness Over Destruction Of Pac-12

The Pac-12 conference, which has stood for over a century as a cornerstone of college sports, finds itself on the brink of collapse as key member schools announced their departure for other conferences.

Last week, Washington and Oregon dropped a bombshell by revealing their intent to join the Big Ten, while Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah made the decision to align with the Big 12.

These seismic shifts have left the Pac-12 conference reeling, with schools like Washington State, Oregon State, Stanford, and Cal scrambling to secure a new conference home by 2024 if the Pac-12 fails to reconstitute itself.

Greg Sankey, Commissioner of the Southeastern Conference, expressed his somber sentiments about the unraveling situation, saying: “I feel a little tinge of sadness, probably more than just a little” at the sight of the Pac-12 on the verge of collapsing.

Sankey, who has been a significant figure in the world of college sports, noted that the recent developments had cast a shadow over the industry. “It just wasn’t one of those great feelings to work in college sports in my experience,” he lamented.

During an interview on “The Paul Finebaum Show,” Sankey acknowledged his role in the evolving landscape:

“I take responsibility where we’ve made moves.” He further emphasized the significance of the Pac-12’s history, stating: “There was something different last week about the questions around the existence of the Pac-12 conference, given its long and storied history.”

As the Pac-12 grapples with uncertainty, other conferences are also facing potential upheavals. Florida State University’s President, Richard McCullough, announced that the Seminoles would seriously consider leaving the Atlantic Coast Conference unless there is a substantial alteration to the league’s revenue distribution model.

This announcement ignited speculation about potential changes in the college sports landscape, prompting conversations and inquiries.

Sankey shared his perspective on the situation, highlighting the volatility that has permeated the discussions: “Even for me, with the security of the Southeastern Conference.. There’s nobody calling me seeking or demanding entry, [just] a lot of commentary publicly.”

He underlined that while the SEC is not actively recruiting additional schools, it remains vigilant and adaptable to the changing collegiate environment.

Amid these developments, questions have arisen about the format of the College Football Playoff. Sankey, one of the key figures in shaping the CFP, expressed the need for a reevaluation of the playoff format in light of potential conference shifts.

“I think it’s wise for us to take a step back and reconsider what the format might look like given these changes and circumstances,” he remarked. With the possible dissolution of the Pac-12, the criteria for selecting the 12 teams for the playoff may need to be revisited, particularly concerning Notre Dame’s independent status.

As college sports navigate through these tumultuous times, the fate of the Pac-12 and the broader landscape of collegiate athletics remain uncertain.

While the Pac-12’s potential collapse marks a significant chapter in its storied history, the repercussions are far-reaching and call for a reexamination of conference affiliations, playoff structures, and the essence of college sports as a whole.

What are your thoughts on the entire situation?

 

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