What has been the secret sauce in your mind for what worked?
We operate in a completely different lane now than when I arrived in 2009 as a modern, progressive, innovative league. The things I am most proud of, in addition to our student athlete success, are five times revenue growth, leading to initiatives around student athlete income, having the largest TV contract in college sports in 2012 and through a owned and controlled media company, which sets us up for great future success.
You have taken hits regarding the Pac-12 network and many people say that it has not met expectations.
I’m very bullish on the value of college sports law in general, but the Pac-12s especially because the conference is able to own its rights. The value of premium college sports continues to rise and I think it has validated the original strategy. The challenges, of course, have been that while we had the biggest TV contract in college sports in 2012, other conferences have since had a chance to repeat their offerings. Our time is coming in 2024 and I am very confident that the conference will see a massive increase in its television rights.
Have you been in doubt about the network and seen the numbers as they have been over the years?
For those involved at the time, they realized that it was a long-term strategy, and owning and controlling the rights was the right step despite challenges in deploying with a network when you did not assign your rights to a partner. . Eventually, I think we could have taken less money and would have had a less impressive deal in 2012 if we had kept our deal shorter and had a chance to reset faster. I probably did not fully appreciate the short-term pressure that our campuses would feel when another league went for a deal.
You’ve been criticized for running the conference and its operations – from being officers to moving the league office to San Francisco. You have been the highest paid commissioner in university sports. Do you think that you have earned it?
It is up to the other to decide, but in the end it is the presidents and chancellors who have decided the value that I brought. My contract was repeatedly signed and extended and increased. Remember that the revenue for Pac-12 increased five times during my time, as well as the equity value in the network.
You want the football playoffs to be expanded. It’s on the table. Do you think that will actually happen?