PAC-10 EXPANSION: Chuck Young Speaks Out, Colorado Backing Out?

A few comments by ex-UCLA chancellor Chuck Young to the San Francisco Examiner set off a firestorm of controversy that should've never happened this weekend. In an opinion piece for the Examiner, Glenn Dickey used comments from Young to illustrate his point that expansion was bad for the conference and bad for traditions.

Part of it is based on academic grounds. Among major conferences, the Pac-10 is the best academically, largely because of Stanford, Cal and UCLA. "Colorado is on a par with Oregon," he said. "Utah isn’t even in the picture."

[...]

"You have two schools in Washington, two in Oregon, two in northern California, two in southern California, two in Arizona, so you can have a complete round robin in football. I don’t see any way the other schools can be brought in without affecting the rivalries between the southern and northern California schools, for instance."

He goes on to say that Colorado and Utah bring nothing to the table and won't help the Pac-10 financially. We've seen the same arguments before, but with the title of chancellor attached all of a sudden these comments carry more weight. They shouldn't.

Let me be clear, Chuck Young has no bearing on what the Pac-10 does in expansion or anything else. He's an ex-chancellor looking to stir up some controversy and push the California schools to kill expansion.

The Pac-10 expansion ship has already sailed. The Pac-10 commissioners voted to approve expansion -- whether to 12 or 16 -- knowing that Utah and Colorado could be the only schools to join the conference. Young is late to the party and simply trying to rile up the masses.

What does Colorado have to do with this? Read on for a look at how not to write a column.

Word today is that Colorado will stay in the Big 12 until 2012 instead of joining with Utah next year. Time to panic, right?

However, CU and Big 12 officials appear to be having trouble reaching an agreement on the financial terms of the school's exit from the league under that scenario. So Colorado officials appear to be content to remain in the Big 12 an extra year. CU Chancellor Phil DiStefano is handling the negotiations with the Big 12.

Colorado isn't exactly in a great financial situation right now. They couldn't come up with the money to buy out Dan Hawkins' contract, leaving them with a coach they didn't want but couldn't afford to replace. If Colorado were to leave after this season, the penalty comes in the form of forfeiting 80% of the TV revenue they would've earned in the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

On the other hand, if they wait two years, the Buffs would forfeit 50% each year. While they would have to grit their teeth and hang around the Big 12 for another year, the money side of staying through the 2011 season makes sense. Either way, this is a messy breakup.

When combining Young's comments with Colorado likely staying in the Big 12 until 2012, an irresponsible reporter drew a ludicrous conclusion; Colorado will come crawling back to the Big 12.

Welcome to the league ...

Drum roll, please ...

Colorado.

Truth be told, I'm not sure how many folks in the Big 12 would welcome back the Buffs, but apparently, not everyone in the Pac-10 is rolling out the red carpet for them, either.

 

Former UCLA chancellor Chuck Young is leading the opposition of adding Colorado and Utah to the league. He is sending e-mails to the conference's chancellors and presidents. He is urging them to block the expansion.

This is just terrible. She starts her article by insinuating Colorado is headed back to the Big 12 because of comments from Chuck Young, also opining that they wouldn't be welcomed back. There's absolutely no reason to think Colorado wants to be anywhere except the Pac-10. It was clear they were second class citizens in the Big 12 North. Now, the Buffs are walking into the Pac-10 on equal footing while stepping into a much more stable situation.

The conference didn't want Baylor, and Colorado didn't want to be left out. Moving to the Pac-10 had long been the school's hope. Worried that Texas politics might leave it on the outside, Colorado accepted the Pac-10's invite.

[...]

When the remaining Big 12 schools decided to stay put, the Pac-10 ended up with only Colorado. It saw a need to even out its slate of schools, and that led to an invite for Utah.


These two schools weren't at the top of the Pac-10's wish list.

A little research would go a long way. Colorado and Utah were at the top of the Pac-10 wishlist before the Pac-16 idea erupted. Colorado was always going to be included in any Pac-10 expansion plans. The Buffs were a target for Larry Scott and the Pac-10 if the league expanded to 12 or 16.

 

The Pac-12 is happening. A grumpy ex-chancellor and a reporter from Oklahoma that has no insight into the situation don't change a thing. A firestorm like this should've never been sparked from Young's comments and bringing up the idea that Colorado would stay in the Big 12 -- while surmising the move to the Pac-10 was out of panic -- is irresponsible and lazy journalism.

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