One giant hurdle

September, 20, 2011
9/20/11
10:31
AM ET
The biggest hurdle in the revolution of the Pac-12 to the Pac-16 is going to be convincing the current presidents in the Pac-12 this is the right move for their institutions.

Stanford, Cal, USC and UCLA have always been slow to change. Back in the Pac-10 days it was that conference and the Ivy League that refused to have conference basketball tournaments. That was because the Stanford president led the charge against taking more time away from the athletes being students.

Finally, after years and years of debate, a tournament was put in place in the mid 2000s.

So change is possible.

But if Stanford and USC, two private institutions, truly want to uphold the student-athlete flag and wave it around, then they will be very hesitant to agree to playing in a 16-team superconference.

In terms of football the travel might not be that bad. The athletes would still have their tutors and most would get by.

But think about baseball for a second.

And think of the travel logistics associated with having a 16-team baseball conference. Sure you can split the conference up into pods and play regional matchups, but undoubtedly there are going to be some long weekends involving serious air miles. There will also be plenty away from the campus the athletes signed up to come to in the first place.

How does that scenario dovetail with the academic mission of these institutions?

That is what these presidents will most likely be asking themselves as they try to come to a decision about asking inviting the Big 12’s big four to join. And it might take some time and convincing before the presidents come up with an answer.

Carter Strickland | email

Reporter, HornsNation

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