Pac-12 survival guide: Presidential Power Index



Pac-12 survival guide: Presidential Power Index

The Pac-12 presidents got the conference into this mess. Can they light the path to salvation?

Years of neglect at the highest levels of power created the circumstances that led to USC and UCLA casting aside 100 years of allegiance and departing for the Big Ten.

Atop that list would be not prioritizing football, approving misguided media strategies and allowing former commissioner Larry Scott to remain in charge years after it was clear a change was needed. (We could go on, but the Hotline is feeling magnanimous today and will cut the bosses a break.)

Now, with the Pac-12 perilously close to extinction, the presidents and chancellors must decide whether to stick together as a 10- or 12-team conference, merge or partner with another league, or break apart.

Leadership is paramount, but which presidents have the boardroom clout and strategic leverage to provide it? Commissioner George Kliavkoff will present the best structural and fiscal options, but he doesn’t cast a vote. Everything hinges on the remaining eight presidents and two chancellors.

Allow our Presidential Power Index to provide some insight.

We assessed each president and chancellor on three criteria, all relative to the other nine:

— Degree of influence within the boardroom
— Level of passion for, and knowledge of, athletics
— Amount of football strategic leverage

Here we go …

1. Oregon’s Michael Schill
Appointment began: 2015
Boardroom clout: medium
Passion level: medium
Football leverage: high
Comment: Schill just finished a two-year term as the chair of the Pac-12 board, was heavily involved in all major decisions and is under intense pressure (hello, Phil Knight) to secure the best possible landing spot for the Ducks. If Schill is committed to keeping the conference together, the odds of survival improve dramatically.

2. Arizona’s Robert Robbins
Appointment began: 2017
Boardroom clout: high
Passion level: high
Football leverage: medium
Comment: Robbins leads all presidents in passion level and has a better grasp of the landscape than most of his peers. What’s more, Arizona’s leverage is greater than the value of its football program would suggest, particularly if the Wildcats and ASU are, in fact, a two-for-one package … in the Pac-12 or elsewhere.

3. Washington’s Ana Mari Cauce
Appointment began: 2015
Boardroom clout: medium
Passion level: low
Football leverage: high
Comment: Cauce’s clout would be on the low end except for one crucial fact: She’s the current chair of the Pac-12 Board, having taken over for Schill on July 1. And as with Oregon and Schill, the value of UW’s football brand creates outsized leverage for Cauce in charting the course ahead.

4. ASU’s Michael Crow
Appointment began: 2002
Boardroom clout: medium
Passion level: medium
Football leverage: medium
Comment: Crow should be damaged goods in the boardroom given his steadfast support for Larry Scott and comically misguided faith in the very policies that landed the conference in this position. But don’t presume the other presidents view him that way. Crow isn’t shy about making his opinions known, for better or worse.

5. Utah’s Taylor Randall
Appointment began: 2021
Boardroom clout: low
Passion level: high
Football leverage: high
Comment: Randall would rank even higher but for his new-kid-on-the-block status. The Utes hold considerable sway, in our opinion: The Four Corners schools work best for the Big 12 as a group, and Utah is arguably the most desirable member of the quartet. If Randall is committed to the Pac-12, the Arizona schools and Colorado could lose negotiating leverage.

6. Washington State’s Kirk Schulz
Appointment began: 2016
Boardroom clout: high
Passion level: high
Football leverage: low
Comment: Schulz is well respected for his interest and knowledge: He’s on the Pac-12 executive committee and is the conference’s representative on the College Football Playoff Board of Managers. He’s also a former Big 12 president (at Kansas State) and knows that landscape. But WSU is a secondary player, not a prime mover.

(Note: Schulz now oversees the WSU system. Elizabeth Chilton, who runs the Pullman campus, has participated in board meetings, as well.)




Soruce : https://www.mercurynews.com/2022/07/18/presidential-power-index-which-pac-12-presidents-have-the-greatest-influence-over-the-conferences-future/

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