Pac-12’s Kliavkoff knocks the Big 12
Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff said his conference is far from finished, despite the defections of Southern California and UCLA.
Kliavkoff confirmed the Pac-12 is actively exploring expansion and lobbed several feisty jabs at the Big 12 during an eventful opening speech at his conference’s football media day Friday in the nation’s second-largest media market.
While painting a promising picture of the league’s future even after USC and UCLA leave for the Big Ten in 2024, Kliavkoff said the Pac-12 intends to keep its current members while entertaining new additions.
The commissioner also acknowledged frustration with the upheaval created by the defections, saying he had spent the past month “trying to defend against grenades being lobbed in from every corner of the Big 12 trying to destabilize our remaining conference.”
Kliavkoff responded to Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark’s recent declaration that his league was “open for business” in expansion by suggesting those moves could include Big 12 schools coming his way, instead of the opposite assumption.
“With respect to the Big 12 being open for business, I appreciate that,” Kliavkoff said. “We haven’t decided whether we’re going shopping there or not.”
“I understand why they’re doing it, when you look at the relative media value between the two conferences,” Kliavkoff added later. “I get it. I get why they’re scared, why they’re trying to destabilize it. I was just tired of that.
“That’s probably not the most collegial thing I’ve ever said.”
Auto racing: Felix Rosenqvist continued to fight for his seat in the IndyCar Series with a pole-winning run on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Swede earned his second pole of the season with a run of 1 minute, 10.2265 seconds in Friday qualifying. It’s the second pole of the season for Rosenqvist, who is making the case for keeping his ride in IndyCar with Arrow McLaren SP. The contract extension he recently signed with McLaren Racing gives boss Zak Brown the ability to shift Rosenqvist to Formula E next season — but Rosenqvist doesn’t want to leave IndyCar.
Golf: Henrik Stenson had a happy return to golf after being removed as European Ryder Cup captain, making eight birdies in his LIV Golf Invitational debut at Bedminster for a 7-under 64 to share the 18-hole lead with Patrick Reed. Phil Mickelson’s return to the area wasn’t entirely happy. He missed a 12-foot birdie putt on his final hole, settling for a bogey finish and a 75.
NFL: Chase Young will not be ready to play Week 1 for the Commanders, coach Ron Rivera confirmed Friday in ruling out the standout pass-rusher for at least the season opener. The 2020 Defensive Rookie of the Year is working back from surgery to repair a torn ACL in his right knee . ... Kwon Alexander is reuniting with Robert Saleh and providing the Jets’ linebacker corps with a veteran presence. The 27-year-old Alexander signed a one-year deal with the Jets on Friday, a move that came after the team worked him out during the offseason . ... Bears center Lucas Patrick is out indefinitely because of a right hand injury, leaving a retooled offensive line without an important piece.