As the rest of the powerbrokers in college athletics monitor the unfolding story of Oklahoma and Texas inching closer towards a possible membership in the SEC, new Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff told ESPN on Friday that his conference isn’t actively seeking new members, but they’re open to discussions with potential candidates.
“I consider the Pac-12 an exclusive club with a high barrier to entry,” Kliavkoff said. “We love the schools and teams we have today. We’re not actively seeking to poach any teams from any conference, but we’d be foolish not to listen if schools call us.”
A Big 12 source told ESPN on Friday that Texas and Oklahoma have not yet officially informed their conference of any intent to leave, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen. In order for the SEC to formally extend an invitation, the Longhorns and Sooners must first tell the Big 12 they want to leave.
If and when it becomes official, it’s unclear if any of the remaining schools would be attractive options to the Pac-12. The university presidents and chancellors have the ultimate authority regarding conference membership, and they would hold in high regard another program’s academic standards and reputation. That could limit the league’s ability to expand, if that’s the direction it decides to go.