University of Utah athletic director Mark Harlan talks with media after being introduced at a press conference at Rice-Eccles Stadium on Monday, June 4, 2018.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

What an end to a week filled with conference expansion chatter.

On Thursday, CBS Sports college columnist Dennis Dodd posted a dystopian report on the demise of the Pac-12 and the Big 12 readying itself to pounce.

That afternoon, former NFL and Utah quarterback Scott Mitchell declared on 1280thezone/KSL radio in Salt Lake City that the Pac-12 was done, over. His cohost Alex Kirry then said, “You heard it here first.”

Hours later, Utah athletic director Mark Harlan went to Twitter to call out Dodd, tweeting “Give me a break.”

It was as if Harlan was accusing Dodd of spreading “fake news.”

Give me a break

— Mark Harlan (@MarkHarlan_AD) March 10, 2023

On the surface, this was a strong reaction from the Pac-12 management — a kind of push back, a sustaining of the letter of solidarity sent out last month from the league’s board of directors.

Harlan’s tweet could be taken as a voice from the so-called four corner schools of the Pac-12, the schools that are most often rumored to be listening to recruiting pitches by the Big 12 in multiple media accounts.

If anything, Harlan scored points for his concise, subtle rebuke. The tweet could have simply been a reaction to mounting media noise.

Apparently, Harlan, and likely others in the league, have had enough of the incoming artillery towards the Pac-12 from national media and Big 12 country.

And that’s admirable.

The only true and reliable “source” yet to surface on the Pac-12’s future. Utah athletic director Mark Harlan needs just four words to disarm the Arizona-to-Big 12 narrative.

— Greg Hansen (@ghansen711) March 10, 2023

On the surface, Harlan represents Pac-12 loyalty. His tweet signaled to his school and fans that Utah is all-in on its ties to the Conference of Champions. 

No doubt the …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Sports News


Pac-12 media rights drama prompts Utah AD Mark Harlan to tweet

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