Pac-12 Introduces New Commissioner

(Associated Press) – New Pac-12 Commissioner Teresa Gould said Thursday the conference’s two remaining members, Oregon State and Washington State, are encouraged by the interest in the media rights to the schools’ home football games and hope to have an agreement in place soon.

Gould was promoted last week to replace George Kliavkoff, the commissioner who oversaw the demise of the conference during a wave of conference realignment last year.

She was introduced Thursday in a video conference with reporters, that also included Washington State President Kirk Schulz.

Gould has been with the Pac-12 since 2018, serving as deputy commissioner, overseeing all sports and championship events.

“We have programs on these two campuses that compete at the highest level and I wanted to be the leader that fought on behalf of those student-athletes and their future,” she said.

After this school year, 10 Pac-12 teams will scatter to other power conference. Oregon State and Washington State remain committed to rebuilding the conference, but in the near-term plan to operate it as a two-team league for at least next season and possibly one more.

The two schools have struck a football partnership with the Mountain West for next season, and have an agreement with the West Coast Conference to compete against those schools in basketball and other sports for the next two years.

Gould said she received a two-year contract from the Pac-12.

She said her responsibilities can be divvied up into three categories. First, she needs to build a conference staff. Second, she needs to represent the Pac-12’s interest nationally, including in the management of the College Football Playoff with the other nine major college football conference commissioners.

CFP officials are considering another expansion on top of the 12-team model that goes into effect this year and the possibility of a tiered-access format that could give multiple automatic bids to the larger conferences.

“At the end of the day, what’s important for Washington State University, for our football program, is access to the playoff,” Schulz said.

Gould said “probably the most important and urgent piece of my role is to partner with the leadership on both campuses to forge that future path for their two campuses and their athletic programs.”

Among her first priorities is landing a media rights deal for the schools.

“So I’ve been partnering with our two athletic directors, Scott Barnes (of Oregon State) and Pat Chun (of Washington State), and I will say, not surprisingly, there’s great interest in the football products at Oregon State and Washington State,” Gould said. “So we are working hard to try to consider the options that are on the table to televise all of the home games at Oregon State and Washington State.”

The Mountain West released its football schedules on Thursday, completing the slates for both the Beavers and Cougars.

Gould also said the Pac-12 Networks will remain open and operating through the 2024-25 school year.

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