Mike Bohn probably didn’t intend to, but he spoke for the masses.
Yep, the USC athletic director spoke for the haves, the semi-haves and the have-nots across the Pac-12
On the job for four months, Bohn kinda-sorta-pretty much put commissioner Larry Scott and the conference office on notice.
And he did it twice.
First, Bohn indicated that USC would be willing to explore all options — even leaving the conference — if the financial picture doesn’t brighten in coming years.
Then, instead of distancing himself from the issue, he dug a trench in the terrain that separates Pac-12 HQ from the 12 campuses.
Let’s review the sequence of events …
During an appearance on the Peristyle Podcast last week, Bohn was asked by host Ryan Abraham about USC’s future:
Would the Trojans consider “going independent or joining another conference or pairing up with another school and do with that?”
Bohn’s answer: “I think right now, and Larry would agree with this, everything’s on the table.”
That’s hardly a denial. Quite the opposite, in fact.
We don’t know this, but our guess is that Bohn’s comment wasn’t well received at HQ.
Now, skip forward to Thursday:
Bohn was interviewed by CBS Sports columnist Dennis Dodd and given a chance to clarify the comment.
His response (and be sure to read the full article):
“There’s no talk of (leaving), but guess what? If it was on the table, we would certainly explore that. But I’ve got to be careful. The league is really tender.
“The context that I was talking about was whether it was league TV stuff, creative pieces with any other type of deliverable, it has to be on the table.
“Guess what? If that helps (the league) understand the importance of what our campuses are going through, so be it.”
Notice what Bohn didn’t do?
He didn’t walk it back.
Not only did he own the original, he executed a partial double-down.
“If that helps (the league) understand the importance of what our campuses are going through, so be it.”
Here’s another guess: That comment probably didn’t play well at HQ, either.
Now we have not one but two notices given … two news cycles of attention … two very public, very poignant comments directed at the conference office by the athletic director of the Pac-12’s flagship football program.
And that’s OK.
It’s OK because the campuses are frustrated with the financial picture, and the momentous media rights negotiations are looming, and the conference cannot afford to miss and because, let us not forget, Scott and his executive staff work for the schools.
Also, it’s good because USC’s athletic director should be a forceful voice within the conference.
So long has it been since that was the case, we’ve forgotten what it sounds like.
I mean, it’s tough to lead anyone anywhere when you’re signing autographs in Virginia.
Of course, the Trojans must get their athletic department in order — that’s no small task, after years of deterioration on multiple fronts — before full clout and credibility arrives for Bohn.
The Big Ten is stronger when Ohio State is leading by example.
The SEC is stronger when Alabama is leading by example.
USC has to do the same — same with UCLA, frankly — and we’re a long way from the Trojans being properly positioned.
But this is a start.
A necessary, poignant start.
We say: Good for Bohn.
Support the Hotline: Several Hotline articles will remain free each month (as will the newsletter), but for access to all content, you’ll need to subscribe. I’ve secured a rate of $1 per week for a full year or — introductory offer alert! — just 99 cents for the first month, with the option to cancel anytime. Click here. And thanks for your loyalty.
*** Send suggestions, comments and tips (confidentiality guaranteed) to [email protected] or call 408-920-5716
*** Follow me on Twitter: @WilnerHotline
*** Pac-12 Hotline is not endorsed or sponsored by the Pac-12 Conference, and the views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Conference.
Source: Read Full Article