Report: Kliavkoff, Yormark spoke on the phone, discussed expansion within Pac-12 and Big 12 conferences 

Two Power 5 commissioners recently met over the phone to discuss the impact of recent expansion, according to the Sports Business Journal. 

According to John Ourand of SBJ, Kliavkoff and Yormark spoke over a phone call described as “collegial” by the latter. The call took place “about a week-and-a-half after” Arizona, Arizona State and Utah announced plans to depart the Pac-12 Conference for the Big 12. 

Yormark described the Big 12’s role in recent conference realignment as something that took time and had transparency among executives, according to Ourand. Yormark said that “everyone knew the Big 12 had an appetite to expand” once he began his term as commissioner Aug. 1, 2022. 

During the phone call between the two conference commissioners, Yormark reportedly apologized to Kliavkoff for putting him “in a tough position.” Yormark told Kliavkoff that he was sorry his “gain is your loss,” according to Ourand. 

The Big 12 is set to expand to 16 programs beginning in 2024 while the Pac-12 is left with four member schools: Cal, Oregon State, Stanford and Washington State. 

ESPN, in its media agreement with the Big 12, has a “pro rata clause” in the agreed cotnract that will pay the conference more as it expands and adds more programs, according to Ourand. Perhaps that played a role in the conference’s agreements to expand and include Colorado and the three aforementioned Pac-12 programs in the past four weeks. 

SBJ will release a podcast episode of The Marchand and Ourand Sports Media Podcast on Wednesday further detailing the conversation between Kliavkoff and Yormark.