The Pac-12 won’t expand for now despite interest from schools that want to join

The Pac-12 announced Thursday it will not expand for now.
(Ralph Freso / Associated Press)

The Pac-12 will not expand its membership for now, the conference announced Thursday in a statement.

“Following consultation with our presidents, chancellors and athletic directors, the Pac-12 Conference has made the decision to not pursue expansion of our membership at this time,” the statement said. “This decision was made following extensive internal discussion and analysis, and is based on the current competitive strength and cohesiveness of our 12 universities. It is also grounded in our confidence in our ability as a conference to best support our student-athletes and to grow and thrive both academically and athletically.”

The Pac-12’s answer to the expansion question comes about a month after news broke that Texas and Oklahoma were seeking to join the Southeastern Conference, leaving the Big 12 with eight teams. Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff said that the league received “significant inbound interest” from schools wanting to join the Pac-12.

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For now, the remaining Big 12 schools will have to look elsewhere for their next conference destination. Given that the Pac-12, Big Ten and Atlantic Coast conferences just announced an alliance with the goal of bringing stability to the landscape, it is unlikely any of those leagues will be adding membership anytime soon.