WSU President Claims TV Executives Are Driving College Sports Realignment

Josh Sims, left, of FOX Sports interviews Alex Bowman after he qualified for the pole position in the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway, Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, in Daytona Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

Rupert Murdoch’s FOX And Robert Iger’s ESPN may be calling all the shots.

Washington State University president Kirk Schulz, who also is the chairman of what is left of the Pacific-12 Conference’s board of directors, is of the opinion that Rupert Murdoch’s FOX sports division somehow persuaded the universities of Oregon and Washington to join the Big Ten in an effort to stop the Pac-12 Conference from signing a streaming rights deal with Apple. If Schulz is so sure of the notion, here is a suggestion. Bring an antitrust lawsuit against Murdoch’s company along with the Big Ten to see if Murdoch’s company and the Big Ten violated competition laws. Sure it would be costly for the remaining schools in the Pac-12 but it also might answer some questions that the people who cover college sports in what is left of the newspaper industry should be asking. Exactly who runs college football, the school presidents, chancellors and trustees or people like Murdoch and FOX or Robert Iger and Disney-ESPN. 

If Schulz is to be believed, the TV people are calling the shots and the people who run the schools allow the TV people to do so because they hand over boatloads of money to the schools. On the Washington State University YouTube channel, Schulz said Murdoch’s FOX and Iger’s ESPN would probably not want Apple involved, given the technology giant’s financial resources. The Washington State University president went on to say that Murdoch’s FOX may have made a strategic move to kill the Apple-Pac 12 streaming deal in order to “have a corner on the marketplace”. Schulz continued. “We’re sort of down to really two dominant players that are really determining what happens with expansion.” The NCAA wants Congress to look into the matter of players’ compensation. That should not be the issue. Congress and the courts need to look at the TV executives’ influence on college sports. 

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WSU President Kirk H. Schulz
President, WSU System