The only thing easier to spot than Pac-12 bowl losses are examples of the conference not plowing as many resources into football infrastructure as its peers in the Power Five.
New commissioner George Kliavkoff hopes to change that state of affairs by making the case to the university presidents and chancellors that investing in football can provide returns that benefit not only cash-strapped athletic departments but entire campuses.
“Historically, I don’t think we’ve made a great case for the ROI of footbalI,’’ Kliavkoff told the Hotline.
“I’m not going to take the opportunity to speak to my 12 bosses without talking about it. It’s going to be a constant topic. They are going to get tired of hearing it from me.’’
Ah, yes. The sweet siren song of “football, the investment”. It’s got a catchy beat and you can dance to it!
Kliavkoff, who has been on the job for just six months, didn’t cite specifics. But he clearly grasps the connection between football investment and the potential returns across the university spectrum — financial returns, alumni engagement returns and, yes, educational returns.
“We need to invest in coaches and facilities,” he said. “That leads to better recruiting, which leads to winning, which leads to direct and indirect revenue and alumni engagement.
“And we’ve seen that it leads to more applications, which allows universities to become more selective in admissions.
“I can’t imagine a more obvious ROI than investing in football.”
It’s so obvious that he couldn’t cite specifics. But… ‘Bama.
During its stellar run under Nick Saban, Alabama has experienced a quadrupling of the number of out-of-state students, according to USA Today, and a comparable rise in the academic profile of the incoming students.
Now all George’s member schools have to do is find twelve Nick Sabans and open their checkbooks. This dude is turning out to be the best problem solver ever.