If you need to learn one thing — only one — about the entire theater of college sports realignment, it is simply this: “Every man for himself.” This is not about virtue or honor or academic integrity. It’s a world in which every person and school are trying to find the best deal, the best situation, for themselves.
You can admire that. You can hate it. What we’re emphasizing here is that it’s simply the truth of the matter, right or wrong.
USC was offered a pile of tens of millions of dollars in revenue. Were the Trojans honestly expected to turn down all that Big Ten cash, given the inferior media rights landscape they faced in the Pac-12?
UCLA was hemorrhaging debt. Were the Bruins honestly going to say no to the Big Ten out of a desire to keep their Olympic sports in the West? They needed the money precisely so that their Olympic sports could continue. Romantic notions of geography and intimacy were simply not going to compete with the money the Big Ten could offer.
Now we have another example of a person taking a deal which was simply too good to pass up.
Northwestern is an elite academic institution. If you are a college president who loves being an administrator and wants to be in charge of a top academic powerhouse, you dream about being president at Northwestern. It’s not Harvard or Yale, but it’s high up the food chain.
Oregon President Michael Schill got the opportunity of a lifetime. Of course he was going to take it. No one in his position would refuse NU to stay at Oregon. That’s just the way it is.
Schill was announced as the new president of Northwestern University on Thursday.
University of Oregon president Michael Schill tells me of leaving for Northwestern, "It's a great university and closer to my family."
Where do the Ducks go from here?
Why does this all matter to the Pac-12?
— John Canzano (@johncanzanobft) August 11, 2022
You can imagine that this will create a lot of speculation about Oregon’s future relative to the Big Ten Conference. Stay tuned.
But remember: Every man (and school) for himself.