Arizona has entered significant discussions about leaving the Pac-12 and joining the Big 12, sources tell CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd, with a move expected to be finalized soon. One source said the Wildcats have become a “hard lean” toward the Big 12 after days of conversations about whether to leave the conference they have known as home since 1978.
The Arizona Board of Regents, which oversees both Arizona and Arizona State, met Thursday night in executive session with an agenda item on “possible legal advice and discussion regarding university athletics.” The topic was presumed to be conference affiliation. No formal action was taken Thursday, though that could change Friday following a Pac-12 call which is reportedly being seen as a last-ditch effort to keep the league together.
There is substantial sentiment within both athletic departments that a conference sever between Arizona and Arizona State is both undesired and unlikely, sources tell CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. The Wildcats leaving Sun Devils behind in the Pac-12 “would be extremely surprising,” one high-ranking source said.
“I just can’t imagine Arizona going to the Big 12 and Arizona State not going with,” another source said.
Power brokers at both schools, including crucial members on the Board of Regents, do not desire a split and would prefer to keep the unique UA-ASU rivalry and partnership. The question becomes: Is the Big 12 wanting to stay at 14 members, or is it willing to move to 16 members by bringing Utah aboard as well?
Big 12 executives on Thursday approved Arizona as the conference’s 14th member should the Board of Regents give the go-ahead for a move, according to multiple reports.
The already murky future of the Pac-12 would hang in the balance should the…