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Pac-12 commish: Big 12 trying to destabilize our conference

Alika Jenner / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff claimed the Big 12 is trying to undermine his conference.

At Friday's Pac-12 media days event, Kliavkoff said he's spent the last four weeks defending his conference from "grenades lobbed in from every corner of the Big 12," according to ESPN's Pete Thamel.

"I get it," Kliavkoff added. "I get why they are scared. I get why they are trying to destabilize us."

The two sides reportedly previously discussed a partnership that included a full merger as a potential option, but talks ended earlier this month. The Big 12 was also apparently communicating with up to six Pac-12 schools after USC and UCLA announced their intentions to leave the conference.

Big 12 commissioner Brett Yormark proclaimed earlier he's "open for business" when it comes to potential expansion, but Kliavkoff said he's unsure if he's interested.

"I appreciate that," Kliavkoff told reporters, including Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. "We haven't decided if we are going shopping there or not."

Kliavkoff also proclaimed that the Pac-12 is "actively exploring expansion opportunities," according to Thamel.

The state of the Pac-12 has been in disarray since USC and UCLA shockingly announced they plan to join the Big Ten in 2024. Kliavkoff called the departures "very disappointing," but he remains optimistic about the conference's future.

"We are bullish about the Pac-12's future and our opportunities for long-term growth, stability, and success," Kliavkoff said. "Our conference boasts 10 of the most iconic and innovative brands in all of sports, all-around excellence in academics and athletics, and a half-dozen of the most valuable markets in this country."

Pac-12 commish: Big 12 trying to destabilize our conference
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