I watched KUTV for the noon news, found out that the Utah into the PAC-10 news conference would be covered live at 1 p.m. on KUTV. I stay watching the channel. It’s 1 p.m. No news conference. I start to panic, as the time kept ticking. I jump online to luckily find a live stream from KSL.com. “Good, it hasn’t started yet,” I thought. I hear the PA announcer (on KSL.com) at the event announce that the press conference will start in 5 minutes. Soon the feed comes on from KUTV and I can turn off my Internet feed to watch the press conference. First up to the microphone was Dr. Chris Hill, Athletic Director for the University. He introduces himself, tells us that the vote was unanimous, and that the Utes will be joining the PAC 10 in 2011. He also said it was a great day to be a Ute. A phrase that was heard more than once from multiple people during the press conference. Finally, he turns the time over to President Michael Young, President of the University of Utah.
President Young thanked the Mountain West Conference and talked about how the University was able to grow a lot while in the conference. Then he started talking about the PAC-10 and what a great opportunity it would be for the University to compete in the PAC-10. Often President Young brought up the academic side to joining the PAC-10. He talked about how well the University of Utah will fit in with the other PAC-10 schools academically and with it’s “world class research institutions.” Then he went back to sports. Did you know, the Utes are 5-0 (recent history) against PAC-10 schools at Rice Eccles? The basketball stats aren’t too bad either. He also thanked many people inside and out of the University. A proud statistic for the President was the fact that 1/4 of the student athletes at the U are on the deans honor list. That is surely something to be proud of. Lots of thanks and stats showing how well the U will fit in with the other PAC-10 schools dominated President Young’s remarks.
Next up was Governor Herbert. He spoke as a true politician with some favoritism towards the Utes on this day. He did say, the Utes are the origingal BCS busters and that got a large cheer from those in attendance. He talked about how the U is the flagship university for the state because of academics, the medical school and research facilities.
President Young then made it all official by signing the paperwork. Soon he handed all the signed paperwork to Larry Scott, Commissioner of the PAC-10. Larry Scott then talked about how well the University will fit in with the PAC-10. He said academics come first. The PAC-10 is often called the Conference of Champions and he looks forward to adding all the University of Utah’s championships to their number.
Chris Hill then returned to the microphone to tell his side of the story. He hopes to continue to keep friendships he made in the MWC and keep the rivalry with BYU alive. He said this was a dream come true and thanked everyone that everyone had already thanked, then he thanked everyone again. Finally the MUSS made a presentation to Larry Scott and Scott Jenkins, Vice President of the Tournament of Roses said he looks forward to someday having the Utes in the Rose Bowl.
It was a LONG press conference and much was repeated by each speaker, but I’m proud to say the Utes are officially members of the PAC-10 soon to probably be the PAC-12 . A dream come true for the University and those who follow the team. I hope the Utes will make the State of Utah proud as they, join the PAC-10, and gain a lot more publicity for the State of Utah as well as the University. “It’s a great day to be a Ute.”