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Sunday, April 14, 2024

Arizona president Robert Robbins, key determine in convention realignment, stepping down from submit

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Arizona president Robert Robbins, a significant determine in athletics and convention realignment, will resign on the finish of his present time period. Robbins’ contract expires in 2026, however he expressed openness to transferring on sooner if the board appoints a successor. A nationwide seek for his alternative will start instantly. 

Robbins was probably the most vocal figures in the course of the collapse of the Pac-12; Arizona was certainly one of 4 colleges to depart the dying league for the Large 12 in 2024. After particulars of a proposed contract with Apple TV got here to gentle that created commissions based mostly on subscription numbers, Robbins in contrast the deal to promoting “woman scout cookies.” 

After Colorado introduced its intention to hitch the Large 12 one week earlier, Arizona adopted after a disastrous assembly throughout which former Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff introduced the Apple TV deal. 4 different colleges left for the Large Ten, whereas two headed to the ACC. Solely Oregon State and Washington State stay with no long-term convention residence. Arizona had been within the Pac-12 Convention since 1978. 

“The previous 18 months have been troublesome for our college, however I’m assured that our ardour and dedication for doing what is true, in addition to our thorough and considerate evaluation to deal with our ongoing challenges, will deliver our establishment better stability briefly order,” Robbins mentioned in a press release.

Robbins’ resolution comes lower than a 12 months after the college found an accounting modeling error created a $240 million deficit within the college finances. Athletics have taken middle stage within the scandal. The varsity gave the athletic division a $55 million mortgage to outlive the pandemic, however the athletic division has been sluggish to honor the compensation settlement. Robbins famous in a board assembly that slicing sports activities is on the desk. Upon his request, Robbins’ wage was diminished 10% in March. 

Within the months for the reason that monetary scandal broke, Arizona soccer misplaced coach Jedd Fisch to Washington together with a slew of switch gamers. The college additionally fired athletic director Dave Heeke for “monetary and operational mismanagement,” in accordance with Motion Community. Previous to his firing, Arizona employed San Jose State’s Brent Brennan as coach. 

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After firing Heeke, the college was in a position to entice athletic director — and Arizona legislation alum — Desiree Reed-Francois from Missouri. Reed-Francois is extremely considered inside the trade. 

Even previous to the accounting error, Robbins battled by means of a tumultuous tenure. In March 2023, the College of Arizona College Senate accredited a “no confidence” vote in Robbins in relation to the homicide of a professor on campus by a former pupil. 

Robbins, together with Heeke and Fisch, are solely the most recent figures from the legacy Pac-12 to go away their establishment. Arizona State athletic director Ray Anderson was fired after the Large 12 announcement. Oregon State soccer coach Jonathan Smith left for Michigan State, whereas UCLA’s Chip Kelly took a demotion to Ohio State offensive coordinator. 

Washington’s Kalen DeBoer left Seattle to educate Alabama, and athletic director Jen Cohen took the identical position at USC. Substitute AD Troy Dannen lasted solely months earlier than leaving for Nebraska. To not be outdone, Washington swiped rival athletic director Pat Chun from Washington State. On the basketball court docket, Wazzu’s Kyle Smith left for Stanford and USC’s Andy Enfield selected SMU

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