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Legendary college coach Dennis Erickson says collapse of Pac-12 ‘really, really sad to see’

Legendary college football coach Dennis Erickson blamed greed for the collapse of the Pac-12, a conference which is now down to four schools after the 2023-24 seasons.

Legendary college football coach Dennis Erickson weighed in on the collapse of the Pac-12 after five teams announced their intention to leave the conference last week. 

Erickson, who was the head coach of three different Pac-10 programs, blamed greed for the demise of the Pac-12.

"It's really, really sad to see," Erickson told the Palm Beach Post from his home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. "The thing that upsets me the most, besides the conference falling apart, the reasons for it. You got all these presidents that talk about academics and talk about loyalty and the bottom line is they move because of one thing … money.

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"It had nothing to do with education. It had nothing to do with players. It had nothing to do with the school. It had to do with money."

Colorado head football coach Deion Sanders, who will help take the Buffaloes to the Big 12 in 2024, also mentioned money when discussing conference realignment in college athletics.

"All this is about money, you know that. It’s about a bag," Sanders said Friday at a press conference. "Everybody is chasing a bag. Then you get mad at the players when they chase it. How’s that? How do the grown-ups get mad at the players when they’re chasing it when the colleges are chasing it?"

Colorado made the decision to join the Big 12 in late July. 

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Erickson coached at Washington State, Oregon State, and Arizona State, adding stops at Wyoming and Idaho to his resume. He also coached the Miami Hurricanes for six seasons from 1989-1994, leading the Hurricanes to two national championships.

The four remaining schools in the Pac-12 – Washington State, Oregon State, California and Stanford – now face a very uncertain future as the conference looks to stay afloat after the 2023-24 seasons. 

"That's just sad because they've been such solid members of that league for such a long time and they've been very competitive," Erickson told the Palm Beach Post. "And now they are left ... wherever they are left. I don't even know where they're left."

The ACC reportedly has held discussions about the possibility of adding Cal and Stanford, but their possible additions "hit significant roadblocks" on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

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