Utah football: DirecTV, Pac-12 still in disagreement
Culver City, Calif. • While Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott tried to downplay the possibility of a major split in college football among the leagues, he wasn't as kind in his discussion of the conference's ongoing battle with DirecTV.
Scott said the league was no closer than it was last year to an agreement with the company. He said DirecTV carries 50 other sports channels but seemed to have different standards for the Pac-12 Networks.
"There is no reasonable explanation but they have seemed to draw a line in the sand with us," he said. "We aren't asking them to pay any more or any less than anyone else has."
Scott said the league will keep "hammering" for a deal, but warned fans they needed to make other arrangements to see the Pac-12 Networks if they have DirecTV.
"We feel bad, but that is why we are trying to give them plenty of advance warning," he said. "It's not in our control."
Playing the Utah and BYU game at the end of the regular season might be an ideal situation for fans, but it isn't one the Pac-12 Conference is ready to buy into every year just yet, Scott said Friday at the league's media day.
Utah's game against BYU for the 2018 season will be played at the end of the year, just as it was before the Utes joined the Pac-12, but Scott said he still preferred the game to be played in the first three weeks of the year when possible.
The 2018 game was moved due to a scheduling quirk that prevented any of the Pac-12 teams from having to play 12 games in a row without a bye.
Coast to coast
Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said he enjoyed the league's East Coast trip in which the Pac-12 coaches visited ESPN's headquarters for a series of interviews. Whittingham went to the East Coast a few days early to visit New York, then flew to Los Angeles on a private jet with other Pac-12 coaches Thursday night.
"The travel wears on you a little bit, but overall it was a good time," he said.
Two junior college transfers the Utes signed as part of their 2013 class may not be with the Utes when they open camp on Aug. 5.
Tevin Carter, a 6-foot-1 defensive back, and Devontae Booker, a 5-foot-11 running back, are still taking care of academic issues.
It's likely Booker will redshirt if he arrives late since the Utes are deep at the position.
Utah tight end Jake Murphy said he enjoyed the Pac-12 festivities, particularly since he got a chance to catch up with childhood friend Xavier Su'a-Filo, who is a junior offensive lineman for UCLA.
"It was good to see him again go out with the rest of the players," he said. "We've had a lot of fun."