Houston AD met with Pac-12 commissioner on West Coast trip

University of Houston athletic director Hunter Yurachek met last month with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott while on a trip to the West Coast as the school tries to attract interest from Power Five conferences.

Pac-12 spokesman Erik Hardenbergh confirmed Monday that Scott met with Yurachek at the athletic director’s request. Houston spokesman David Bassity said Yurachek used the meeting to discuss myriad topics related to the future of college athletics.

The Pac-12 has given no indication it is looking to expand from its current 12 members.

Houston is a member of the American Athletic Conference and one of many schools outside Power Five leagues that have been working behind the scenes to move to a more lucrative conference.

The Big 12 has been considering expansion for months and still has not made a decision. The conference is holding media days in Dallas this week and its presidents are scheduled to meet Tuesday, with expansion on the agenda.

The Big 12 is the only Power Five conference with 10 members. The rest have at least 12. The conference has announced it will reinstitute its football championship games and likely break into divisions, even if it does not add members.

Houston, along with fellow AAC members Memphis, UCF, Connecticut and Cincinnati, and other schools such as Colorado State, have reached out to members of the Big 12 board of directors to pitch their schools over the last year.

The Cougars have a hot football program and a new on-campus stadium, but being in Texas isn’t necessarily helping its prospects with the Big 12. The league already has four schools in the state and a large presence in the city of Houston, especially with University of Texas alumni. Often when Power Five conferences have added schools, they have tried to add new media markets and expand the league’s footprint.

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