Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: Kliavkoff Comments, QB Carousel, Chip Kelly Extended, Kayvon’s “Stigmatism”

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On this episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden break down some of conference commissioner George Kliavkoff’s most recent comments, discuss UCLA’s decision to extend Chip Kelly (and ditch DC Jerry Azzinaro), break down the winners and losers of the ongoing QB carousel, try to figure out how Jedd Fisch and Arizona are having so much recruiting success coming off a one-win season, give an update on Arizona State’s NCAA investigation, and give their takes on Kayvon Thibodeaux’s “stigmatism” comments.

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Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

Pac-12 Apostles Podcast: An Interview with Chip Kelly, Recruiting Trends, And Baseline Expectations for Every Team

On this week’s episode of the Pac-12 Apostles Podcast, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden get deep into the weeds on the recruiting of some of the Pac-12’s schools, especially University of Arizona (trending up!) and University of Washington (trending down!). Washington governor Jay Inslee has said that all state employees must be fully vaccinated by mid-October- what will Wazzu Head Coach Nick Rolovich do? George interviews UCLA Head Coach Chip Kelly, and the guys go through every Pac-12 Team and set baseline expectations for the season.

Breakdown (2 hours, 23 minutes)

You can listen to Pac-12 Apostles on iTunes or Spotify, or by clicking play on the iHeartRadio widget below:

Some of Chip Kelly’s quotes from his interview with George Wrighster:

On Going From Under Armour to Jordan Brand:

“I think it’s the best sports footwear and apparel company out there… You can just see the silhouette of the Jordan brand and you know what you’re getting into. I know our players love it…”

On Recruiting Through the Pandemic:

“Our class that we signed in December of 2020, some of them enrolled early, but 11 of them showed up here on June 21st, and it was really the first time for most of those guys that we had ever seen them face to face because for the last 18 months everything had been done online… It was different. Usually you want to see kids in person, you want to see them practice, maybe play another sport… but all those things were out the window.

The whole camp circuit was off in the year of 2020 and we weren’t allowed to go to camps and see any kids either. It was all about off of film, a lot of schools played, but there are some high schools, New Mexico, Hawaii, they didn’t play football, so you don’t have any tape from a kid after his sophomore year, so you have to project him. In the NCAA, we gave everybody the year back, but in high school, they didn’t give them the year back… That was just part of the process you had to deal with.”

On Teams Offering Non-Committable Scholarships:

“Our word is our bond. So if we offer you, it’s committable. I don’t understand ‘we’re going to offer you but it’s not a committable offer.’ Then my answer would be, ‘then it’s not an offer.’

We’re not making reservations for dinner, you’re dealing with young men’s lives. I don’t think it’s fair to offer a young man, and then tell him it’s not a committable one, because I don’t know what message you’re sending them- ‘You can trust me, but not in everything I say,’ so our word is our bond.

The other thing for us is we have a great school here academically and not everybody can get in, so we wouldn’t offer a kid if we didn’t have a transcript in hand that we could show to our admissions office to see if… if this young man is an admit-able athlete… In most cases we need at least 5 or 6 semesters of high school work for our admissions office to be able to tell us if the kid’s an admit-able student athlete. In the rush of some people offering 8th graders and freshmen, my response all the time is ‘the kid doesn’t even have a transcript, how do you know if he’s an admit-able student?’

We want to make sure we get the right kids and the right fit here. Kids that are about books, and kids that are about ball… they understand that if they get an offer from us, it’s a committable offer, and it’s not a reservation for dinner, it’s actually a scholarship one.”

On How UCLA Evaluates Talent:

“We’re not governed by someone else’s opinion… we don’t offer a kid because of his ranking. Those guys work really hard at it, but I don’t know if recruiting rankings have all the information, the academics and the character background things that maybe schools have… I don’t think that’s any different than the NFL Draft… you always see a guy in the Draft that everybody thought is a sure first round pick and he drops to the sixth or the seventh, well it may have been medical, or it may have been a character issue that the public is unaware of...

There’s more to the evaluation and offer than ‘he has a really good highlight tape, there’s a lot more to it than that when you’re projecting who’s going to be a power five guy.”

On UCLA’s Chance to Win the Pac-12 South

“We don’t talk about that. It goes back to our mindset of ‘if we are talking about that, then we got too far ahead of ourselves.’ This team has to be good enough to have a really good Monday, and not get caught up in it, and it’s hard, it’s a lot easier said than done because of a lot of talk, and we do have a lot of players back, and a lot of depth, and a lot of returning experience. But I think if you get caught up in that, then you lose sight of what you need to do, and what you need to do is come to work every single day… it would be kind of disingenuous of me to answer questions like that and talk about predictions and things like that because that’s not something that governs how we work…”

Have a take you’d like us to read and address on the show? Email us at and we’ll read your take on a future podcast.