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New University of Utah athletic director taking on something bigger than sports

Posted at 6:20 PM, Jun 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-04 20:20:04-04

SALT LAKE CITY Mark Harlan has stepped into the role of the University of Utah athletic director just as it has been transformed in the era of the PAC-12.

When the University of Utah joined the PAC-12, images of Rice-Eccles stadium and its' mountain backdrop regularly beamed into homes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, Phoenix, Denver and much of the rest of the country.

"This is big time, big-time college sports," said Harlan,  as University President Ruth Watkins introduced him in a Monday morning ceremony.

In 2010, the year before joining the PAC-12, the Utes had revenues of around 31 million dollars. In 2017, those revenues shot above 80 million dollars.

Only the Utah Jazz bring in more money and possibly more visibility, with revenue estimated by Forbes Magazine at 164 million dollars in 2017.