SALT LAKE CITY — Despite rumors to the contrary, the University of Utah has not been approached about joining the Pac-10.

Sports information director Liz Abel said Wednesday that Utah athletics director Chris Hill "has not been contacted by anybody regarding expansion."

And BYU's reaction to the rumors were much the same.

"The university and the BYU athletic department have not been contacted by the Pac-10 in regards to expansion," said Duff Tittle, BYU's associate athletics director.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott stoked the fire earlier this week on a conference call when he acknowledged that the league would look at expansion after its current television contracts expire following the 2011-12 academic year.

"It is really over the next six to 12 months that we'll start having serious analysis and serious evaluations," Scott said.

The Pac-10 has not expanded since adding Arizona and Arizona State in 1978.

"To me, the logic if the Pac-10 is going to think about expanding, now is our window," Scott said. "The reason being if you're going to consider a reconstruction of the conference, there's a value proposition associated with that. Given that we're about to have negotiations regarding our media rights, it makes sense that if you're going to do it, to do it when you can monetize it and get value from it commercially."

As for schools to be considered, Scott said "no serious discussions" have taken place. Finding institutions that fit academically and culturally, however, are a priority.

"I know that's of paramount importance to our presidents and chancellors," Scott said. "There are other economic and athletic considerations such as increased costs that would be involved, increased travel that would be involved, splitting the pie in more ways.

"You look at how that is offset against potentially greater revenue, potentially greater exposure into more markets, possible recruiting opportunities, the impact on media negotiations generally," he continued. "There's a whole analysis you would go through in terms of cost benefit."

Utah (Mountain West Conference) and Colorado (Big 12 Conference) top the rumor mill as far as leading targets for expansion. The Pac-10 is currently made up of Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, Southern Cal, UCLA, Washington and Washington State.

Contributing: Associated Press

e-mail: dirk@desnews.com