College Football, Politics, & Pac#

by Asher Underwood originally posted at read on...





The Pacific-10 Conference (Pac-10) is a college football division that regionally makes up the Western United States, incorporating 10 Division I teams from Arizona, Oregon, California, and Washington. 



On July 27, 2010, the Conference announced it would rename itself as the Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12), upon addition of Colorado and Utah.[1]




The problem came when the Pac-12 sat down to purchase the domain name only to discover that it was owned by someone in Utah. After a failed attempt to retrieve the domain name, Pac-12 then went to the  World Intellectual Property Organization to file a cease and desist.  In response, on February 2nd, the domain owner added an Amazon widget to the address



"A 12Pac from Tupac"

Then topped it off by adding

the header

Tupac Lives!"


As you can expect this immediately created a stir amongst both football and Tupac fans alike. Several articles came out, two of which I re-posted here on Truth About 2Pac. The first one from the College Football Examiner "Pac 12 battling Tupac fan over Pac12.cominformed us that a "Tupac fan" actually owned the domain. The follow up by USA Today then explained in reply that the "Owner of the Tupac website had filed a lawsuit against Pac-10".


Kept on wraps for a few days, the USA Today article did us more justice by actually revealing the "Tupac fan" and "owner of's domain name", is none other than Salt Lake City resident Austin Linford. After a quick search on Facebook, I found that Austin Linford is actually running for Salt Lake County Republican Party Chairman and has a fan page dedicated to his campaign. 



So I reached out to Mr. Linford for an interview with and was pleased to find him very engaging and willing to speak with us. He gave not only good insight into the nature of his lawsuit, but his campaign politics and personal perspectives on Tupac.  Obviously, my first question for Mr. Linford was regarding whether he was truly a Tupac fan or if he had other motives for posting the Amazon widget and "Tupac Lives!" heading.


Austin explained to me that it wasn't really as much about him being a "Tupac fan" as it was in making a point. In fact, he didn't purchase the domain as a fan of Tupac, but relating to another project that he was working on with a partner in the "Pacific (Pac)" Northwest. He has owned the domain for several years and has no intention to just give it up so easy to the football conference.  But why I asked did he add the Tupac widget and header? 


He replied that he was attending the University of Southern California from 1989 to 1993/94 when Tupac was on the come up. He remembered being in Los Angeles during the LA riots, and filming of "Boyz N the Hood".  He appreciated the nitty grittyfeel of Singleton's films and regarding Tupac expressed that he


"liked that he [Tupac] was so diverse, that he was more than just the rapper... people called him that obviously he's more Hip Hop... but I like that he was more diverse.  I liked finding things about him, that he liked to dance and that he liked to act.... so I wasn't really a huge Tupac fan but I liked those things about him."


"I think most people are shocked when they realize how much more he is than just what they thought he was. I like people who are very well rounded. Even though they may be known for one thing they are very well rounded.... I wasn't really a big fan of his music to tell you the truth. I liked some of his music but you know I wouldn't sit down and listen to his music very often, if ever.  I liked the things around him, and that he was so well rounded, more than his  music to tell you the truth."




When I brought up the fact that Tupac was not just a rapper or an actor, but for those of us fans that have followed and sought to uncover his story after all these years, Pac is very "political."  Linford replied "oh yea that's what I liked about him.... and that's kind of funny because most people don't know that about him at all. I think he wanted to change the world and that's pretty cool."


I asked Austin if since he had this knowledge on the "Truth About Tupac" if he was going to utilize it to mobilize the youth vote of Salt Lake county in support of his campaign? To which he expressed that he had not considered that possibility. However, he did speak on his political strengths, which include his executive experience and "the ability to bring people together." However, "this all kind of happened at the same time", and he initially "had no idea it would be as big of a deal as it is" now. 


When I brought up the point that many youth in this country have become disillusioned with the political system, Linford reverted back to Pac.

                   "Again this is what I liked about Tupac, hiswell-roundedness, that he wanted so much more.  I don't think many people know that he went to a school like Baltimore School of the Arts.  Look at what Ice-T has done. Look at Queen Latifah. Or what Will Smith has done.  

Look at LL Cool J... all of them are really well-rounded... in my mind this is where Tupac would have been."




I asked if he thought it would be considered a contradiction to his party or confusing for Tupac fans the fact that he is running for a Republican seat... to which his response was:


"I think Republican-Democrats... the real issues are not Republican or Democratic issues... The issue is when you think one way, you automatically assume the other person is wrong.  I personally believe that when you go into a conversation thinking that way, that by definition you are right, then you are going into that conversation unethically. I think the worse case scenario needs to be that you agree to disagree, not that -I'm right- and -your evil... and right now there is too much of that in the world. I'm much more of a person that brings people together. "



In response to the question many Tupac fans will want to know "what is his favorite song" Linford answered that "Changes" is the song"because that is the one that defines him. It shows that he is more than just a Hip Hop artist or a rapper... that is what he is about."  

Stay tuned for updates in this lawsuit between Austin Linford and the Pac-12 conference.



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