Larry Scott Feels There Is A “Good Buzz” About The PAC-12, Feels USC’s Suspensions Have Not Damaged The Conferences Reputation

August 1, 2011 – 9:00 am by Steven Cuce

Life couldn’t be better for Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott these days. Scott took over as the PAC-10 commissioner on July 1st of 2009 and has done some job over the last two years. He made big-time headlines in the summer of 2010, trying to expand the conference into 16 teams going after many of the top teams in the Big-12 Conference. Instead he was able to add Utah and Colorado expanding the conference to 12 teams just in time as the television contract was expiring. The PAC-12 ended up signing a 12-year, $3-billion dollar deal with ESPN and FOX, which Scott claims positioned the conference very “well” for the future.

There seems to major buzz in the air this year as the PAC-12 will play its first ever conference championship game after adding two teams to make a North and South division. Although a dark cloud looms over Oregon for a potential recruiting scandal and USC over vacated National Championships along with senior Marc Tyler being suspended for saying he was being paid to play football at school, Larry Scott feels the PAC-12 hasn’t taken a major hit in the public eye. From the sound of it the college football world out West is doing quite well to start off the pre-season as the PAC-12 commissioner looks to cash in a lucrative television contract.

PAC-12 Commissioner Larry Scott joined XTRA 1360 in San Diego with The Drive to discuss the anticipation for the first season of PAC-12 conference play, more expansion in the future for the PAC-12, the PAC-12 being a more prestigious conference now with the addition of two new teams, USC’s bowl suspension hurting the PAC-12 conference and his support for a new playoff system in college football.

Give us the anticipation going from the Pac-10 to the Pac-12? Is this the moment you have been waiting for?

“Yeah very exciting. We were just had our media days in Los Angeles and the East Coast. A lot of excitement about all that is new with the addition of the two teams. The fact that we will be in North and South divisions for the first time playing for the first time ever the PAC-12 football championship game on the heels of a new broadcast agreement. There is a good buzz about the conference this year.”

It’s Utah and Colorado, but are you done now? Do you believe there will be more expansion in the PAC-12 in the future?

“I believe there will be expansion long term again. College sports is still so fragmented. I believe it will make sense for there to be fewer big conferences at some stage, but I don’t know when that might happen again. Right now we are very happy with the 12 team conference we have. We filled our media rights on that basis and we positioned ourself very well for the future.”

The PAC-10 had always been considered a strong conference of very respected teams. Does the addition of these two teams make the PAC-12 conference more prestigious?

“Not really. The Pac-10 has always been considered one of the most prestigious conferences out there, so when you look at the record of our teams we have stacked up favorably to every other conference out there, so I think it further…these media agreements will further the exposure we are getting. I think there will be more national respected attention for what is going in the conference.”

Do you feel like USC being down and banned from going to a bowl game has been hurting and damaging the conference right now?

“Well it’s hard to measure, but USC is an iconic program. It has been the most successful over the last decade, so you never like to see that. It certainly does hurt, but it is very hard to quantify and we certainly just come off a very successful run in terms of negotiating TV deals and all that, so I do not think it has hurt the long term value.”

Outside of the PAC-12 are you okay with the current playoff system for college football?

“Well we are locked into a four-year arrangement right now. Over the next 18 months we will start discussing the future, but our conference has traditionally supported the current structure in terms of preserving the value of the Rose Bowl, which has been very important to this conference and also in terms of the value of regular season college football that we have benefited from with the recent TV deal that we negotiated, so traditionally the conference has been a big supporter of the current system because we think it serves the conference and its members well. There will be a fresh discussion about it in 18 months.”

Is a new playoff system for college football something that is always on your mind?

“Yes I always think it is on everyones mind thinking is there a better mousetrap? But it’s all speculation at this point.”

Listen to Larry Scott on XTRA 1360 in San Diego here [Interview starts at 31:05 mark in the podcast]

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  1. 2 Responses to “Larry Scott Feels There Is A “Good Buzz” About The PAC-12, Feels USC’s Suspensions Have Not Damaged The Conferences Reputation”

  2. July 25, 2011
    The Honorable Christine A. Varney
    Assistant Attorney General
    Department of Justice – Antitrust Division
    950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 3109
    Washington, DC 20530

    RE: Request for Government or Non-Governmental Entity or Commission to Study the Benefits, Costs, and Feasibility of the Kennedy Proposal

    Dear Assistant Attorney General Varney:

    We write to request the Antitrust Division ask a government or non-governmental entity or commission to study the benefits, costs, and feasibility of the Kennedy Proposal (KP). The KP is a proposal to improve the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) and increase competition and access to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) post-season.

    University of Notre Dame Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick states to SouthTribune.com , “It’s not that we don’t spend time thinking about the BCS issue. We look at all kinds of models, but we don’t see any that are any better than what we have now.” We do not believe that to be true and have shared a less-restrictive BCS model .

    The Washington Post first reports about these submissions and if an improved BCS that addresses the concerns expressed by players, students, fans, BCS administrators, and government officials was available to the BCS administration before the current television contract was agreed and the BCS administration refused to market that product to the television networks, then the BCS administration exercised their monopoly power and colluded to prevent the establishment of an National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sponsored FBS Football Playoff Structure and therefore purposefully economically injured the United States of America’s gross domestic product.

    The 2011 BCS title game between the Auburn Tigers and the Oregon Ducks was the first to include zero of the BCS 13 . Improving the BCS via KP may still result in this elite group continuing their dominance of the BCS but the championship would be settled on the field, in a collegiate setting, by the players. 11 on 11.

    May 12th, 2011 Chicagonow.com reports, “The Kennedy Proposal is a plan which keeps the bowls, and makes them into a legitimate playoff.” The BCS administration’s repetitive opposed stance stresses the expeditious action for subpoenas, indictments, and the weighing of the procompetitive and anticompetitive effects in the Supreme Court.

    The mere proposal to raise tuition at any higher learning institution that participates in the BCS and has received the KP is a misappropriation of funds and perhaps financial fraud. Why is the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee, the BCS Conference Commissioners, the BCS Athletics Directors Advisory Committee, and other BCS administrative groups opposed to profit maximizing?

    The Federal Trade Commission’s video in the FTC Mall for Kids at “The Cinema” educates:

    “The trust-owning business men got richer and richer while the public got angry and demanded the government take action. President Theodore Roosevelt busted or broke up many trusts by enforcing the first of what came to be known as antitrust laws. The goal of this law and the ones that came later was to protect consumers by promoting competition in the marketplace. The first of antitrust laws was passed in 1890: The Sherman Antitrust Act. This act makes it illegal for competitors to make agreements with each other that would limit competition. So, for example, they can’t agree on a price. That would be price fixing. The act also makes it illegal for a business to be a monopoly if that company is cheating or not competing fairly. For certain executives found doing those kinds of things could wind up paying huge fines and even going to jail.”

    According to Mr. Hancock , “the BCS is a contractual relationship among the 11 NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and the University of Notre Dame.” President Emmert claims , “An NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision football playoff is not under consideration by the FBS membership.” Mr. Hancock and Mr. Emmert express opposing views of the FBS post-season and the two-team playoff that is the BCS National Championship.

    BCS administrative groups and their agreement to reject the KP is curtailing output and blunting the ability of member institutions to respond to consumer preference and thus restricting, rather than enhancing, the place of intercollegiate athletics in the United States of America. In other words: IT’S TRUST BUSTING TIME!

    Mr. Hancock claims , “The consumers are not harmed by the BCS”. We are consumers and WE believe the KP is a viable option ; therefore, we respectfully request the Department of Justice Antitrust Division ask a government or non-governmental entity or commission to study the benefits, costs, and feasibility of the KP.

    Yours truly,

    Brandon E. Kennedy Jesse T. Wenzl
    Executive Director of the KP Coalition First Member

    CC: Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Jon Leibowitz
    CC: Federal Trade Commission Commissioner William E. Kovacic
    CC: Federal Trade Commission Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch
    CC: Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Edith Ramirez
    CC: Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Julie Brill
    CC: Mr. Graham Spanier, BCS Presidential Oversight Committee Chairman
    CC: Mr. Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA
    CC: Mr. Bill Hancock, Executive Director of the BCS
    CC: Mr. Scott McKibben, Executive Director of the Rose Bowl
    CC: Mr. Rob Shelton, CEO of the Fiesta Bowl
    CC: Mr. Paul Hoolihan, CEO of the Sugar Bowl
    CC: Mr. Eric Poms, CEO of the Orange Bowl
    CC: Mr. George Bodenheimer, President of ESPN
    CC: BCS Conference Commissioners
    CC: Rev. John I. Jenkins, President of Notre Dame
    CC: Mr. Cecil O. Samuelson, President of Brigham Young University
    Enclosure

    By Brandon E. Kennedy on Aug 1, 2011

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  2. Sep 22, 2011: Sports Radio Interviews » Blog Archive » Larry Scott: “We haven’t said that we’re against the concept of expanding the conference, but it would have to be right.”

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