Pac-12 Commissioner Delivers State of the Conference

Larry Scott, the Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference, held his annual State of the Union Saturday in Las Vegas. We’ve been asked about some of the topics that he addressed. Here’s some of the transcript.

Q. Is there any way prior to football season that either an online service or DirecTV could get in place a deal to get the distribution out there a little bit more? There’s bars down here that we’re hearing don’t have the Pac-12 games on, sports books don’t have them. Is there any way this could get rectified? I know you’re always working on it every day, but is there a way, a possibility this could get rectified prior to football season? COMMISSIONER LARRY SCOTT: Certainly it’s possible. Our team would do a deal with DirecTV tomorrow if they were willing, but they haven’t expressed any willingness to enter into an agreement with them. But our team is out there all the time talking to the online services. Yes, the offer is open to DirecTV if they want to take the service.

Q. It’s been two full basketball seasons now since the FBI corruption thing hit the news. And with Sean Miller getting subpoenaed, reportedly, next month and whatever follow-up will come from that, what concerns does the league have about what might come out of that and how it will affect the basketball brand?
COMMISSIONER LARRY SCOTT: We’re certainly concerned about when any of our schools are embroiled in an investigation like that, there are accusations like that, that’s a concern. Our schools that were involved took some swift action in certain instances, but there still are some lingering issues, as you mentioned. And certainly been a big distraction for that program and unwanted attention for the conference, there’s no doubt about that.
I think we’re all eager to see that process play out and there be resolution and clarity for the Arizona program and Pac-12 basketball, more broadly, to move forward.
So, yeah, we’re looking forward to it all progressing any doubt about the future direction of the program and its
impact on the conference being clear.

Q. I think if Oregon wins tonight there’s a pretty good chance you’ll have three NCAA Tournament teams. Is that kind of the best scenario for the conference given where the teams were in the non- conference portion, and not having anybody really ranked for most of the season?
COMMISSIONER LARRY SCOTT: I think realistically that’s probably a fair assessment. Washington and Arizona State have very strong resumes, different kinds of resumes, but very, very strong resumes, and we think they’ve earned their spot in the tournament. And Washington is playing for seeding probably tonight. And it’s kind of an exciting moment in the tournament because we haven’t had in recent years an opportunity for one of our schools to essentially earn a bid with a win here.
So it’s going to be just fun to see the intensity in the game tonight and I think as you all know the winner of this tournament gets an automatic bid. If that happens I’m expecting we’ll have three teams.

Q. You had three schools that were in football involved in this bribery thing. Your thoughts on that and have you talked to presidents of the school or how to close this hole, I guess? COMMISSIONER LARRY SCOTT: Are you talking about the news from last week, related to admissions?
Q. Exactly.
COMMISSIONER LARRY SCOTT: Just wanted to clarify. Certainly it was a great concern when we saw the news and how it impacts the integrity of the admissions process at our schools. And I was immediately in touch with the presidents of each of those universities, athletics directors, to try to understand what happened, see how we could support in whatever ways.
Each of those schools has taken swift and decisive action and articulated the very, very high standards of integrity they stand for. I’ve got no doubt that each of those schools is going to continue to deal with the situation with the utmost importance and take whatever corrective measures they need to take so that something like this were not to happen again.