Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

Larry Scott isn’t happy.

Here’s an observation of mine from my post about the O’Bannon ruling:

Her ruling in this area may have bigger ramifications than its impact on the NCAA.

Michael Hausfeld, a lead attorney for the O’Bannon plaintiffs, said his team will now consider whether to take any legal action against networks for use of players’ NILs.

“It’s an open field right now because of the antitrust violation,” Hausfeld said. “We’re going to have to take a look at what our next letter might be to ESPN or CBS or Turner. We’ve been looking at it. For example, maybe we don’t go to the larger networks, but go right to the Big Ten Network or Pac-12 Network. Here you have a conference with a most direct relationship to an athlete. They’re clearly use the name, image and likeness.”

Larry Scott’s decision to go it alone on the Pac-12 Network looks more and more expensive every day.

So guess which conference commissioner has the most strident reaction to Wilken’s decision.

Mike Slive takes it in stride.

“We are pleased that the judge recognized the educational component of college athletics, and the importance of integrating academics and athletics in this decision. There are a number of legal questions of some significance that must be answered to fully understand the ultimate consequence of this decision, and how to comply with it.

Together with the change in NCAA governance that was approved just a day earlier, this decision reemphasizes the fact that we are going through a historic evolution of the landscape of college sports and it is incumbent upon all of us to be thoughtful and deliberate in building a better future for our institutions and our student-athletes.”

In other words, as long as nobody screws with autonomy, he can live with it.

Bob Bowlsby?  Copacetic.

Bowlsby said the ruling did not move to anything that would be perceived as professional sports and that the “collegiate model” remains largely intact.

“This operates inside the higher education environment, and the fact that the payments for name, image and likeness can’t be manipulated prior to departure from school, I think is a pretty significant distinction,” Bowlsby said. “I don’t think it’s anybody’s perfect solution, but I think it falls short of having an open marketplace where the individuals are differentially compensated.”

So how about the guy who owns a network?  He’s not too happy.

“We fundamentally disagree with the O’Bannon court’s ruling that the NCAA and our collegiate model violate anti-trust laws in any way. Our system provides untold opportunities and beneficial life experiences for the almost 7,000 Pac-12 student-athletes every year, and we are intent on improving the system to do even more to benefit young people for generations to come.  While we plan to support the NCAA on their appeal of this ruling, we will be working with our institutions to develop next steps in the event the appeal is not successful.”

Maybe Larry’s just more concerned about student-athletes than his peers.  But I bet his presidents are wondering if he’s as smart as they thought he was a year ago.

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22 Comments

Filed under Big 12 Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football, The NCAA

Larry Scott thinks leverage is an unfair concept.

Poor Larry Scott.  A couple of years ago, the man was lauded as a genius for moving the Pac-12 into the modern era, leapfrogging its peers by forming its own conference network, completely controlled by a bunch of folks who’d never done anything like that before.  Now, with the news that the SEC Network has cut a deal with DirecTV, something that’s eluded Scott, reality has begun to step in.

“We’ve been disappointed that DirecTV has been willing to negotiate with ESPN for the SEC Network but not Pac-12,” Scott said. “It is certainly not consistent with them saying they care about what the consumer wants.”

Scott is miffed that the SEC Network will be available to DirecTV’s Southern California subscribers while the Pac-12 channels won’t be. He thinks the fact that Walt Disney Co. is behind the new network played a part in the satellite service’s willingness to get a deal done.

Earth to Larry:  well, duh.  What did you expect?

“It appears this is an example of DirecTV being willing only to deal with big conglomerates who have muscle and leverage beyond the interest of consumers,” Scott said.

Or that a behemoth like ESPN finds it easier to command the subscription dollars than you do.  The market is a beyotch, buddy.

15 Comments

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Pac-12 Football

Tuesday morning buffet

Suffering from a World Cup hangover this morning?  Eat something.

  • The Pac-12 distributed only 68 percent of its revenue to members in fiscal 2013.  Man, those television networks are expensive.
  • Would paying college players slow down early exits for the pros?  Maybe.
  • Gentry Estes looks at where Brice Ramsey’s at right now.
  • Kentucky beat writer asks the musical question “Does Georgia have anyone left to play defense?”  More than Kentucky does, I’m willing to bet.
  • Hawaii athletic department fails to pay players summer scholarship money due to clerical snafu, resulting in seven kids sleeping in the locker room until paperwork went through.  AD’s analysis of the situation “When it comes right down to it, we need to plan better.”  No shit, Sherlock.
  • In fiscal year 2012-3, Georgia generated more revenue from football and men’s basketball than your average NHL team.
  • To some extent, Chris Low’s rankings of SEC defensive lines looks like it was determined by throwing random darts.  Which probably means nobody really has a good handle on what the conference has this year.
  • Kevin Scarbinsky wonders if the SEC needs a rule prohibiting dismissed players from returning to the league, and concludes it won’t happen.  “Richt deserves credit for sticking to his principles in letting players go knowing they can and have come back to beat him. Hard to imagine the rest of the schools in the league would line up to save him from his own idealistic self.”
  • Here’s a list of ten toughest non-conferences schedules.  Only one SEC team makes the list – guess who.
  • And here’s Phil Steele’s combined experience chart for 2014.  Georgia is middle of the pack in that department.
  • John Infante points out that if Joker Phillips’ recruiting transgression is deemed serious enough, Boom could face the possibility of a suspension under the head coach responsibility bylaw.
  • Auburn is all about giving players second chances…”  Gah.

13 Comments

Filed under Auburn's Cast of Thousands, General Idiocy, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, SEC Football, The NCAA

The Pac-12 enhances the fan experience.

Unfortunately for the locals, it’s the East Coast folks the conference is going after with this:

The conference also announced that it has created an 11 a.m. Pacific Time television window on the Pac-12 Networks for the upcoming football season. The league said the move was made in an effort to reduce the number of night games across the league.

At that time slot, isn’t this newly targeted audience going to be watching ACC, Big Ten and SEC games anyway?

I guess Larry Scott figures there aren’t enough insomniacs on our side of the country to make it worth his while to accommodate the Left Coasters who, you know, might actually like to attend a game live at a sane hour.  It reminds me of the baseball player in Ball Four who, upon being told he had to report to the ballpark early for a Game of the Week, replied, “Eleven O’Clock?!  I’m not even done throwing up by then.”

It’s TV’s world.  The rest of us are just trying to find a place in it.

4 Comments

Filed under Pac-12 Football

This financial aggression will not stand, man.

Move over Big Ten and SEC.  There’s a new revenue dog taking over.

The college athletics conference financial pecking order has received a jolt – the Pacific-12 Conference new federal tax return shows it had more revenue during the 2012-13 fiscal year than either the Big Ten or Southeastern Conference.

The Pac-12 reported $334 million in total revenue for a fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, the first that reflects the conference’s 12-year, $3 billion TV rights deals with ESPN and Fox; the debut of the wholly conference-owned Pac-12 Networks; and operations of the conference’s nascent marketing and media arm, Pac-12 Enterprises.

That total represents a $158.1 million increase in revenue over what the conference reported for the 2011-12 fiscal year and a more than tripling of the $111.8 million that the Pac-12 reported for 2010-11.

The Big Ten recently reported $318.4 million in total revenue for a fiscal year ending June 30, 2013. The SEC reported $314.5 million reported for a fiscal year that ended Aug. 31, 2013.

I imagine the Big Ten and SEC poobahs will give Delany and Slive a chance to match that.  But if two or three years go by and that hasn’t happened, look for some more fan friendly moves to be made.

9 Comments

Filed under Big Ten Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football

Wednesday morning buffet

The chafing dishes are full, so knock yourselves out.

26 Comments

Filed under Academics? Academics., College Football, ESPN Is The Devil, Gators, Gators..., Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Media Punditry/Foibles, Pac-12 Football, Political Wankery, Strategery And Mechanics

“We like our path to the national championship playoff.”

The Big 12 thinks the Pac-12’s whining about the SEC’s eight-game regular season conference schedule is just crazy talk.

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the SEC struck a compromise by staying at eight and requiring a nonconference game against a power-five conference starting in 2016.

“It isn’t the number of games, it’s who you’re playing,” Bowlsby said. “The committee will be more than sophisticated enough to make those distinctions, just like my experience with the basketball committee. They could very easily tell the difference between a 9-9 record when everybody plays each other twice and a 9-9 when there’s been some no-plays and one-plays.”

Then again, wandering soul and current Arizona State head coach Todd Graham doubles down by jumping on Bowlsby’s conference for not playing a nine-game schedule and a championship game. Never mind that the Big 12 is a ten-team conference playing a round robin schedule that makes a conference championship game as useless as tits on a boar hog.  Todd thinks that everyone should model themselves on what the Pac-12 wants:

“If we’re playing Stanford and if we didn’t play that extra (Pac-12) game, we’d be playing a [FCS] team,” Graham said. “What if we go undefeated and lose to Oregon in the championship game and the team in the Big 12 doesn’t have to play a championship game?”

The response to that is so obvious that I’m not going to insult your intelligence by typing it here.  But even Jim Delany recognizes the obvious overarching issue.

Graham’s and David Shaw’s delicate fee-fees and Chris Fowler’s aesthetic sensibilities aside here, with regard to the selection committee’s analysis, the issue isn’t the number of high-profile conference games played.  It’s how many cupcake games a team in consideration for a playoff spot schedules, assuming that more than lip service is going to be paid to strength of schedule.  If there’s one area that needs to be painfully transparent when the committee rules from on high, that’s it.  If strength of schedule is given due deference, the big schools will find themselves lining up in accordance, one way or another.

2 Comments

Filed under BCS/Playoffs, Big 12 Football, Pac-12 Football

But they said Larry Scott is a genius.

The Pac-12 discovers that broadcast partnership thingy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  What a surprise.

1 Comment

Filed under ESPN Is The Devil, Fox Sports Numbs My Brain, Pac-12 Football

Talk is cheap, chapter two

Larry Scott wants you to know he’s not a bad fellow.  Or at least he doesn’t think he’s a bad fellow.

… And let me be clear — I am not defending the status quo. The Pac-12 Conference, of which I have been commissioner since 2009, along with other conferences around the country, have been pressing for NCAA reform that would reflect the evolving needs of student-athletes, allowing for increased academic support, improved student-athlete health care, and enhanced athletic scholarships up to the full cost of attendance. I am confident reform is coming within the NCAA in the next few months, and soon universities will be allowed to provide this additional support for student-athletes.

Keep pressing, Larry.  Soon will come any day now.  Patience, student-athletes.  These things take time.  After all, who could have seen the evolving need for improved student-athlete health care coming?  Well, other than Walter Byers and every other suit who’s followed his example since… which, now that I think about it, would include you, Larry.

You really want to do something about that union threat?  John Infante suggests it wouldn’t be that hard.

The response to the NLRB decision from Scott and other leaders in college athletics has been that reform is necessary, inevitable, and on the horizon, but unions are the wrong way to go about it. All student-athletes have to do is wait, just a few of months according to Scott.

One problem: the leaders of collegiate athletics are running out of time. The NCAA and college athletics will not and maybe cannot fix themselves overnight or all at once. It will be a process of first not getting any worse, then getting better over time. But to have the time to do that, the NCAA and its members need to earn back a sliver of trust that they will follow through.

To do that, they should not wait months or weeks. Larry Scott could get the athletic directors and presidents of the Pac–12 on the phone tomorrow and have them vote to guarantee everything the union is asking for that is allowed under NCAA rules. The conference could make it a requirement that institutions provide these benefits and assurances. They could even agree to provide cost-of-attendance scholarships and outside income opportunities as soon as the NCAA allows them.

The most effective argument against unions is to demonstrate they are unnecessary by providing the protections and improvements a union would fight for without the fight. At the moment, institutions and conferences acting on their own can one-up the union by extending these guarantees to all athletes, including walk-ons and sports other than football.

You’re supposed to be a cutting edge guy, Larry.  Maybe it’s time to prove that in some other way than building a television network.

9 Comments

Filed under Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football

You can’t put a price tag on being prepared for life.

Evidently the Pac-12 runs its sports network on a similar business model to the way its athletic programs operate.

Hey, if it ain’t broke…

3 Comments

Filed under It's Just Bidness, Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football