It sounds like the natives are getting a wee bit restless.
The Pac-12 was roiling when its athletic directors gathered in Santa Clara in late October for their fall meeting with conference executives.
The officiating scandal, in which an untrained administrator interfered with the instant-replay process, was threatening to swallow the season, and the athletic directors were livid.
Years of quiet frustration came tumbling into the open, directed at commissioner Larry Scott and his staff.
Frustration with unmet revenue projections, frustration with the sagging Pac-12 Networks, with misguided messaging and exorbitant spending and, above all, frustration with their lack of influence in setting conference policy and direction — with feeling like second-class citizens in their own conference.
The ADs were irate, the culture was busted, and the semi-annual, state-of-the-conference meeting turned intense.
“It got pretty heated,’’ one source said. “There was acrimony because of how the schools felt they had been treated. It had reached the boiling point with the officiating.”
The immediate priority, however, was getting control of the instant-replay crisis. And that required buy-in from the athletic directors.
When the meetings adjourned, the Pac-12 issued a news release trumpeting the recommendations from an internal review of its instant-replay procedures.
The announcement was accompanied by an endorsement from the athletic directors, who expressed “confidence in the integrity of our process and the personnel charged with monitoring the process.”
The personnel charged with monitoring the process.
“If you noticed,” another source said, “there was no endorsement of conference leadership.”
If you didn’t notice, they made sure you noticed. And here’s a real vote of confidence from Colorado’s
Asked for his views on conference leadership, DiStefano said:
“(Scott) still has a contract with us. He’s the commissioner, and we’re working on things together. That’s something we’ll take up at another time.
Translation: of all the Pac-12 commissioners he knows, Larry Scott is definitely one of them.
Scott’s ridiculous contract still has another three years to run, so he’s got plenty of time to keep being Larry Scott. As long as they keep stroking the checks, he can put up with a little AD irritation.