Category Archives: Pac-12 Football

And now, it’s the Pac-12’s turn.

Two months ago, if you’d have told any college football fan there’d be one last P5 holdout to starting the 2020 season and asked them to choose which one, the likely answer would have been… well, the one that is the last P5 holdout.

Naturally, Larry Scott and his gang are scrambling now not to be left out in the cold.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott says the conference has “gotten the comfort” to play football this fall, but needs to secure approvals from county public health officials in Oregon and California in order to proceed, with the best-case scenario for the start of the season being “end of October-early November.”

Scott’s remarks came during an interview on ESPN’s SportsCenter Wednesday night, capping a wild day for the conference. The day began with the Pac-12 as the lone Power 5 conference not planning to play fall sports after the Big Ten announced it was reversing course and starting its football season Oct. 23-24, saw California Gov. Gavin Newsom say his state’s regulations weren’t impeding the Pac-12 from playing despite 12-player cohort limitations to practices, Scott and Newsom spoke and Newsom contacted USC officials to address those impractical guidelines for football, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s office announced she and the Oregon Health Authority granted UO and OSU exemptions to state guidelines in order to play pending written plans and protocols from the Pac-12 and the athletic directors of USC and UCLA reportedly hold a joint call with Los Angeles County public health officials to get their go-ahead to begin contact sports practices.

My first thought on hearing that news was encapsulated nicely in this tweet:

But entirely on brand.  So much so, I can’t even laugh about it.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football

Larry Scott’s conference sticks its finger up to see which way the wind blows.

I guess they’re feeling a little lonely now that the Big Ten is showing signs of backtracking on having a 2020 season.

The Pac-12’s “most aggressive” return plan is currently targeting mid-to-late November, according to a source familiar with the league’s discussions.

Earlier this month, the Pac-12 announced its partnership with Quidel Corporation, a manufacturer of FDA-approved rapid tests that will allow the league to test its student-athletes daily for the coronavirus.

While the new testing systems will be on every campus by the end of the month, the league still expects to need a short time to train staff how to use them, and ensure the proper testing protocols are in place.

Schools in the states of California and Oregon still have not been cleared by public health officials to resume contact practices, let alone games. The league’s presidents and chancellors wouldn’t consider a vote to return until that status changes.

I can’t wait to hear Scott argue that his 3-0 conference champ deserves a playoff berth.

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Filed under Pac-12 Football, The Body Is A Temple

Larry Scott, living large

“You can’t pay college athletes,” you said.  “Where would the money come from?”

“If you pay kids in the revenue producing sports, you’ll have to cut non-revenue producing programs to make up for that,” you argued.  “That wouldn’t be fair to those kids, now, would it?  I mean, that’s the only place the schools and conferences could go to cover the expense, ri…”

The Pac-12’s offices are conveniently located in San Francisco and you really can’t put a price on convenience.  Just ask Larry.

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

“It’s a unique opportunity.”

ACC, Big 12 and SEC to recruits:  The Big Ten and Pac-12 ain’t playin’ ball, so take advantage of the situation and join us!

Also ACC, Big 12 and SEC to recruits:  Now wait just a fucking minute.

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Filed under ACC Football, Big 12 Football, Big Ten Football, Pac-12 Football, Recruiting, SEC Football, The NCAA

Wednesday morning buffet

Sights and sounds from around the world of college sports…

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Filed under Big Ten Football, Crime and Punishment, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness, Pac-12 Football, SEC Football, Strategery And Mechanics, The NCAA

#TheyStillUnited

Judging from the statement #WeAreUnited released after Larry Scott announced he nuked the 2020 Pac-12 football season, he’s in for a stressful winter.

Screenshot_2020-08-12 Laine Higgins ( lainehiggins17) Twitter

The financial demands have been jettisoned.  Left are health concerns, frustration over having those concerns dismissed and a number of shots at the lack of leadership coming from Scott and his office.  There’s also the promise/threat that they expect a voice in the shaping of whatever comes for 2021.

Like it or not, this is going to be a topic of interest between now and the start of next year, especially if the plug gets pulled on the sport nationally.  There will be a vacuum and you know what they say about vacuums.

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

Doin’ it for the business model.

Hmmm… I wonder what the decisions of the Big Ten and Pac-12 to pull the plug on the 2020 football season might have in common.  Let’s see.

I think you misspelled “will not” there, Larry, but point taken.

When they tell you it’s about the money, believe them.

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

“I don’t think he thought of us as people who were making a legitimate case.”

You will be totally surprised to learn that Larry Scott blew off the #WeAreUnited players in their meeting this week.

When a group of Pac-12 Conference players who are threatening to opt out of the football season met with Commissioner Larry Scott on Thursday night, they had two primary objectives: pushing for more-frequent coronavirus testing and protecting the eligibility and status of players who choose not to play for health reasons.

On both fronts, the players said, they made little progress.

They said Scott told them the conference was powerless to mandate uniform testing standards. They also described the commissioner as often condescending, unprepared and unwilling to meet with them again — telling them that subsequent discussions would be with the conference’s medical advisory board.

The players said Scott criticized their statement on The Players’ Tribune as a “misguided P.R. stunt.”

(Larry only respects guided PR stunts.  But I digress.)

You should be equally surprised by this.

Valentino Daltoso, a senior offensive lineman at California, added: “It was not very productive. We did not come away with many answers. He made it very clear that he does not want to meet again.”

Seriously, what would be the point?

There was one revealing moment to emerge from the meeting:

The players also said they were rebuffed when Jevon Holland, a junior defensive back at the University of Oregon, asked near the end of the nearly 90-minute meeting if they could have lawyers present. When Scott equivocated, he was pressed by Holland for a yes or no answer. According to the players, Scott said lawyers could talk to lawyers but “this isn’t a negotiation, it’s a discussion.” Anderson — who formerly worked as an N.F.L. executive — informed the players that he was a labor lawyer and that they were not employees, a position the N.C.A.A. has long fought to assert.

And therein lies the rub, as this quote illustrates.

Gee, I’m beginning to suspect that the health and safety of college athletes isn’t the top priority of these people.

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

Today, in #WeAreUnited

Welp, the players and Pac-12 leadership met and it went about as well as you might expect.

The players, who have threatened to boycott the season unless a series of demands are met, raised the issue of sharing 50 percent of the football revenue — the most controversial of their demands.

Representatives of the conference responded that such an arrangement was “not something the schools were supportive of” because it would create a “path to the student athletes becoming employees.”

Funny way of saying “we don’t wanna”.

No follow-up meeting was scheduled.

Larry’s still working the stall, but he wants the kids to know his heart is in the right place.

Meanwhile, in the mid-majors

Football players from the Mountain West Conference on Thursday became the latest group to unite and publicize a list of conditions to ensure their health and safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mountain West players followed similar groups from the Pac-12 and Big Ten in outlining their demands. They began posting a graphic Thursday night on Twitter with the hashtag #MWUnited.

The players praised their coaches for adjusting to the pandemic, but said they “do not feel comfortable playing teams from other states.”

“It is difficult to believe that hundreds of 17 to 22-year-old college students are capable of social-distancing effectively enough to travel state-to-state for 10 weeks,” the players’ statement reads.

A player told ESPN that #MWUnited includes more than 300 Mountain West players and came together through a group message in only one day.

Gosh, for some reason, lots of players are skeptical of that whole your-health-is-our-number-one-concern shtick.  I wonder why.

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Filed under It's Not Easy Being A Mid-Major, Look For The Union Label, Pac-12 Football, The Body Is A Temple

“… with the health and safety of our student-athletes being our No. 1 priority.”

When #WeAreUnited says it’s about the money, Larry Scott says it isn’t.

Scott included six bulleted paragraphs in the email related to the conference’s coronavirus protocols as background to prepare for the call; however, like his initial response Monday, he did not address the group’s proposal for a drastic reduction to his own salary and the distribution of 50% of each sport’s total conference revenue evenly among athletes in their respective sports.

In a call Wednesday with the Pac-12’s Student-Athlete Leadership Team, which is part of the Pac-12’s governance structure and comprised of athletes from every school across several sports, Scott implied the #WeAreUnited group’s economic demands were unrealistic and a non-starter, according to multiple sources familiar with the call.

The idea that Scott would accede to a player demand to reduce his salary and split conference revenues was nothing more than a pipe dream.  If, however, that was offered as a negotiating tactic to get traction for issues like player health, that shows more smarts and realism.

There’s an indication that’s what those players may really be after.

Pick the battles you can win, kids.  And remember whom you’re dealing with.

12 Comments

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