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Larry Scott’s time as commissioner of the Pac-12 is unlikely to be remembered fondly. Scott took over as commissioner of the conference in 2009 and since that time has made many a dreadful decision.
NEWS: Pac-12 agrees to part ways with commissioner Larry Scott. Conference CEOs just finished meeting tonight. National search for new commissioner will begin immediately.https://t.co/4VKJQbzIeB
— Michael Smith (@SmittySBJ) January 21, 2021
The following is a statement from Oregon president Michael Schill, per CBS.
“We appreciate Larry’s pioneering efforts in growing the conference by adding new competitive university programs and accelerating the Pac-12 to television network parity with the other conferences,” Schill said. “At one point, our television agreement was the most lucrative in the nation and the debut of the Pac-12 Network helped deliver our championship brand to US and global markets on traditional and digital platforms. That said, the intercollegiate athletics marketplace doesn’t remain static and now is a good time to bring in a new leader who will help us develop our go-forward strategy.”
Why was Scott so reviled? Ryen Russillo broke it down excellently. Some of the major points:
- Scott made a reported $5.3 million salary last year, more than twice what SEC commissioner Greg Sankey makes, despite the Pac-12 distributing less money per year to each conference member than the Big Ten, SEC, Big 12 and soon, the ACC.
- The Pac-12 spends $6.9 million per year on rent on its property in San Francisco
- The Pac-12 Network laid off or furloughed more than half of its employees after Scott gave himself and cohorts bonuses of up to $4 million
- A report from John Canzano of The Oregonian quoted a high-ranking Pac-12 source saying that no network wanted to partner with the Pac-12: “No media company wanted to partner with the Pac-12. ESPN declined. FOX, CBS, even the Discovery Channel declined. Nobody knows this. We weren’t wanted.”
- The Pac-12 had a 13 percent attendance decline from 2013-18, more than any other conference, then tried to enter an arrangement with the LA Times in order to gain favorable coverage
— The Ringer (@ringer) November 6, 2020