Larry Scott on Wednesday morning did what three other “Big Five” commissioners have already done this summer on the rubber-football circuit:
He bragged about his conference.
Scott outlined the strides the league has made since he took over in 2009 and it’s a long list.
Scott, of course, is credited with bringing the Pac 12 into the modern age and making it financially sound by securing a $3 billion broadcast deal with ESPN and Fox.
Unlike Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, however, who painted a darker picture of college athletics this week, Scott took a more positive view.
“We know we face tremendous challenges,” Scott said. “But from my vantage point, college athletics is working exceedingly well.”
Bowlsby, in his media day remarks Monday in Dallas, claimed it was open season for cheating in the NCAA. Bowlsby also worried that drastic changes in the NCAA financial structure could threaten the elimination of nonrevenue sports.
Scott, speaking from Paramount Pictures in Hollywood, was much more upbeat.
“I am confident and optimistic,” Scott said.
Scott said he said the Big Five conferences are on the precipice of getting more autonomy from the NCAA, which will allow schools to provide the full cost of attendance to athletes.
Scott, however, said the new model for college athletics must not weaken the nonrevenue sports.
He noted only 2% of Pac 12 players are drafted each year in the NFL, and only 3% in basketball.
He said his duty is to protect nearly 7,000 Pac 12 athletes who do not play either sport.
“My focus is on the vast majority,” Scott said. “The 97- or 98%.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times