Pac-12 commissioner Scott hits on major points at media day
CULVER CITY, Calif. — Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott kicked off the Pac-12 media day with an opening speech, in which he discussed player safety, cost of attendance, governance, enforcement and one-and-dones in basketball.
Scott also said the Pac-12 Network will increase the number of events it shows from 550 to 750. Scott’s first point was the safety of the athletes. While he didn’t go into depth about what the conference’s specific actions, Scott endorsed the NCAA’s move to protect the health of its players.
Recently, the NCAA announced a new targeting rule that if any player targets and hits a defenseless player above the shoulders it will result in an automatic ejection.
“We have made progress in head trauma in college football,” Scott said. “But more emphasis on health and safety would improve college athletics at the highest level.”
Arizona senior linebacker Jake Fischer said linebackers must tackle properly in order to play a safer game.
“It’s not going to change necessarily the way we practice, play or game plan,” Fischer said about the new rule. “We just need to promote safer football, which we can do and still win games.”
Fischer and senior kicker Jake Smith are two of six college football players around the country who have signed their names on a federal anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA, EA Sports and the Collegiate Licensing Co.
Those who have signed the lawsuit are requesting that a new distribution model be created, that allows players to receive a small amount of money accrued from broadcasting rights. some of the revenue extra money be put into a “rainy day” fund, with most of it going toward supplementing the cost of living for the players.
Stanford senior offensive guard David Yankey, a Georgia native, said he would appreciate more help financially.
“A full scholarship doesn’t cover everything, especially traveling home to see your parents,” Yankey said. “That could definitely help a lot of players.”
Scott also briefly spoke about the importance of improving enforcement in the conference. Scott said confidence in NCAA investigations are at a “all-time low” and that the fairness, speed, consistency and thoroughness must be reviewed and improved.
Scott closed his speech with basketball and the recent movement that NCAA has seen with players foregoing their education for the NBA.
“It’s time to reconsider a system that currently allows student athletes to be on our campuses for less than 12 months,” Scott said. “We can restore trust in the NCAA and the collegiate model as a whole.”
Former Wildcat Grant Jerrett left after one season and many believe incoming freshman Aaron Gordon will make the leap to the NBA after his first season.
“I am delighted to be leading a conference of administrators and coaches that are committed to the student athletes’ welfare,” Scott said. “With the support of our institutions and the drive to remain on the forefront of everything affecting student athletes, we will continue to pursue an aggressive agenda on and off the field.”