Commissioner Larry Scott addresses Pac-12 officiating, men's basketball attendance and scandals
LAS VEGAS – Pac-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott addressed the media ahead of the Pac-12 men's basketball championship Saturday night in T-Mobile Arena. Answering questions pertaining to TV deals, FBI scandals and tournament attendance, Scott seemed upbeat about the prospects of the conference moving forward, even though that doesn't appear to be the outside perception. Here's what the commissioner had to say about some of the biggest topics surrounding the conference:
On being encouraged by attendance at men's basketball conference tournament despite less fans than past years
On the distraction of recent FBI scandals, particularly involving Arizona
SCOTT: We're certainly concerned about when any of our schools are embroiled in an investigation like that, there are accusations like that, that's a concern. Our schools that were involved took some swift action in certain instances, but there still are some lingering issues, as you mentioned. And [it's] certainly been a big distraction for that program and unwanted attention for the conference, there's no doubt about that.
I think we're all eager to see that process play out and there be resolution and clarity for the Arizona program and Pac-12 basketball, more broadly, to move forward.
So, yeah, we're looking forward to it all progressing, any doubt about the future direction of the program and its impact on the conference being clear.
On the conference's decision to bring in a third party to analyze officiating for football and to do the same sometime in the near future for basketball
On whether or not a deal will be made with DirecTV soon
SCOTT: Certainly it's possible. Our team would do a deal with DirecTV tomorrow, if they were willing, but they haven't expressed any willingness to enter into an agreement with [our team]. But our team is out there all the time talking to the online services. Yes, the offer is open to DirecTV, if they want to take the service.
Does Oregon winning the Pac-12 Tournament give the conference three NCAA March Madness teams?
SCOTT: I think realistically that's probably a fair assessment. Washington and Arizona State have very strong resumes, different kinds of resumes, but very, very strong resumes, and we think they've earned their spot in the tournament. And Washington is playing for seeding probably tonight. And it's kind of an exciting moment in the tournament, because we haven't had in recent years an opportunity for one of our schools to essentially earn a bid with a win here.
So it's going to be just fun to see the intensity in the game tonight, and I think, as you all know, the winner of this tournament gets an automatic bid. If that happens, I'm expecting we'll have three teams.
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