Notebook: Larry Scott talks to media

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott recently met with the media to discuss numerous topics. Read on for his thoughts on what Arizona fans think of him, an age limit in the NBA, and more.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott recently met with media in Las Vegas and here are some notes as they relate to Arizona.

  • It is no secret that the majority of Arizona fans are not fond of Scott and he took some time to respond to those feelings.

    "First of all, I don't measure my approval ratings," Scott said. "I'm not running for office. Really my whole job is about supporting all of our schools and I have a great relationship with all of our schools, including the University of Arizona.

    "So I think if that perception is out there, as you say, I certainly wouldn't view that as an accurate characterization at all, both in terms of my relationship with the leadership of the university as well as certainly support for Arizona. Obviously delighted with their success, and we work very collaboratively with them."

  • Much of the disdain for Scott is related to him not being at McKale when Arizona won the regular season conference title.

    "Someone had asked me about the trophy presentation," Scott said. "I could certainly clarify. As a matter of course, I'm never presenting regular season trophies in football or basketball unless I happen to be in a place where that's occurring. So I don't do it in football with the North or South champion, and I don't as a matter of course do it in men's and women's basketball.

    "What I do is hand out the championship trophy, which is for the team that's going to get the berth into the NCAA Tournament. So I've done that since my tenure here in terms of football and in terms of basketball at our championship events.

    "So if there was an interpretation that that was a shun, that's a misinformed view. It certainly wasn't. I haven't done that as a matter of course at all."

  • It seems as if every Pac-12 school is upset with the way the conference schedule was handled, specifically the Wednesday-Sunday games. Scott says that the Pac-12 is looking at different scheduling scenarios moving forward.

    "We're spending a lot of time looking at different permutations and combinations," he said. "Minimizing missed class time is an important priority and something we look at. We get asked to look at by the faculty and by the presidents, so we really monitor this very carefully.

    "When we moved from a traditional Thursday Saturday basketball scheduling scenario to know that we were going to have to play Wednesdays and Thursdays as well as Saturdays and Sundays, we went to the campuses to say we think this can be done in a way where you don't miss anymore class time than you're missing currently, but we'll have to change our travel policies.

    "One of the reasons that we're going to a Wednesday Thursday is exposure, the other is revenue. If we play on Wednesdays, we'd like to see the teams be able to charter to fly back to campus that night.

    "Our hypothesis was that if you play Wednesday Saturday or Wednesday Sunday, certainly if you stay in the travel pair city that you're traveling to, you'd be away more days than if it were a Thursday. But if you charter and come back, you could be away less than you would have been on a Thursday Saturday, Thursday Sunday scenario.

    "The idea is that as we have more resources, let's allocate some of them to support student athlete welfare, to support the academic objectives that we have and turn what could be looked at as a potential problem into an opportunity and get kids back to campus and class sooner than they would be if we were playing Thursday Saturday.

    "Having said that, then it's left to each school to manage and decide what they're going to do. We have not forced a conference wide policy up until now. So right now that decision is left to a campus by campus decision on how they're managing their travel."

  • Scott has been very vocal in saying that he is against the one and done player, which currently effects numerous schools throughout the country.

    "Our feeling is that the one and done phenomenon is very detrimental to the essential academic mission of our universities," he said. "The phenomenon is short changing the vast majority of our student athletes who receive scholarships to Pac-12 universities as a huge transformative opportunity in their life.

    "These student athletes value the access that athletics provides, and our universities expect student athletes to pursue academic rigor as well as their athletic pursuits, and we hold them to similar standards as other students in the universities.

    "This high visibility trend of one and done threatens to undermine a lot of these efforts and the twin goals of academic as well as athletic excellence at our college. Now what I've said, and I firmly believe in, is that if a 17 or 18 year old has no interest in going to college, he shouldn't be forced to go to college.

    "So I'd like to see, like in baseball, if a person of that age decides that they want to be a professional basketball player, love to see them be able to go have that opportunity in the NBA or internationally. I hope those leagues will provide those opportunities for those students.

    "However, if they do decide to come to our universities, we want them to commit to a full college education. There is no reason why the systems that we have in football and in baseball can't also apply to basketball where student athletes have to be 21 before they leave school and go to the pros.

    "It's been encouraging to hear the new commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, talk about this, support this. He's talked about a 20 year old age rule; we'd prefer to see it at 21. But it's great to see he is the new leader of the NBA coming out and talking about this, and I think we have a shared vision."

  • Wildcat Authority Top Stories