No Deal for DirectTV was Message at Media Day

CULVER CITY, Calif. – The Pac-12 Conference held its annual media day for football showing off head coaches and players from each of the 12 teams of the conference. Conference Commissioner Larry Scott said that the conference and the Pac-12 Networks are enjoying great success though he indicated that the conference was unable to reach an agreement with DirectTV in airing the Pac-12 Networks.

"Unfortunately, it's become clear they don't intend to take the Networks this year and with a month to go before the launching of the football season, we want our fans to know that because they've got ample opportunities with other distributors to carry the Networks," Scott said of the dealings with DirectTV.

Scott even went so far as encouraging DirectTV subscribers to drop the service so that those who would follow a particular conference team can do so by subscribing to another service that does offer the Pac-12 Networks.

Each team had an opportunity to meet the near 300 media in attendance. Oregon's Mark Helfrich said it was an honor to represent the University of Oregon at media day.

Helfrich was asked a number of questions ranging from how it feels to follow someone of the caliber of Chip Kelly. Helfrich pointed out that Oregon has had a long line of success, mentioning former coaches Rich Brooks, Mike Bellotti and Kelly. When queried about an increased passing game Helfrich candidly remarked that the goal is scoring points.

"We want to score," admitted Helfrich. "We don't care about the method."

Joining Helfrich on the podium was sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota who was asked about what it would take for the Pac-12 to become a conference of great quarterbacks. Mariota, the first team All-Pac-12 Conference quarterback last season as a red shirt freshman felt the conference does have a lot of talent at the signal caller position.

"I think we are still a league of great quarterbacks," responded Mariota to the question about quarterbacks. "A lot of guys are younger, just like myself, but as we grow and mature, I'm sure this Conference will continue to show case the ability that these quarterbacks have." Junior corner back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu was asked to respond to a question submitted to the Pac-12 Conference via Facebook from a fan regarding what was the worst mis-pronunciation of his name.

"I would have to say Ifo Exspray something, I don't know," answered Ekpre-Olomu patiently. "I don't understand. Sometimes people call me Exspray; I don't understand what they got the "Ex" from."

A more serious question to Ekpre-Olomu came from one of the assembled media members regarding the team's reaction to the NCAA penalties that were handed out in June and if he thought the penalties were fair.

"We just looked at it day-by-day and took our role with this program," said Ekrpe-Olomu. "We really just continue to get better every day and let our coaching staff and let the administrators of the program handle that and we trusted them in everything that they told us and really just kept going from there."

The final question on the main stage for the Duck contingent was addressed to Mariota about the Oregon-USC game that the Ducks won 62-51 at the L.A. Coliseum back in November 2013. Mariota thought it was a fantastic game and even though USC is not Oregon schedule this year, the Duck quarterback looks forward to all the games scheduled this season and hopes that there might be a chance to meet USC in the Pac-12 Championship game.

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