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Pressure Building On PAC-12 Commissioner?

It’s hard to find anything in particular that’s going well for the conference and eventually people look for someone to blame.

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Stanford v UCLA
A proud conference but things have not gone well for the PAC-12 lately.
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

It’s probably safe to say that there’s a broad guessing game going on in light of the Adidas trial that hasn’t broadly registered, and that’s a) who’s going to jail and b) who’s getting canned?

The jury will sort out any guilty parties and they’ll be punished to whatever extent deemed necessary.

The firings are a very different story and likely to be much more subjective.

If the allegations at Arizona hold up, what does the university, which has always taken pride in doing things the right way, do? Should Oregon coach Dana Altman have known that improper inducements were being made to basketball players? What about Washington, UCLA and Utah?

You may have noticed by now that all of the schools mentioned here are PAC-12 schools (although not all are Adidas schools). Nonetheless, they’ve all been implicated, which is yet another hassle for the conference.

Aside from this scandal, the PAC-12 is dealing with limited success in tournament basketball, weak football as well and a surprising football scandal that just erupted, not to mention a long-term and chronic problem distributing events on television.

A few years ago, the Big 12 was the conference with all the problems but suddenly it seems to be the West Coasters.

And unlike the Big 12, there aren’t a lot of nearby conferences to poach schools so it’s harder to imagine the PAC-12 blowing up like the Big 12 nearly did during conference realignment.

Even so, scandal is scandal and money is money and the PAC-12 is underperforming. And that comes back to Commissioner Larry Scott, a guy who has at times been pretty cocky about where the conference could be but who has not delivered on its promise, least of all on television revenues.

Competitively it might seem like good news for the ACC and the rest of the Power Five, but instability, as we have seen, can cause chaos.

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