Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, the last BCS-conference leader to give a media day keynote this year, echoed the sentiments of his predecessors on matters of NCAA change and player safety.
Following the lead of his fellow commissioners before him, Scott spoke of unrest between the conferences and the NCAA, calling for and envisioning change in the future:
Larry Scott says its time for a new vision for college athletics— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 26, 2013
Larry Scott says there has been an "eroding trust" in the NCAA but he wants evolution, not radical overhaul— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 26, 2013
Scott: The confidence in the [NCAA] enforcement process is at an all-time low.— Lisa Horne (@LisaHorne) July 26, 2013
This comes mere days after comments from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, who called for "transformative change" around the country. Some in the audience, like CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd, called Bowlsby's rant "most scathing critique" anyone has given in the Mark Emmert era .
Now that another commissioner has thrown his hat in the ring, the storm that's been brewing looks even more inevitable. Scott said it could come as early as January, at the next NCAA convention:
#Pac12 commish Larry Scott says he wouldn't be surprised if there is "meaningful change" at NCAA convtn in Jan.— Jon Wilner (@wilnerhotline) July 26, 2013
Scott also spoke of player safety, revealing himself and his conference to be among the most progressive in college football. The commissioner said his plan for keeping players healthy includes less contact in practice and more recovery time:
Larry Scott's safety initiative for PAC-12: less contact in practice and more recovery time— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) July 26, 2013
PAC-12 announces it will allow only 8 full-contact practices during spring ball. Only 2 full-contact opportunities in the same week.— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) July 26, 2013
LarryScott says P12 will provide greater limitations on contact in practice. "Our coaches support our progressive agenda."— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) July 26, 2013
It should be interesting to watch how Pac-12 teams fare in early-season games; if they struggle, it will call into question Scott's progressive approach.
On other, more conference-specific issues, Scott took a implied jab at the SEC—especially its reluctance to schedule true road games in non-conference play. He didn't mention the Southeastern Conference by name, but perhaps implied it by championing his teams' willingness to travel:
Later, on the matter of his Pac-12 Network on TV, Scott sadly informed fans that no deal is in sight between the conference and DirecTV. He urged people to drop DirecTV and find a different provider:
Pac-12 commish Larry Scott on @Directv and Pac-12 Networks: "I urge our fans to drop DirecTV and switch to one that has it." No deal soon.— USC Trojans (@USC_Athletics) July 26, 2013
That's a tough one since DirecTV, traditionally, has offered better sports packages than other providers. But for true Pac-12 diehards, changing for the conference network should be well worth the inconvenience.