The Cold Dead Hand: Free Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott

Pete MisthaufenAnalyst IAugust 3, 2009

WIMBLEDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 25:  WTA CEO Larry Scott (L) watches the Andy Murray of Great Britain and Ernests Gulbis of Latvia men's singles second round match on Centre Court on Day Four of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 25, 2009 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The new Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott looked like he would be a catalyst for change in the college football world.

Scott, who previously directed the Women's Tennis Association, was hired to get the Pac-10 back to television and sponsorship prominence.

Instead, he has already adopted the old company line and looks be just another hack.

Please prove us wrong, Larry!

Scott, upon taking the position, had voiced some interesting ideas, including a strong feeling that better options existed than the BCS and that he was open to investigate them.

Now, Larry said that there is "deep and unwavering support for the BCS" from the Pac-10—B.S.!

So, who got to Larry?

Was it the Pac-10 university presidents, that collection of hide-bound conservatives (not in the political way, of course) who have allowed the Pac-10 to decline in recent years?

Was it his fellow BCS conference commissioners, who all spout the company line without meaning or conviction on a regular basis, except when they accidently tell the truth?

Was it the Tournament of Roses Committee, who has dictated to the Pac-10 establishment for years?

I put my money on the recently departed (and now perhaps deceased) Tom Hansen, who mentored Larry during the months since he took the job until July 1. 

I normally do not want to speak ill of the dead (or soon to be dead), but Tom Hansen deserves someone to speak the truth about him.

Tom Hansen negotiated bad TV deals, hurting the conference revenue.

Hansen allowed the Rose Bowl to dictate conference policy.

Hansen hated playoffs.

Hansen fought tooth and nail against the BCS, but then got extracted nothing in return for bringing the Pac-10 into the system.

Hansen did not really care too much about the Pac-10's bowl game outside of the Rose Bowl.

Hansen sold out to the BCS too cheaply. He gave up the Pac-10's greatest advantage (playing the Big 10 champ at the Rose Bowl) for nothing that the Pac-10 did not already have.

What is Hansen's legacy?

Least BCS bowl berths of any of the Big Four conferences.

Only two title game appearances, in spite of the some of the top teams in the country every year.

Disrespect from college football fans.

The best team in the nation year after year, but only two national titles.

So, Larry, Tom is dead. You do not have to obey him anymore.

Larry, no one is going to hurt you for saying the truth about the BCS. Just go ahead and be honest.

If the Pac-10 presidents really want change and improved economic position, let Larry off the leash.

And Larry, you can move conference games to the afternoon, so that people on the East Coast can see the best football in America. 

Starting a game a 10 p.m. EST is not going to get you many viewers. 

Hell, it is not even going to get you a score printed in the Sunday papers in the East.

It sure not going to get a whole lot of pollsters voting for a team they have not seen after a game they have not read about.

So, Larry, save the Pac-10 from itself.

Note: An earlier version of this opinion piece noted that Mr. Hansen has died.  Whether he is dead or not matters little.  He left a bad legacy for the Pac-10.


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