Pac-12 fans rejoice: the Larry Scott era is over (soon).
Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal was first to report that the Pac-12 conference and commissioner Larry Scott have agreed to part ways, effective June 30. The Pac-12 has since made an official announcement confirming the news on Wednesday night.
Pac-12 announces Commissioner Larry Scott to conclude term as Commissionerhttps://t.co/9QJUsIh3A4
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) January 21, 2021
The Pac-12 Conference announced today that following ongoing discussions between its governing executive committee, its presidents and Commissioner Larry Scott, it was mutually agreed that the Commissioner would not seek a new contract.
Scott, 56, has served as the Pac-12 commissioner for the last 11 years. His contract was supposed to expire in 2022, and he’ll still be paid through June 2022, according to Smith.
The much-maligned Scott has faced enormous criticism over the years for the failures of the Pac-12 Network(s), which has had very limited availability since launching in 2012. The Pac-12 Network still doesn’t have a carriage deal with DirecTV, which means that the channel(s) can’t even be found at most sports bars in America.
The Pac-12 announced that the decision to part ways with Scott was accelerated “in part, to allow a new commissioner to be in place to negotiate and maximize the Conference’s next important long-term media rights agreement.” The conference has deals with ESPN and Fox that end in 2023-24.
The decision was made well in advance of next year’s contract expiration, in part, to allow a new commissioner to be in place to negotiate and maximize the Conference’s next important long-term media rights agreement.
So, while Scott may still technically be the Pac-12 commissioner into the summer, the wheels are in motion to get the new commissioner — whoever that may be — prepared to improve the conference’s television outlook.
The conference’s lack of success on the field — particularly with the big moneymaker, football — and on the court has also been a massive problem during Scott’s tenure, with the conference dropping further and further down the Power Five totem pole. But the lack of on-field success is surely directly related — at least to some level — to the lack of television exposure (this is a huge thing for recruiting, fan interest, you name it; and that all adds up).
The new commissioner will certainly have their hands full. But there’s likely nowhere to go but up in comparison to Scott’s tenure.