The Executive Committee of the Pac-12 Conference CEO Group gave me 15 minutes Thursday morning to ask questions about what will happen in the wake of the conference delegate inundated.
I thought about walking out of the gate with, “Ma $ #% @ Took too long? “
The conference announced on Wednesday evening that The contract will not be renewed Trapped Commissioner Larry Scott. The Pac-12 will hire a search company, let it help craft a job description, and Washington President Anna Marie Koss told me Thursday, “Nothing is off the table.”
Not the future of the Pac-12 network.
Not the future location of the conference venue.
Especially a significant reduction in the salary of a new employee.
The highlight of my conclusion is that this group of presidents and advisors is far more sophisticated than campus leaders than the last time this type of recruitment was hired. They are more involved and interested in opportunities in athletics than their predecessors. They don’t see the sport as some kind of factory for campus games, for example. And I was left with one important clue – the current CEO group of the Pac-12 seems to know what it’s doing.
Oregon President Michael Schell is the chair of that group. He has been joined by the Pac-12 Executive Committee by UW’s Cauce and Washington State President Kirk Scholes. Smart, toned, and great sense in the Pacific Northwest. Also, they are all newcomers who have inherited Scott.
When I asked them what the distraction caused by Scott’s $ 5.3 million a year salary, Schulze said, “We’re well aware of the PR surrounding Larry’s compensation. My goal in getting into this is that it shouldn’t be the first thing people talk about when it comes to With the Pac-12.
“I want to make sure that this is toned down a little.”
When I asked about the downtown San Francisco headquarters that bleeds the Pac-12 at a rate of $ 7 million a year, Cauce noted, “We don’t tie anyone’s hands so we’re not clinging to,” You should be here “or” It should be there. “
“We expect the person to come and stay early and make some recommendations about the network, conference location and staffing levels,” Scholes added.
Basically, this is a complete restart.
It should be noted, as the trio did Thursday morning, that most of the conference chairs and advisors were not in their jobs when Scott was appointed a decade ago. Only ASU and UCLA are old keepers. The rest of the Pac-12 people inherited it and had to live with a tired Scott behaving just like the rest of us. That’s why I was sure the whole time that it would make a difference.
Schell told me the conference had yet to lay out the job description for the new commissioner. He wants to consult 11 other Pac-12 leaders and find out what that has to be involved. It will also be left to the search company to help with this. But Schulze hit it square between the eyes when he showed, “You have 12 schools, they’re like 12 kids. You have to love them differently. I want the commissioner to show up at Pullman (and other schools) and say, ‘What can I do to help you succeed?”
The same goes for Washington, Oregon, University of Southern California, and others. The next delegate needs to understand the challenges of the individual campus. He must be a good listener from the start. This person’s tenure should begin with a two-day meeting with coaches, sports directors, and athletes on both campuses.
Don’t travel by private jet and stay in a five-star hotel too. He might have rented a caravan and parked it in the parking lot outside the football field. Or crash into a Hampton Inn and eat out.
Short list of candidates would I like to talk to? Condoleezza Rice, perhaps, though I doubt she would be interested. Also, West Coast Conference Commissioner Gloria Nevarez and Alabama AD Greg Byrne, who worked at several universities at the conference. Maybe Oliver Lake and Oregon AD Rob Mullins, too.
I guess there is a bunch of hard-working good souls who want to go downhill as someone who saved the Pac-12. But most importantly, I have surprising confidence that this group of CEOs will find this one.
The headquarters needs to be moved to a more affordable location. Phoenix, Seattle, Las Vegas or the Bay Area suburbs? Everything is on the table. The future of the network is also in great doubt. I would vote to sell it to a partner like FS1 or ESPN and let him direct the resources to make the thing a success. But as the presidents reiterated Thursday, these recommendations will not come from a sports columnist.
They will come from the new employee.
The employee in this group must now die, solid, perfect.
Another thing struck me when I spoke to the trio of Pac-12 captains on Thursday. They were engaged and smart. They also looked like a lot of avid conference fans. They talked about the Pac-12 as if they loved and adored it. The two of them admitted to rooting a secret for their rivals when it came to competing on the national stage.
Cauce said, “As much as I hate to say it, when Cougs or The Ducks win outside the convention, it’s good for us.”
Schell replied: “I won’t say it because you’re in the press, but she was very supportive of us in certain situations. I’ll leave it at that.”
The trio spoke with hope and clarity on Thursday. It was a breath of fresh air. Scott is technically still in his job until June, but the arrogance rejecting his tenure has faded. It was replaced by hope.
Things really seem better.
Email: [email protected]
Subscribe to John Kansano Weekly email newsletter.
“Internet nerd. Avid student. Zombie guru. Tv enthusiast. Coffee advocate. Social media expert. Music geek. Professional food maven. Thinker. Troublemaker.”