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Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott tests positive for COVID-19

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It was quite the eventful day for the Pac-12 on the news front.  Not exactly the kind of headlines the conference wants, though.  At all.

Earlier this evening, the Pac-12 announced that, like the Big Ten, it will be going with a conference-only schedule for fall sports, including football.  Not long after, the conference announced that its commissioner, Larry Scott, has tested positive for COVID-19.

After experiencing mild flu-like symptoms late this week and out of an abundance of caution, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott was tested for COVID-19.  The test for Commissioner Scott came back positive, and as a result he is self-quarantining at the direction of his physician.  Commissioner Scott is continuing to carry on his duties remotely as normal.

The 55-year-old Scott took over as the commissioner of the conference in July of 2009.  Prior to that, he was the chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association.

His current contract is set to expire in 2022.  However, there is talk that league leaders are discussing buying out Scott’s contract prior to that.

There’s serious talk amongst the Pac-12 CEO Group,” said one high-level conference administrator, “to end his contract ahead of the expiration date to have a fighting chance to save the (conference) Networks.

PAC-12 joins Big Ten in going conference-only for 2020 football season

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Thanks to the Pac-12, the Big Ten has football scheduling company.

Thursday afternoon, the Big Ten confirmed reports that it will be going with a conference-only football schedule for the 2020 season.  All other fall sports are impacted in the same way.  It was expected that the ACC and Pac-12 would quickly follow suit.  The ACC, though, released a statement earlier Friday in which that conference revealed it won’t make a decision on. Fall sports until late July.

The Pac-12, however, isn’t waiting as that league announced Friday evening that it too will be going to a conference-only football schedule.  As was the case with the Big Ten, this will apply to all fall sports as well.

“The health and safety of our student-athletes and all those connected to Pac-12 sports continues to be our number one priority,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “Our decisions have and will be guided by science and data, and based upon the trends and indicators over the past days, it has become clear that we need to provide ourselves with maximum flexibility to schedule, and to delay any movement to the next phase of return-to-play activities.”

“Competitive sports are an integral part of the educational experience for our student-athletes, and we will do everything that we can to support them in achieving their dreams while at the same time ensuring that their health and safety is at the forefront,” said Michael Schill, Pac-12 CEO Group Chair and President of the University of Oregon.

According to the conference, “student-athletes who choose not to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the coming academic year because of safety concerns about COVID-19 will continue to have their scholarships honored by their university and will remain in good standing with their team.”

The Pac -12 expects to announce its conference-only schedules, including for football, no later than July 31.

Among the games impacted by this decision are Alabama-USC and Texas A&M-Colorado. It had previously been discussed that Alabama could replace USC with TCU for the opener. Whether that is still in play remains to be seen.

Both the Big 12 and SEC are expected to announce its plans by the end of the month.

Big Ten tops SEC, all other Power Fives in revenues for 2019 fiscal year

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It wasn’t a banner day for the Big Ten Thursday, but at least the conference can rest in the comfort of its bloated bank account. For now.

In June of last year, it was reported that Michigan was projecting a total distribution of nearly $56 million from the Big Ten.  A little over a year later, Steve Berkowitz of USA Today reports that the 12 long-standing members of the league received $55.6 million for the 2019 fiscal year.  As newer members, Maryland and Rutgers receive less, “but both schools also received loans from the conference against future revenue shares,” Berkowitz wrote.

All told, the revenue for the Big Ten was $781.5 million.  Next closest was the SEC at $720.6 million, followed by the Pac-12 ($530.4 million), ACC ($455.4 million) and Big 12 ($439 million).

Below are the per-school payouts for each Power Five conference, again according to Berkowitz:

  • Big Ten — $55.6 million (except Maryland, Rutgers)
  • SEC — $45.3 million (except for Ole Miss because of its bowl ban)
  • Big 12 — $38.2-$42 million
  • Pac-12 — $32.2 million
  • ACC — $27.6-$34 million

Berkowitz also noted that Notre Dame, which is a football independent but ACC member in other sports, received $6.8 million.  Additionally, when it comes to the Pac-12’s figure, it “does not take into account the equity value of the Pac-12 Networks, the conference’s fully self-owned television and video content provider whose expenses help result in the conference passing less money to its member schools than the other conferences.”

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, though, all of these numbers are expected to look dramatically different at this time next year.

College Football in Coronavirus Quarantine: On this day in CFT history, including Steve Sarkisian getting nothing in his $30 million lawsuit against USC

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The sports world, including college football, had essentially screeched to a halt in the spring as countries around the world battled the coronavirus pandemic. As such, there was a dearth of college football news as the sport went into a COVID-induced hibernation.  Slowly, though, the game is coming back to life.  Hopefully.

That being said, we thought it might be fun to go back through the CollegeFootballTalk archives that stretch back to 2009 and take a peek at what transpired in the sport on this date.

So, without further ado — ok, one further ado — here’s what happened in college football on July 10, by way of our team of CFT writers both past and present.

(P.S.: If any of our readers have ideas on posts they’d like to read during this college football hiatus, leave your suggestions in the comments section.  Mailbag, maybe?)

2019

THE HEADLINE: Déjà vu all over again: Talk resurfaces of Nick Saban wanting Texas job after winning 2012 title at Alabama
THE SYNOPSIS: Saban and his wife both stated they weren’t leaving Tuscaloosa.  Saban’s high-powered agent, Jimmy Sexton, though, reportedly playing point man in at least a couple of meetings with those connected to the Longhorns football program.  Of course, there is — or, was — a reason to question what the future Hall of Famer says publicly.

“I guess I have to say it… I’m not going to be the Alabama coach,” Saban, then the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, said on Dec. 21, 2006, nearly two weeks before he was named the Alabama coach Jan. 3, 2007.

2018

THE HEADLINE: Steve Sarkisian gets nothing in $30 million lawsuit against USC
THE SYNOPSIS: This was the biggest win related to football for the Trojans in quite awhile.

2016

THE HEADLINE: Add ‘2016 Olympian’ to Oregon WR Devon Allen’s list of accomplishments
THE SYNOPSIS: After posting a personal-best 13.03 in the 110-meter hurdles, Allen was part of the United States Olympic team in Rio De Janeiro.  In The Games, Allen finished fifth after putting up a 13.31 in the finals.  In November of that year, Allen announced he was foregoing his remaining eligibility to pursue a professional career in track. That announcement also comes nearly two months after he sustained a torn ACL, his second such tear in less than two years.

2015

THE HEADLINE: Florida State suspends RB Dalvin Cook following warrant for alleged battery of woman
THE SYNOPSIS: The following month, a jury found Cook not guilty.

2013

THE HEADLINE: Pac-12 commish: ‘I think we will have football’ in China
THE SYNOPSIS: Seven years later, and we have yet to see this come to fruition.  And Larry Scott, meanwhile, could be on his way out of the door.

Oregon, Oregon State will no longer refer to its annual rivalry game as the ‘Civil War’

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The Civil War in the Great Northwest will no longer be a thing.  Officially.

Every year, Oregon and Oregon State meet in an annual rivalry game.  Since 1929, the grudge match between the pair of state of Oregon schools has been referred to as the Civil War.  That, though, was before the civil unrest that has raced across the country in the wake of the George Floyd murder.

Friday, it was announced that both Oregon and Oregon State have mutually agreed to cease using the phrase “Civil War” in reference to the annual rivalry game.  That edict, effective immediately, extends to all sports matchups between the universities.

“Today’s announcement is not only right but is a long time coming, and I wish to thank former Duck great Dennis Dixon for raising the question and being the catalyst for change,” said Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens. “Thanks also to our current student-athletes for their leadership and input during this process. We must all recognize the power of words and the symbolism associated with the Civil War. This mutual decision is in the best interests of both schools, and I would like to thank Scott Barnes for his diligence as we worked through this process. We look forward to our continued and fierce in-state rivalry with Oregon State in all sports.”

“I want to acknowledge and thank the current and former student-athletes who raised concerns about the historic name of the rivalry games played between our two institutions,” UO president Michael H. Schill said. “We need to make this change to align the words and symbols we use around athletic endeavors with our shared campus values of equity and inclusivity. While the name of our annual game might change, it will absolutely continue to be one of the great rivalries in college sports.”

The 124th annual matchup between the Beavers and Ducks will be played Nov. 28 at Reser Stadium in Corvallis.  The 123rd matchup was an easy win for the Ducks.  The rivalry, incidentally, is the fifth-most played in college football history, with the first coming in 1894.