Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott to conclude term after 11 years in position
Commissioner Larry Scott and the Pac-12 will part ways June 30. The 11-year leader of the conference helped usher in two new teams and raise revenues since taking over. (Naveed Pour/Daily Bruin staff)
By Sam Connon
Jan. 20, 2021 8:18 p.m.
After four straight years of getting left out of the College Football Playoff, months of layoffs, several high-profile officiating mishaps and ongoing media rights drama, the Pac-12 has decided to go in a new direction.
The Pac-12 CEO group and commissioner Larry Scott mutually agreed to part ways Wednesday night, signaling an end to his 11-year stint in the position. Scott signed a contract extension through June of 2022 back in 2017, but he will instead leave the conference June 30, 2021.
The conference said in a statement it would immediately start its search for its next commissioner, and Scott will spend the next six months aiding in the transition process.
Pac-12 announces Commissioner Larry Scott to conclude term as Commissionerhttps://t.co/9QJUsIh3A4
— Pac-12 Conference (@pac12) January 21, 2021
Under Scott, the conference went from the Pac-10 to the Pac-12 after adding both Colorado and Utah in his second year as commissioner. Pac-12 revenues have also gone from $100 million annually to $500 million during Scott’s tenure.
Scott was also at the forefront of the Pac-12’s last major media deal, one that brought in $3 billion, established the Pac-12 Networks and set up broadcast agreements with ESPN and Fox Sports. Scott did come under criticism for his handling of future deals, however, with reports surfacing in 2019 that he turned down a deal from ESPN to distribute Pac-12 Networks moving forward.
One of the reasons the Pac-12 stated it made the decision to move on from Scott now was so the new commissioner could fully participate in the negotiations for the direction of the conference’s next media deal. The current deal is set to expire in 2024.
“This moment, when college athletics are moving in a new direction and with the Conference soon commencing the next round of media negotiations, it seems the right time to make a change,” Scott said in the conference’s statement. “It is important that the conference be able to put in place the person who will negotiate and carry out that next agreement.”
Scott also drew criticism for continuing to secure millions of dollars in personal bonuses, despite the fact the conference and its media company went through two rounds of layoffs in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The conference also moved its offices and network studios to downtown San Francisco under Scott, paying $6.9 million in rent and $11.7 million in deferred rent in 2019.
Member school payoffs were just $3.9 million in 2017, fourth-lowest among Power Five conferences, while Scott’s $4.8 million salary was more than the salaries of the Big Ten and SEC commissioners combined.
Prior to joining the Pac-12 in 2009, Scott was the CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association for six years.