Pac-12 to Part Ways With Commissioner Larry Scott

larry scott

Following a Wednesday night meeting between the conference CEO's, the Pac-12 has reportedly agreed to part ways with commissioner Larry Scott. In a statement, the conference called the decision a mutual one, and expressed appreciation to Scott for his contributions during his 11-year tenure.

“We appreciate Larry’s pioneering efforts in growing the conference by adding new competitive university programs and accelerating the Pac-12 to television network parity with the other conferences,” said Oregon president Michael Schill, chair of the Pac-12's executive committee. “At one point, our television agreement was the most lucrative in the nation and the debut of the Pac-12 Network helped deliver our championship brand to US and global markets on traditional and digital platforms. That said, the intercollegiate athletics marketplace doesn’t remain static and now is a good time to bring in a new leader who will help us develop our go-forward strategy.”

Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal was the first to report the news, with Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger also reporting on Scott's ousting prior to the Pac-12's statement.

The league will begin its search for Scott's replacement immediately, with his last day coming on June 30. The conference's plan is to have a new commissioner in place by that date.

Scott took over as commissioner in March 2009 after previously serving as chairman and CEO of the Women's Tennis Association. He led expansion efforts in 2010 with the additions of Utah and Colorado, then launched the Pac-12 Network in 2012. 

Scott signed a contract extension in 2017 that ran through 2022. He and the league have drawn criticism for the Pac-12 Network's distribution issues, which has contributed to the large revenue gap between the Pac-12 and the rest of the Power 5 conferences. The Pac-12 said that the decision to part ways with Scott more than a year before his contract expired was made, in part, so that Scott's replacement would be in place to "negotiate and maximize the Conference’s next important long-term media rights agreement."

The next commissioner will be the fifth in the conference's history. Scott's predecessor, Tom Hansen, held the position for 26 years.

“I was in pro sports for 20 years, I’ve now been in college athletics for more than 10 years, and now is a great time in my life to pursue other exciting opportunities," Scott said in a statement. "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. It is important that the conference be able to put in place the person who will negotiate and carry out that next agreement.

"Based on the recent robust valuation and marketplace interest we’ve received from traditional and nontraditional media organizations, I am confident the conference is well-positioned for continued success. I appreciate the support of the Pac-12 member institutions and a very talented staff, with whom it has been my privilege to work.”