SAN FRANCISCO (ABC4 Sports) – After an 11-year tenure, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is resigning.
In what is being described as a mutual parting of the ways, Scott will leave this june, despite being under contract until June of 2022.
“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, the chair of Pac-12 CEO Group. “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.”
An executive committee that includes Washington State president Kirk Schulz, Washington president Ana Mari Cauce and Schill will lead the search for his replacement.
Scott was the highest paid commissioner in all of collegiate athletics at $4.8 million per year.
“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.”
Scott, 56, was hired as commissioner of what was then the Pac-10 in July 2009, after previously serving as the chairman and CEO of the Women’s Tennis Association. During his tenure, the conference expanded to include Utah and Colorado, but his time will largely be defined by the launch of the Pac-12 Network in 2012.
Under Scott’s leadership, the conference remained a powerhouse in several sports but its success in football and men’s basketball was limited. No Pac-12 team won a national title in either sport and just one — Oregon in 2017 — reached the men’s Final Four.
Scott also helped launch the Pac-12 Network, but despite years of negotiations, a deal with Direct TV was never reached.