The Pac-12 CEO Group got together and made some groundbreaking yet overdue decisions which made a whole bunch of folks happy.
On Coach Rich Rod’s birthday, the Pac-12 CEO Group is comprised of the presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 universities. They got together and reviewed the Pac-12 report on student-athlete time demands while discussing changes starting in the 2016-17 season.
Student athletes chimed in on a listening tour. What is a listening tour you ask? Well, it’s when the ‘Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott visited all 12 universities and met with more than 250 student-athletes representing more than 30 sports.’
The athletes also listened to their Presidents and Chancellors’ as well who ‘stressed the importance of rebalancing time demands of student-athletes as part of the overall effort to modernize intercollegiate athletics’ The group covered a few themes of discussion for change which was heard loud and clear by the CEO Group. Here are a few of them:
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- Student-athletes desire more flexibility and control over their lives, but do not want to commit less time to either sports or academics.
- Student-athletes want to reduce some of the challenges and stress faced when managing their time by receiving greater transparency, increased efficiency, and more effective communication from coaches and administrators.
The CEO group decided to make some groundbreaking decision; they came up with New Rules. Let’s go through all three decisions for “New Rules.”
NEW RULE: Reduce the number of night football games; games will now start at 2:30 pm or 6:00 pm
"The Conference’s TV agreements with ESPN and FOX with be modified to reduce the number of Pac-12 Networks Saturday night football games (start time of 7 p.m. or later). Under the modification, a Pac-12 Network game can now begin either at 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. local and overlap with an ESPN or FOX exclusive TV window. This change is expected to reduce the number of Pac-12 Networks night games by as many as four contests."
Arizona’s head football coach Rich Rodriguez received a big gift today from the Pac-12. He has been almost begging for less late night games, along with his peers, it was a unanimous ask, and the Pac-12 came through. Arizona was one the more unfortunate teams to be scheduled for late night games this last season.
This New Rule will hopefully change the East Coach Bias a bit; the media will not be able to say they missed ‘all the Pac-12 games’ when discussing the best players and teams. Also, all that late night travelling and lack of sleep and proper attention to players injuries should lessen as well. On the Pac-12 coaches call, that was one of Coach Rod’s biggest pet peeves.
NEW RULE: Assess fines for on court and field-storming
"The group added an institutional fine schedule to the Conference court and field-storming policy. Starting in the 2016-17 academic year, fines will be applied to institutions as follows: $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for a second offense, and $100,000 for a third offense."
Arizona’s head basketball coach Sean Miller has been calling for fines on court stormings, which mostly happen when a Pac-12 team beats the Wildcats, since 2014. The Pac-12 CEO group finally listened.
Since Arizona has been one of the more dominant basketball programs in the Pac-12, they have had the most court stormings happen when they lose in enemy territory in recent years. It got so bad that at one point, that Wildcats were hit by a fan, and Miller spoke out about it after the Colorado loss and follow on court storming.
Miller assumed Larry Scott wasn’t listening because he was at the Colorado game and didn’t say or do anything about it. Maybe he did? This rule benefits Arizona’s Basketball team from road losses and possible injuries from court stormings. Does this mean students cannot storm their own court? hmm
NEW RULE: The Pac-12 Networks will commence eSports competitions in 2016-2017
"Pac-12 Networks will commence eSports competitions with Pac-12 universities this upcoming year. Teams from campuses will participate based on a specific game, and the competitions will include head-to-head matchups in studios as well as a tournament in conjunction with a Pac-12 championship event. The game titles and event formats are still to be determined, but will be announced in the coming months."
The eSports decision was frankly surprising, but intriguing al at the same time! So now, all the athletes and college students who spend all their free time playing video games can turn that passion into a college athletic career, utopia for some. Many athletes in Wildcats uniforms spend a lot of time playing video games; they have confessed to Zona Zealots many times, and it isn’t just athletes who play football.
This is going to be an exciting year, to say the least. It will be interesting to see what schools do to prevent court and field stormings. It will also be very interesting to find out how students try out for esports and if there will be a coach and recruitment, etc. Seems counter intuitive to recruit esports athletes to a school to learn and get an education, but gives the video game enthusiast student a reason to fool around and play their video games for hours on end!
Either way, Coach Miller and Coach Rodriguez should be pretty happy about these rules, and it’s nice to know that the Pac-12 is ‘listening.’