Ask The Commish! (1/25/01)

Jan. 25, 2001

Each week, Commissioner Hansen answers questions from the fans, with the answers posted here every Thursday at Pac-10.org. Additionally, those persons whose questions were selected will be placed into a drawing to win their choice of a Pac-10 men's or women's basketball media guide! This week's winner was Peter Ziebron of Scottsdale, AZ! Don't forget to submit your question for The Commish!

Peter Ziebron (Scottsdale, AZ)
Mr. Hansen, will we see a conference championship football game in the near future?

Commissioner Hansen: The Pac-10 has no plans to adopt a football conference championshipgame. The Presidents and Chancellors would not approve of an addition tothe season. The Directors might also question whether they want tosubject their top team--headed to the Rose Bowl with an outstandingrecord and ranking--to one more tough game, which might cost it a chanceat a National Championship and/or diminish the Rose Bowl.

There also is the question of how well such a game might draw because ofour huge geographic area. We would have to pre-select a site, and, thisyear for example, how well would a Washington-Oregon State orOregon-Oregon State game draw if played in Los Angeles? Probably not toowell. Most of the other major conferences are much more closely locatedaround a geographical center of the conference, and many of their fanscan drive to a playoff game.

For these reasons, I have not heard any interest expressed in a Pac-10championship game.

Tim Bott (Eugene, OR)
News report after news report tonight shows that the result of the OregonWashington Men's Hoops game was indeed the result of poor calls. Instantreplays shows that the final Oregon shot in overtime made it off beforethe buzzer, making it a fair shot, winning the game for Oregon. Justbecause the ref thinks otherwise, Oregon has to be denied a win that theyshould have had. What is the process for instant replays in the PAC-10?I think there needs to be a greater amount of care taken to make surethat close situations such as tonight's are resolved fairly. Whathappens to referees who make huge turning-point mistakes such as that?Is there any way at all that the Ducks can seek retribution for the winthat they should have had?

Commissioner Hansen: I have not seen any tape of the final seconds of the Washington-Oregongame, so I cannot express an opinion of whether the shot was made beforetime expired.

NCAA rules require that any television monitor used by game officials toreview a last-second shot must be at courtside. On this occasion, thegame was not being televised on a live basis, and there was no courtsidemonitor for the officials to utilize. They checked to be certain thescorer agreed with the scoreboard on the final score, then left thecourt. Once they do that the result is final, and there is no appeal ofit.

As for the work of officials, we grade every game all season long and anofficial who consistently is graded low for his or her work either wouldnot be hired again for the following season, or might be offered areduced schedule. They are accountable, and their subsequent employmentis not automatic.

Mary Tyson (Los Altos, CA)
The PAC-10 apparently has a TV contract with Fox Sports Net. What canthe PAC-10 do to have their TV games not dropped by FSN? On Jan. 20, FSNdropped its coverage in the Bay Area of the Cal-Stanford Women's BB gamewith 37 seconds to go in a very close game. Instead they switched to thestart of a professional hockey game. In my opinion, the PAC-10 shouldreview its contract with FSN to not allow this to happen. If FSN wantsthe great games such as these rivalries, then it should commit to showingthe end of the game, even if it runs into overtime. Today, they've showntheir disrespect for the PAC-10.

Commissioner Hansen: You have identified a difficult and vexing problem for the Pac-10, andmany other sports organizations.

We have a contract with Fox Sports Net to carry a certain number of ourgames in football and basketball and to secure as much clearance aspossible for each telecast. Yet each FSN regional affiliate has contractswith local teams to carry some of their games. Thus, at times there areconflicts, and the national organization tries to get the regionalaffiliate to carry the national program, while the regional has its owninterests to guard. This has been a problem with network television andits stations (remember the famous 'Heidi' incident?), and it now is aproblem with the cable companies.

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