Pac-12 universities poised to provide more for student-athletes under new NCAA governance structure

Juan Ocampo

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The Pac-12 Conference will join the other four major conferences as they propose, adopt, and implement positive reforms that have been made possible by today’s vote to give the five major conferences greater flexibility in governance, Commissioner Larry Scott said today immediately after the NCAA Division I Board of Director’s vote.

Scott expressed optimism that the five conferences would achieve consensus as they work together to submit proposals to the NCAA this fall. He said the goals of the Pac-12 in those discussions would reflect the goals recently articulated by Pac-12’s Presidents and Chancellors in their 10-point plan intended to address the welfare of today’s student-athletes. Those goals range from financial concerns of scholarship to injury prevention and health care, while insisting upon the preservation of the primacy of the universities’ educational mission.

“We are delighted that after years of debate, a consensus has emerged that the time has come for a modern approach to governance that recognizes the need to give more flexibility to those conferences prepared to do more for student-athletes and, at the same time, preserves the collegiate model which works so well for the vast majority of Pac-12 student-athletes,” said Commissioner Scott. “This is a great day for the 7,000 current student-athletes in the Pac-12 and for generations of future student-athletes who will benefit from the educational opportunities and life lessons made possible by college athletics.”

Scott also said he is pleased that this major step forward was possible within the larger tent of Division I college athletics. 

Dr. Elson S. Floyd, President of Washington State University and Chair of the Pac-12 CEO Group, said, “This new model will allow our conference, which has always coupled academic and athletic excellence, to continue to maintain those high standards while adapting to the changing needs and expectations of our student-athletes and our universities. We plan to address needs across the full range of sports, for both men and women, and reinforce something all of our university leaders emphasized earlier this year: education must come first.”

Scott said he expects the Pac-12 to join with the other major conferences affected by the this new governance model to propose, adopt, and implement new rules that would allow schools to consider the “total cost of attendance” when calculating the dollar amount of scholarships. He also said this increased flexibility would enable the major conferences to further support modern student-athlete needs and ensure that they obtain meaningful college degrees.

“Our goals are consistent with the tradition of collegiate athletics that, for generations, has provided for a high level of competition while providing for the education of many thousands of student-athletes across a wide variety of sports,” Scott said. “I commend our Presidents and Chancellors, especially Dr. Gene Block of UCLA, a member of the NCAA Steering Committee on Governance, for the leadership they have shown in reaching this milestone. I’m confident they will continue to show leadership as we move forward.”

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