Ask The Commish! (1/18/01)

Jan. 18, 2001

Each week, Commissioner Hansen answers five questions from the fans, with the answers posted here every Thursday, at Not only will the Commissioner answer five questions each week, but those five 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 Marcus Deleon of New York, NY! Don't forget to submit your question for The Commish!

Marcus Deleon (New York, NY)
Mr. Commissioner,
I loved your hardball play re Oregon State in the Fiesta. And suchdividends! But we're deep into the hoops season, and there are too manyteams from East Coast conferences unduly ranked due to the ongoing majormedia pro-East Coast bias and lack of national t.v. time for Pac-10 teams(in all sports). What do you plan to do about the lack of Top 25 rankingsand possible Tournament invitations for the Pac-10?

Commissioner Hansen: I liked your question because we constantly feel as you do that Westernteams are not ranked as high as they deserve to be in various polls. Themajority of voters are from other parts of the nation, and do not see ourteams as often as those in those other areas. Our Fox Sports Net programsin football and basketball have helped us gain exposure, but we stillsuffer, we believe, even though the Stanford men are ranked No. 1 at thistime.

We have an aggressive public relations program for football and men's andwomen's basketball, of which the Fox telecasts are an important part. Wehave a web site which we hope will be the best among the collegeconferences. We make ourselves available to media representatives.That's about all we can do concerning the polls.

When it comes time for selection to the basketball tournaments, we workvery hard to provide the selection committees with information whichhelps them evaluate our teams. We search for positive points to make. Wepoint out games in which key players did not participate. We emphasizethe strength of schedule of our teams. We begin providing suchinformation to the committees about mid-season, and are more aggressiveabout this than other conferences, we are told. We believe this programhas been effective, though winning games is the real key to selection.

Emory Alexander (Carson City, NV)
Dear Commissioner Hansen:
I'm hoping you can help me with some questions about the BCS rules.Specifically Oregon State fans were told that because OSU was the secondPac-10 team in a BCS game OSU's winnings would only be approx. $6.5million instead of $13 million. A rule referred to as 'the second teamgets half'. I'm trying to determine if the 'second team gets half' ruleis a NCAA rule or a Pac-10 rule? Is there anywhere on your web sitewhere that is explained?

Additionally I'm wondering where the remainder (the $6.5 million OSU (thePac-10) didn't get) goes? I realize that after expenses winnings of thePac-10 bowl teams are evenly divided amongst all Pac-10 schools. Thank you, Emory.

Commissioner Hansen: Distribution of monies to the participants in the BCS games is made underBCS rules, not those of the NCAA or any conference.

The BCS (really the six conferences plus Notre Dame which are the votingentities in the BCS) agreed that since the selections are not completelybased upon the BCS standings (because we agreed the bowls had to havesome flexibility to select teams which could sell tickets for that bowl),a BCS conference which has a second team selected would receive only $6million, not at full $11 million received for the first teamparticipating from each conference. A swing of $11 million simply wastoo great if the selections are to be subjective.

The remaining $5 million from the Fiesta Bowl (after Oregon Statereceived $6 million) was divided among the five BCS conferences which hadonly one team participate. Each of them received $12 million, Notre Damereceived $11 million. We estimate the Rose Bowl payout will be some$12.5 million, so the Pac-10 will receive $18.5 million and the Big Ten$13.5 million.

You are correct. The Pac-10 divides all of its bowl income equally amongits 10 members.

Bryan Beban (Eugene, OR)
I understand the FOX-TV connection to Los Angeles and the Staples Centerwith the upcoming Pac-10 Men's Basketball tournament, but why not rotatethe tournament to the various NBA arena's located throughout theconference's region? A rotation between Seattle's Key Arena, the RoseGarden in Portland, the Oakland Coliseum, the Staples Center and AmericaWest Arena in Phoenix would be great. It would give all the fans anequal opportunity to see great basketball, while giving the school'sboosters the chance to visit other major West Coast cities.

Commissioner Hansen: Fox Sports Net owns 40 per cent of Staples Arena. It made an offer to theConference for all rights to the Pac-10 Men's BasketballTournament--media, sponsorships, radio, tickets--everything. Part of itsoffer was that the Tournament would be played at Staples, where it hasexisting sponsor contacts, and where it can control rental costs.

So site was an integral part of the offer, and we had to acceptStaples--a good building, incidentally--if we wanted to accept the offer.And we definitely wanted to accept the offer.

We also hope to establish a local fan base for the Tournament, whichwould not happen if it was moved each year.

Mark W. Beach (Edmonds, WA)
With the Rose Bowl selected as the championship site of BCS for 2001/02and the fact that the Pac 10 football Champ goes to the Rose Bowl, isthere another bowl the champ gets automatic bid to. In the unlikelyevent that the Pac 10 champ is not in BCS Championship, where will theygo? Holiday is for #2, Sun #3, Hawaii #4 and #5. Would Fiesta be theauto bid. Thanks for your time. Mark W. Beach

Commissioner Hansen: The 2001 Pac-10 football champion, if not in the National ChampionshipGame in the Rose Bowl, will play in the Fiesta Bowl. We sought BCSagreement for that so the fans of our champion will have a reasonablechance to see it play. The Big Ten champion will be eligible forselection by any BCS bowl. The Big 12 Champion, if not in the NationalChampionship Game, will have the option of playing in the Fiesta Bowl orelecting to be selected by any of the bowls.

Darryl Kranich (Tucson, AZ)
After watching numerous games this season, I am concerned about theinconsistent calls made by officials. The most inconsistent calls are:charging rather than blocking, no foul committed at all, technicals onplayers for insignificant reasons. These inconsistent calls frustratethe players and cause the officals to lose control of the game. I thinkthe Pac-10 should require all officials to attend a seminar, each season,to ensure consistent understanding and application of the rules.

Commissioner Hansen: Your suggestion that officials attend an annual seminar is a good one.That's exactly what occurs. In fact, each Pac-10 official attends bothan NCAA seminar, at which the national coordinator of basketballsupervisors speaks (in an attempt to promote consistency nationally), anda Pac-10 clinic in which consistency in calls, rules knowledge andofficiating mechanics are stressed. Many attend clinics sponsored byother conferences in which they officiate. In addition, we conduct asummer camp in which younger officials and candidates for the programreceive special instruction. More rules study is conducted by localofficiating groups, as well. All college officials work very hard attheir jobs.

Thanks for writing.

David Galutia (Eddington, ME)
I would really like to see the Pac 10 try to get part of their televisionpackage on ESPN. Our local Fox Sports Net affiliate in New England onlycarries the Thursday night games, and in fact, are bumping this weeksgame because of the Celtics. As a huge Arizona basketball fan, I shouldprobably invest in a dish. It would be great to get some sort of Saturdaypackage of games on ESPN or the duece.

Commissioner Hansen: The Pac-10 will not be on ESPN--other than when members playnon-Conference away games which are televised by the host--for theforeseeable future. We have long-term contracts with Fox Sports Net. Theare many reasons why, but an essential one was that ESPN would neveroffer good time slots during our negotiations, and then wouldn't offertop dollars because we wouldn't be in good time slots. I recommend youinvest in a dish. I did, and I can get about 16 FSN regionals, and theyoften carry Pac-10 games which are not shown nationally. I'm pleased youare a loyal Arizona and Pac-10 fan.


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