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Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott calls for change to NCAA model

LOS ANGELES – Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott rejected the idea of treating football and men’s basketball student-athletes as employees, but stressed the need to improve financial support for student-athletes while addressing the media Wednesday at Pac-12 Football Media Day.

“What’s at stake is much more than student-athletes being employees,” Scott said in his welcoming remarks. “You can’t design a system around the two percent” of Pac-12 football players who make the NFL.

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Scott said treating student-athletes as employees would be detrimental to women’s sports and Olympic sports. The Pac-12 sponsors 22 sports, and 36 varsity sports are played among Pac-12 schools.

He also emphasized his support for improved academic, financial and medical care of student-athletes across the board, standing behind a call for reform by presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 schools to offer scholarships that cover the full cost of attendance, give student-athletes ample time to finish their degrees and decrease the time demands placed on student-athletes. Scott mentioned that the Pac-12 has committed $3.5 million per year over the next three years to a Pac-12 Student-Athlete Research Program that will include a Head Trauma Task Force to focus on medical concerns such as concussions.

[Related Larry Scott's opening remarks at Pac-12 Football Media Day]

“It’s time to make some significant changes,” Scott said. “We are at the precipice of making some very important changes in college sports.”

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