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Pac-12 announces series of decisions out of summer meetings

Jun 7, 2015

Student-Athletes Formally Incorporated in Conference Governance in 2015-16
Conference Adds Sand Volleyball as Official Sport & New Spotter System in Football
Creation of Pac-12 Multi-Media Rights Sales Arm and Fan Engagement Data Initiative

SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12 CEO Group – made up of the presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 member institutions – approved a series of decisions following its summer meetings, the Conference announced today. As a follow up to the sweeping reforms it enacted in October, the Pac-12 restructured its Conference governance to formally include student-athletes. The Pac-12 is the first Conference to adopt a formal governance role for its student-athletes.

Beginning in 2015-16, Pac-12 student-athletes (one per school) will attend both the fall and summer Conference Council meetings as the fourth official member of each institution’s delegation. At each Council meeting, the student-athletes will issue "reports and recommendations" to the full Council and vote with their respective institution.

“I applaud the important work of our Athletics Directors, Senior Woman Administrators, and Faculty Athletic Representatives to make this reform a reality,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Scott. “The voice of the student-athlete is crucial as we take meaningful action to improve the college experience, and we look forward to their deeper involvement.”

Pac-12 Sand Volleyball
The Council also voted to make women’s sand volleyball a Pac-12 sponsored sport effective this upcoming academic year (2015-16), making it the Conference’s 23rd sport and becoming the first major conference to sponsor sand volleyball. Eight member institutions currently sponsor the sport, well above the Conference threshold of six teams to consider sport sponsorship. 

In a related decision, sand volleyball will have a Pac-12 championship in the spring of 2016. The format of the championship will be based on the to-be-established NCAA automatic qualification requirements. This past year, USC capped an undefeated season with its first AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball Team Championship.  

Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health and Well Being Initiative
The CEO Group also approved the use of a spotter system in football. Under the new system, each participating institution will assign one spotter to monitor their respective team. The spotters will be equipped with new video technology to closely monitor every play, and have the ability to rewind, pause, zoom, and change camera angles in real time to fully evaluate the extent of injuries. Additionally, they will have direct communication with coaches and medical personnel so that any potential concerns can be addressed immediately.

Also discussed was the continued progress of the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Health Initiative, the Head Trauma Task Force, and the initiative’s $3.6 million per year grant program.

As part of this initiative, the Pac-12 funded the creation of a conference-wide sports injury data-base with the help of Presagia Sports, an Athlete Electronic Medical Record (EMR) platform. The database enables Conference doctors and trainers to analyze the prevalence of sports injuries and conduct investigations on aspects of injury management such as prevention, treatment, and concussion assessment. Projects for this upcoming year will be funded in the fall of 2015.

Multi-Media Rights Collaboration & Fan Engagement
With a goal of generating more athletic department revenue, the Pac-12 CEO Group approved the creation of a Pac-12 multimedia rights sales arm. Each Pac-12 institution now has the option to manage their rights with the support of the new entity. The decision follows a full analysis that identified potential short and long-term benefits universities could realize by directly managing their multi-media rights with the help of the new entity. 

The CEO Group also approved the next phase of the Pac-12 Fan Engagement initiative focused on data and analysis. In the next academic year, the Pac-12 will work with the schools to identify appropriate data management infrastructure and deploy business intelligence tools to provide important fan engagement analysis.

“Today’s actions advance our strategy to grow our institutions’ revenues and enhance their brands,” says Scott. “We are excited to provide more resources to our schools in the areas of multi-media rights and management, business intelligence, and analytics.”