2017 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Media Day: Pac-12 task force will address threats to integrity of college sports
SAN FRANCISCO – Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is convening a task force toward correcting the issues brought to light by the FBI investigation into corruption in college basketball that led to the arrests of four assistant coaches, including Arizona’s Emanuel Richardson and USC’s Tony Bland.
The task force also plans to look beyond basketball, into "systematic issues" threatening college sports.
“Protection of our student-athletes and of the integrity of collegiate sports are our most important priorities,” Scott said here at 2017 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day on Thursday. “The FBI charges that we all have read are deeply troubling. Not just to myself and to the Conference, but to all of our schools.”
On Wednesday, the NCAA announced the formation of a Commission on College Basketball, also in response to the FBI investigation. Scott's said the Pac-12 task force will support the NCAA's effort. It also has a broad scope. The Pac-12 Task Force will propose reforms to protect all student-athletes, according to a release issued by the Pac-12 Thursday morning.
Notably, the Pac-12 task force will "take advantage of the expertise we have directly and indirectly through our Conference, from coaches to administrators, former student-athletes, shoe and apparel companies based here in the West, agents, folks associated with the AAU... all of those that are involved in the pathway from youth basketball to college and the NBA," Scott said.
The first five people named to the task force are Pac-12 athletic directors Dan Guerrero and Chris Hill, former coach Mike Montgomery (who is also serving on the NCAA Commission on College Basketball), FOX Sports analyst Charles Davis, and administrator Tom Jernstedt. Additional members will be named in the near future.
"The goal of our Pac-12 Task Force is to tackle the issues that have been raised in men’s college basketball and to suggest reforms that ensure that we stay ahead of potential more far reaching issues, in particular in the area of recruitment across college sports where in many cases the influence of third parties is growing,” Scott said.
“We are going to be part of developing specific and concrete reform measures nationally and within our own conference to ensure that the great benefits of collegiate athletics remain strong for many years to come,” Scott said. “For our current 7,000 student-athletes and the many more to follow in the years ahead.”