Pac-12 Conference Celebrates 100 Years


The 2015 Pac 12 Conference kicked off their annual football media days in celebration of their 100th anniversary at Warner Brothers Studios this week.  Each teams head coach and two of his players were on display in anticipation of the 2015 season.

The activities started Thursday with Conference Commissioner Larry Scott speaking, followed by Arizona State, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington, Stanford and Colorado on the stage to discuss their 2015 season.

Friday started with conference VP of Officiating David Coleman and PAC-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans up on stage and followed by Arizona, California, USC, Oregon, Washington State and Utah.

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Several of Scott’s main talking points included increasing medical insurance for the student athletes both while they’re in school and after graduation, and guaranteed scholarships. He reiterated the importance of setting new standards as a conference in how it treats its athletes, schools, fans and media members.

Scott was also questioned about the PAC-12 Networks void of programming on Direct TV. The only major media outlet not to carry the network, Direct TV, may finally succumb to the networks demands with the pending sale to AT&T. As a very visible and strong media partner to the PAC-12 network, AT&T will almost guarantee the last missing piece of airplay for the PAC 12.

Unlike the absolute media circus experienced at other conference media days (SEC’s week-long fiasco), the PAC 12 conference hosts a laid back and efficient event. With the main stage hosting the actually press conferences and interviews, the rest of the events were down one of Warner Brothers ‘Main Streets’.

Jul 30, 2015; Burbank, CA, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils coach Todd Graham at Pac-12 Media Day at Warner Bros. Studios. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Live coverage and interviews were carried on the PAC 12 network stage as well as the ever creative and crazy PAC 12 digital department. Along with Host Ashley Adamson, players take their turns dressed up in front of the Twitter mirror, blindfolded school logo piñata bashing and a game of PAC 12 corn hole.

I’ve been around the players, coaches and SID’s for years.  And now you can call me jaded or callous, but I honestly felt the most interesting and informative of the two days was David Coleman, PAC 12 VP of Officiating.

I can guarantee every fan of ASU or UofA can remember several bad/no calls in recent games, and now with the verdict of ‘Excellence in Officiating” being declared, things should improve.  Several new rules are being implemented as well as reinforcement of the rules implemented last year.  The conference is also worried about pace of play.  A rather funny statement considering most teams run a hurry up offense.

The focus this year is on consistency, accountability, communication and transparency.  Interesting comments, especially when Coleman was done speaking, the moderator said there was no time for a question/answer period.  So much for communication and transparency.

Final PAC 12 media poll has Oregon winning the North Division and USC winning the South.  Arizona State and UofA finished second and fourth respectively in their South Division.  The only thing left is to play the games.