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Pac-12: Football coaches support less hitting in practice

Published June 3, 2013 2:51 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Pac-12 football coaches support formal standards that would govern the amount of contact in practice, commissioner Larry Scott said Monday.

The restrictions would be "more evolved" than current NCAA limits, as part of the Pac-12's student-athlete initiative that emphasizes reducing head trauma in football and other sports, Scott said during a media teleconference.

Scott's report followed meetings of the conference's athletic directors, faculty representatives and presidents in Park City. The football coaches met last month in suburban Phoenix. The league will explain the football practice changes during the Pac-12 media day July 26 in Los Angeles.

Other updates from Scott:

The conference office expects the Pac-12 Networks to earn a profit in the first year, and will increase its production from 550 live events to 750 in 2013-14. A remaining issue is the lack of distribution via DirecTV. "We're as frustrated as our fans are," Scott said, adding that after an academic of the networks' existence, "Now fans know ... how many games they're going to miss."

Regarding a potential agreement with DirecTV, Scott said, "I don't have any reason to be optimistic about it."

With bowl agreements expiring after the 2013 season, the Pac-12 is close to finalizing another set of deals. Scott's priority is to "upgrade and improve the matchups." That could be interpreted as moving away from some current deals with the Mountain West, although some pairings would remain intact. The Alamo Bowl may become a prime destination, with the Big 12 reportedly close to an agreement that would send its top available team (outside of the College Football Playoff and the highest-tier bowls) to San Antonio.

After the turmoil regarding basketball officiating that surfaced after the Pac-12 men's tournament in March, Scott said the conference is about to announce a restructuring of the supervisor's position.