Utah football: Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott talks SEC matchups, stipends
By Lya Wodraska
The Salt Lake TribuneFirst published Oct 03 2013 11:16PM
Count Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott among the college football fans among those who would like to see more Pac-12-SEC matchups.
Scott, who attended Thursday’s Utah-UCLA game, said one reason he is looking forward to the 4-team playoff format that will be implemented in 2014 is for the possibility it would create more matchups between the power conferences.
"If we had had the playoff format the last few years, we would have seen a lot more of the matchups," Scott said.
The only Pac-12/SEC matchup in the title game between the conferences came in the 2010 season when Auburn beat Oregon 22-19.
Scott tried to establish a partnership with the Big Ten for the conferences to meet regularly in football, but the agreement failed due to scheduling constraints for Pac-12 schools.
Scott, who said he had discussions with the SEC for possible bowl alliances, said he had no plans to attempt to revive any similar agreements with the SEC or other conferences, although he said he remains open to possibilities.
Instead, he is encouraging Pac-12 teams to continue to schedule quality opponents on their own.
"We’re pushing our schools to have the strongest non-conference schedules they can because they are good for fans, good for the student-athletes and the program," he said. "With the new college football playoff coming, it’s designed where teams will be rewarded for strength of schedule where that hasn’t always been one of the factors in the current BCS."
In other topics, Scott said there is no development with DirecTV and encouraged fans to seek coverage of the Pac-12 elsewhere.
Scott also reiterated his desire to give student-athletes stipends of $2,000.
"We want to support student-athletes more than we have," Scott said.
The idea is being met with resistance by less wealthy programs and is one of the reasons some schools are pushing for NCAA reform, with the possibility of another tier forming.
Scott felt such reform wouldn’t necessitate such a split, believing most schools could handle the monetary demands.
"It’s a question of priorities," he said. "It’s a high priority to do better by the student-athletes."
Utah athletic director Chris Hill said he supported the idea of stipends, and estimated it would cost the Utes $500,000.
"I’d like to see it given on a need basis and not just blanket," he said. "But half-a-million, you don’t go out of business for doing that. You just have to find a way."