It's clear that commissioner Larry Scott has done his best to reform things on the football side. He's expanded the Pac-10 to the Pac-12 with the addition of the Colorado Buffaloes and the Utah Utes. He's fired Pac-10 football referees that have been responsible for the perception of the conference as a poorly officiated league. He's restructuring the poor television contracts for the 2012-13 seasons (when the archaic ones Pac-10 fans have to suffer through expire) to ensure maximum visibility for the conference on a national level.
That being said, he still has a ways to go on the basketball side. Officiating in the conference is still fairly poor compared to the rest of the conference. The television contracts are probably even worse, as the tiny West Coast Conference gets far greater visibility with ESPN national telecasts, while the Pac-10 is left to toil with primarily FSN TV contracts.
And while I'm not one for handing out huge gifts to student-athletes, these Pac-10 basketball tournament gifts to the players isn't exactly showing the love to the players in the conference. Sports Business Daily provides the rundown of each Divsion I conference.
(HT Brian Floyd of SB Nation Seattle)
ACC: Sweatshirt + choice of portable multimedia player, Flip HD video camera, GPS, iPod touch with hard case and gift card, or 19 inch LCD/DVD TV
Big East & Big 12: iPod Touch
SEC: Choice of iPod touch w/ armband, GPS, Blu-Ray disc player, Sony digital camera, or Swiss Army travel bag
Big Ten: Skor messenger bag; travel kit, hat, scarf and gloves.
Pac-10: Conference backpack with snags and a bottle of Dr. Pepper
One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong.
It could be worse. You could end up with that Big West T-shirt or that Sun Belt stationery set. But seriously, being outclassed by the Atlantic Ten, Colonel Athletic and Mountain West conferences is a bit embarrassing. So much for negative recruiting other teams, you could convince a lot of top basketball recruits how unworthy the Pac-10 is just by showing them this list.