Tag Archives: Pac-12 Network

Ed T. Rush is Out. Now the Answer.

Ed Rush has left his post as the Coordinator of Officials with the Pac-12 Conference. It came via official release from the conference late Thursday afternoon (evening if anyone on the east coast pays attention to this stuff) and informed us that Larry Scott had accepted the controversial and rushed resignation.

And the world rejoiced.

I saw tweets of “bout time” and “good” and “HEGONE” and all sorts of celebratory remarks which I’m just not all that in to. Sure I contributed to the dialogue of his dismissal/resignation/firequitting but calling for heads has never sat well with me. As it were, we got the result we wanted.

So now what?

We don’t have much out of Walnut Creek and we likely won’t for awhile. The replacement hunt will be played close to the chest and will be a hire not made in jest.

What we do have from Scott is the release. The one in which Rush’s resignation was announced, accepted, and never really explained. That’s fine. We are owed no explanation and let’s get serious – we all know why this went down. The imperative thing here is that trust is restored. That all of this speak of “integrity” and “honor” and other things Jack Nicholson spouted off about in A Few Good Men is more than lip service and not used as a punchline.

Which brings me to the most important part of Scott’s release: The end.

Scott said a process to select a new officiating coordinator will be part of the overall program review that had already been scheduled for after the college basketball season.

I have no idea what that means. Neither do you. Hell, for all we know, neither does Scott. But he’s the one who will be hiring for this review and it’s a damn important one. Trust, as I said, will need to be reinstalled. Which is never an easy thing if you’ve ever tried getting back together with a significant other. Actually it painstakingly sucks. Work like hell is involved but it can happen. Change must happen.

But I can’t stress enough that the next move is the most important one. The conference can pull the densest PR veil they’ve got over our eyes, I still believe we’ll see right through this. Some transparency, a declaration of change, ought to be forthcoming. I expect to see a new Coordinator settle things down with a defined plan. A new plan. Because things are pretty shaken up already.

Ed T. Rush resigned amidst the swirling upset stirred by his joke and the subsequent coincidental action taken. He’s out and we got what we think we wanted.

But Rush’s departure is not the answer.

Fixing his wake is.

Pac-12 Selling $12 Tournament Session Tickets

PacHoops, from it’s inception, has made no bones about its excitement of the Pac-12’s expansion and subsequent journey into television network-dom. The head quarters themselves are just an Uncle Rico stone’s throw from my apartment and they broadcast any and every game I want to see. Or at least facilitate the broadcast rights in such a manner that ESPN or some other carrier provides.

The Pac-12 Network has changed our lives.

And it continues to do so. Tomorrow is 12/12/12 – that’s a lotta dozens – and to celebrate such, the conference is selling $12 single session passes to the Pac-12 tournament in Las Vegas. Tomorrow, from 10am-to-10pm PST,  the tickets will be available for purchase here (http://pac-12.com/tickets).

But what does it all mean, Basil? As a credit card touting consumer, you are eligible to purchase one ticket to each session for $12 a piece. For you math wizzes, that’s $72 dollars to attend the entire Pac-12 Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. In layman’s terms: Ganga.

So I’ll be there and I’m prepared to party with you. Hell, I write a column called Marching to Vegas for Rush the Court. We’ve been giddy about this thing since the day it was speculated. The MGM Grand Garden Arena ain’t seen nothin’ yet (OK, so it’s Vegas and that arena has likely seen all sorts of stuff. But I guarantee you it hasn’t seen Tad Boyle kill a bear!). All I know is Larry Scott put this thing in Vegas for us to attend which is more than we can say for Staples.

Be there and let’s watch somebody auto-qualify for The Dance.



Week 10 Pac-12 Basketball Preview

Read it, don’t weep, at ryanrecker.com, along with a bevy of podcast goodies.

This is the finale. The last Weekend Preview we’ll read, the end of the regular season, the close of a forgettable year. But you know what?

It’s March.

The Madness is here and this is why – no matter how bad the early losses to South Dakota State, Loyola Marymount, Wyoming, or Seattle-Pacific sting – we kept watching. For the shots that fall a blink before zero and the names that are called on Sunday afternoon and for that mad Thursday and Friday where a two-hour lunch break is gone in a flash. To rationalize our favorite 12-seed winning it all and to become irrationally lost in a close game and to lose your five bucks in the office pool to Diane in HR who just thought Shaka Smart was cute. For one shining moment.

Yes, this is the greatest of the twelve months for all of those reasons and more.

Get excited. Get rowdy. Get some time off work.

The finale.

TV Complaint: Seventy-five percent of Thursday’s games will not be televised. This is undoubtedly a complainable offense but let’s re-frame it. Life’s better if we can twist things into something a little more bright so I will remind you – as Thursday’s sole televised game is a mega-matchup – that this evening’s broadcast shorcomings will be the last. Indeed this final weekend is the final weekend of regular season Pac-12 basketball (or football or baseball or water polo or gymnastics or underwater basket weaving) that we will ever endure sans the Pac-12 Network. Take a moment to turn this on and celebrate for a moment. No doubt you’ve followed the commentary but I’ll remind you that Larry Scott will be putting every regular season basketball and football game on television. No more hacking networks, radio pirating, or twitter fiending. Your games shall be yours. Rejoice.

Game of the Weekend: No buildup here. Colorado heads to Oregon to play, straight up, for a spot in the top four. We won’t discredit Saturday’s games when the Buffs travel to Corvallis and Ducks host the Utes, but Thursday’s game has major post-season ramifications. Should the Buffs win – their first major road win of the season in the final weekend – they’ll secure themselves the four seed (of course assuming the road sweep which is no easy task) as they would drop the tie-breaker to Arizona. If Dana’s Ducks win, they’ll wind up the three seed as they hold the tie-breaker over the Wildcats. But enough about standings, hypotheticals, and making asses out of ourselves, this is going to be a good one. We’ve outlined what’s at stake so now recall that Boyle’s Boys previously beat the Ducks on a “controversial” foul in the final seconds, sending Oregon home bitter. The rematch is on a bigger stage, with tangible outcomes and is the first big game in March. Doesn’t get any better than this.

Game to Avoid: Every game that doesn’t have top-four implications. Sorry, but if you don’t have a chance to dance then the season’s over. By all means I expect the teams to maintain their competitive spirit and try their best; channel their inner non-Bruin and show up. But that doesn’t mean you have to. Your time is precious and act accordingly. The current TV deal’s swan song will make most of this easy for you but don’t bother logging on to usctrojans.com to take in the USC-WSU game. Ignore the UCLA-WSU or Utah-OSU games, too. Beyond that avoidable triumvirate, every other game has Pac-12 (or bigger) tournament seeding ramifications. Down to the wire.

Something to Prove: A strong showing this weekend could put the Oregon Ducks in the Big Dance. Beating Colorado tonight will nearly guarantee them the third seed and a first round bye. But here’s the deal. Oregon has the second highest RPI (48 vs. Cal’s 37) and dances in six different bracket projections. I won’t spell out their tournament resume but know that these guys are intriguing and dangerous with an impending conference tournament to play. A tournament that could prove deal making – even without running the table – for the Ducks. But don’t mistake intrigue and opportunity for the red carpet. Sweeping the visiting Ski Trippers and making a run through staples is imperative and difficult. It’s a fragile destiny but one that Dana and his Ducks could control. Of course we need to hat tip here to the Buffs as they too have an equal shot to make some noise. If nothing else, Boyle and company can aggressively plant the CU flag on Pac-12 Mountain.

Something to Lose: Once the darlings of the downtrodden conference, California is coming off a semi-surprising loss to Colorado, sits alone in second place and should they lose on Sunday to Stanford – a place they’re 1-3 the last four years – Monty’s Crew could find their way to fourth place (I cannot fully substantiate that claim without extensive tie-breaker research but it’s semi-feasible and highly dramatic). It’s no time to panic in Berkeley but things have undoubtedly been brighter especially considering its felt as if the Bears controlled their destiny much of this season. I really can’t see Cal playing their way out of the Big Dance but the Bears could stand to piece together a nice little closing run. If for no other reason than their own sanity.

Weekend Youtuber: It’s time.

Larry Scott’s Pac-12 Network Will Change Your Life

Larry Scott spent his summer making sure your future Falls, Winters, and Springs were chock full of Pac-12 sports.

Now, this isn’t news but it’s undoubtedly worthy of a reminder, especially as we roll out of the OOC schedule and into Pac-12 play. You see, I live in San Francisco and have not had television access to three of Cal’s ten games and two of Stanford’s nine. Additionally I couldn’t watch an Arizona football game while home for Thanksgiving. These anecdotes also don’t account for games that are aired on obscure networks like MountainWest Sports and Root Sports.

When the Pac-12 Network debuts – August 2012 – fans of the Conference of Champions will have unprecedented access to their favorite teams. By unprecedented, I mean every football and men’s basketball game will be aired. Nationally.

Pause. Let that sink in for a second. Get excited.

Guaranteed 330 games broadcast across four providers (Time Warner Cable, Cox, Bright House, and Comcast). The math puts that at 45 million households or roughly the population of Ukraine. There are continued negotiations with the satellite providers and subsequently more households.

There will be six regional networks – Pac-12 Wash, Ore, NoCal, SoCal, AZ, and Mtn – meant to deliver content specific to those teams. Example: Pac-12 classics. Arizona is heading to Seattle this weekend to battle Gonzaga. What’s that I see on P12-AZ? Oh, it’s a replay of the 2003 Second Round, NCAA double-OT thriller featuring Arizona and Gonzaga. Can you say Friday nights on the couch?

No matter whether you’re in Gainesville, Columbus or Austin you’re going to see every single game that you want to. If you want to watch Utah-Idaho State (this Friday’s match-up), you can! If you want to watch Cal-Presbyterian (a non-broadcast football game), you can! You’ll also get to watch 40 women’s hoops games and select Olympic sports. Pac-on.

Then there’s the monetary aspect. The contract is a $3 billion deal spanning twelve years. Some elementary division shows us that’s at a little more than $20M per school, per year. In layman’s terms: lots.

(Everything you want to know about the deal can be found here. Jon Wilner at Mercury News owns it)

And if you don’t think that’s significant, already without a single television dollar collected, Washington State shelled out 214% more money to new head football coach Mike Leach than newly ousted head coach, Paul Wulf ($11M vs. $3.5M). For a little more perspective, the new deal will pay each school about 285% more annually ($20.8M vs. $5.4M).

Of course these figures are big picture. Finitely, there will be buildup to the large sums with the bulk of the payout on the back end of the 12 year deal. Semantics.

What I’m getting at is, unlike a Ben Howland suspension, the Larry Scott deals will be impactful. From the way your school spends to the games you’ll get to watch, your Pac-12 life is about to drastically change.

The intangible benefit of the increased revenues and national exposure is what this will do to the talent levels secured by Pac-12 schools. Is it any coincidence that the SEC has the best football programs (or at least reputations) while simultaneously holding the richest television contracts? The ACC and hoops? Expect the Pac-12 to shake the low talent stigma and reality, a slight erosion of East Coast Bias (especially if Scott can secure web-based broadcasting like espn3), and a few more trophies on the West Coast.

Increased money, increased eyeballs, increased everything.

And if that’s not enough for you, after recently being let go by CBS, Gus Johnson has joined Fox and subsequently will call Pac-12 football and basketball games. You’ll recall that he did a helluva job with last year’s Pac-10 Championship basketball game (COLD BLOODED) and if you watched this year’s Pac-12 Championship football game, you know he can make anything exciting.

Now, if you can’t get behind the dollars, the air time, and Gus, well then, you’re not a fan, have no business watching even the Olympic sports, should probably find a new hobby, and not call me up.

I’ll be busy watching the game.