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Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott to step down at end of June

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott to step down at end of June

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Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott attends a football game between Arizona and Utah at Arizona Stadium on September 22, 2017, in Tucson, Arizona.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott attends a football game between Arizona and Utah at Arizona Stadium on September 22, 2017, in Tucson, Arizona. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images/TNS)

LOS ANGELES — Larry Scott and the Pac-12 executive committee have mutually agreed to part ways a year before the end of his contract, the league announced Wednesday night.

Scott’s last day as commissioner will be June 30, closing the door on a turbulent 11-year tenure marred by increasing struggles to compete on a national level in football and men’s basketball and the conference’s inability to keep up with its Power Five peers in annual revenues — which became an issue in part because of timing and in part because of the Pac-12 Networks never reaching mass distribution.

The decision for Scott to move on comes at a crucial time for the league, which will be negotiating new media rights deals in the coming years as its current agreements with Fox and ESPN expire in 2023-24. One big question — whether Scott would be negotiating for the conference’s financial future a second time — is now answered.

“We appreciate Larry’s pioneering efforts in growing the conference by adding new competitive university programs and accelerating the Pac-12 to television network parity with the other conferences,” Oregon President Michael Schill, one of three members of the league executive committee, said in a statement.

“At one point, our television agreement was the most lucrative in the nation and the debut of the Pac-12 Network helped deliver our championship brand to U.S. and global markets on traditional and digital platforms. That said, the intercollegiate athletics marketplace doesn’t remain static and now is a good time to bring in a new leader who will help us develop our go-forward strategy.”

The Pac-12 will begin a national search for Scott’s replacement, and the plan is for the new commissioner to be in place before Scott departs, so he can help with the transition.

“This moment, when college athletics are moving in a new direction and with the conference soon commencing the next round of media negotiations, it seems the right time to make a change,” Scott said in a statement. “It is important that the conference be able to put in place the person who will negotiate and carry out that next agreement.”

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