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Larry Scott and Pac-12 conference part ways

The Pac-12's commissioner will officially leave the conference at the end of June.
Credit: AP
FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2019, file photo, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott speaks to reporters during the Pac-12 Conference women's NCAA college basketball media day in San Francisco. The Pac-12 university presidents and chancellors will meet Friday, Sept. 17, 2020, and be presented options for staging a fall football season, but Commissioner Larry Scott says a vote by the the CEO Group is not expected. (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron, File)

SAN FRANCISCO — Larry Scott and the Pac-12 Conference will be parting ways in less than six months.

The conference called it a "mutual decision" in a statement.

Sports Business Journal first reported Wednesday night that Scott's last day with the conference will be June 30. Scott started as the conference's commissioner on July 1, 2009. Scott's contract with the conference was set to expire in June of 2022. Part of the reason why the conference and Scott decided to uncouple is due to the conference looking to negotiate a new media rights deal in the near future.

Sports Business Journal reports that the decision came after a conference CEOs meeting on Wednesday night and that the search for a replacement will begin immediately.

Scott's tenure with the Pac-12 was not always the smoothest of affairs. He did add Utah and Colorado when massive conference realignment happened in 2011. However, Scott faced plenty of criticism, including this fall when he paid himself and other executives bonuses before announcing layoffs and furloughs for conference employees. Scott helped secure a deal this fall as well for daily anti-gen testing on Pac-12 campuses for student-athletes. However, he didn't communicate that with his athletic directors before having a virtual press conference.

According to Sports Illustrated's Pete Thamel, Scott made $40 million while he was the conference's commissioner.

“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,” said Pac-12 executive committee chair and University of Oregon president Michael Schill. “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 US 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.” 

Of note, the Pac-12's press release did specifically mention that WSU president Kirk Schultz will be a part of the search committee for a new conference commissioner. Schultz, Schill, and UW president  Ana Mari Cauce were the three conference presidents explicitly mentioned in the press release as being a part of the search committee.