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Pac-10 commissioner discusses hoops future

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott addressed the media at the Pac-10 men's basketball tournament today, mostly regarding the future of the tournament itself. Here's a transcript:

On the format of the basketball tournament next year“We haven’t decided finally on that yet. We are starting to look at what other 12-team conferencesare doing with four play-in games and four teams starting in the quarterfinals, but we still haven’tdecided. That’s the most obvious model that we are looking at.”

On if the tournament will move around“That’s always a thought. It is certainly something that I have heard people would want us to lookat. It’s tied to our TV contract, so we are here for sure next year as well, and as part of our TV negotiations it is a topic we will be discussing. First in terms of whose rights it is going to be and who is going to make the decision, then after that we get to staying here or looking at other models. Sometime in the next 12 months it is a question we will answer.”

On where they are in negotiations for a new TV deal“We’re in our negotiating periods with our incumbent partner. I’m not going to comment on the detailsor how that’s going, but I expect it’s going to take a fair few months to get through the process.”

On if they will push for earlier start times on TV“We’re definitely looking at the overarching issue, which is how do we get more national exposurefor basketball and football in particular. I think it’s a complex set of issues—I don’t think it’s justabout start time. It’s got a lot to do with what broadcasters are on, having national clearance versusregional clearance, start times to some extent, nights we play—we’re the most rigid of any conferenceout there—so there’s a whole set of issues, but that topic is something I’ve been razor focusedon and we’re determined to get a lot more national exposure for basketball and football than whatwe’ve been doing.”

On if he is planning on evaluating basketball officiating (similar to football)“We decided to concentrate on football first, and I think after the season we’re going to sit downand look at officiating more broadly … I think it’s fair to say that we’ll take a fresh look at all aspectsof the conference.”

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