Pac-12 Conference Commissioner Larry Scott announced this morning the formation of a Pac-12 Task Force that will propose reforms to protect student-athletes and address certain systemic issues threatening college athletics. The announcement comes on the heels of the NCAA’s formation of a Commission on College Basketball yesterday, and is designed to both support that national effort as well as to explore more broadly related issues and how they could be impacting other sports.
“We believe strongly in the educational mission of college sports and its positive impact on student-athletes,” said Commissioner Scott. “We are committed to taking the concrete action steps to combat threats to the integrity of college athletics, and to both protecting our student-athletes and ensuring fair competition for the athletic programs in which they participate. The goal of our Pac-12 Task Force is to tackle the issues that have been raised in men’s college basketball and to suggest reforms that ensure that we stay ahead of potential more far reaching issues, in particular in the area of recruitment across college sports where in many cases the influence of third parties is growing.”
The Pac-12 Task Force will be composed of experts from both within and outside the conference, including coaches, athletic administrators, current and former student-athletes, and members of commercial entities involved in recruitment of student-athletes, among other stakeholder groups.
Initial members of the Pac-12 Task Force include Pac-12 athletic directors Dan Guerrero and Chris Hill, both of whom have extensive experience on the NCAA men’s basketball committee, where Guerrero served as chair; former basketball coach Mike Montgomery who is also serving on the NCAA Commission on College Basketball; former football student-athlete, NFL player, and FOX Sports analyst Charles Davis; and highly respected administrator Tom Jernstedt. Additional members will be named in the very near future. As part of its work, the Pac-12 Task Force will meet with outside entities involved in all aspects of the recruitment of student-athletes.
The Pac-12 Task Force mandate will include four areas:
- Education & Issues Identification – Educating university leadership and the conference as a whole on the college basketball and broader environment, and the issues that pose a threat to college athletics and to student-athlete welfare;
- Best Practices and Pac-12 Policy Recommendations – Identifying best practices and other actions that the Pac-12 can take forward to ensure student-athlete welfare and the integrity of college sports;
- System Reform Recommendations – Identifying and proposing policy recommendations to the NCAA to reform college basketball and college athletics on a national level; and
- Application of Learnings to Recruitment in Sports Beyond Basketball – Bringing forward proposals to apply Task Force learnings to address in particular recruiting in other sports, where the influence of third parties is growing.
The Pac-12 Task Force will issue findings and recommendations to the Pac-12 CEO Group by the end of the first quarter of 2018. The final report with a series of recommendations for both the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA will be shared with the NCAA Commission on College Basketball in advance of their own final recommendations, as well as the national collegiate community.