How Pac-12 presidents' push could affect Wildcats

2014-05-21T14:38:00Z How Pac-12 presidents' push could affect WildcatsBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

It was no surprise that Pac-12 presidents were going to push for giving athletes the full cost of attendance and better medical coverage, but there are a few other items of interest in the letter they sent their colleagues in other major conferences.

The major conferences have been given the autonomy to make changes to the current model, in part because they are better financial condition. A 2011 effort to give athletes a $2,000 stipend failed when schools with smaller budgets (and/or Title IX concerns) protested.

Among the items of interest:

 “More realistically assess the time away from campus and other commitments during the season.”

That’s what UA coach Sean Miller has been complaining about, the five-day trips his teams took last season on four different occasions in Pac-12 play, because all their two-game road trips had two days in between games. For example, on a Wednesday-Saturday road trip, the Wildcats would leave on a Tuesday afternoon to play the Wednesday game and then return after midnight following the Saturday game

The problem has been that the Pac-12 offered flexibility in its scheduling to leverage the best possible media rights deal. Now the question is whether the Pac-12 (and presumably other conferences) can push back at all when TV demands are creating excessive time away from campus -- since the TV networks have paid for the right to demand the scheduling they want.

 “Address the one-and-done phenomenon in men’s basketball.”

Don’t think there’s really anything the Pac-12 can do about this. It’s largely in the hands of the NBA players’ association, which is still without an executive director. The Pac-12 is suggesting it could “consider restoring the freshmen ineligibility rule” but that’s likely not much of a threat – it could just force high-level prospects overseas for a year.

 “Liberalize the current rules limiting the ability of student-athletes to transfer between institutions.”

This one is at odds with what some coaches prefer, and comes just after  the NCAA said transfers can no longer receive hardship waivers that would allow them to play right away (although their five-year “clock” can be extended to six years if needed to give them time to complete their four seasons of eligibility).

Also, the grad transfer rule that allowed Mark Lyons to play right away at Arizona in 2012-13 – players who graduate can be immediately eligible – has been controversial.


Jeff Faraudo of the Oakland Tribune also weighed in on the letter.


ESPN calls Damon Stoudamire one of 10 top rising assistants.


NBC's Raphielle Johnson catches up with the Pac-12.


Ivan Rabb took advantage of being at the EYBL Hampton to take unofficial visits to Georgetown, Duke and North Carolina (link $).

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