When Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott took over in 2009, we were all 100% sure the conference would be having USC-Texas conference games played on the moon by the end of the next decade. The man clearly had ambition for the conference, and people respected that, even though his visions for a grand Pac-16 that included Texas and Oklahoma fell short. I mean, they were going to start a TV network!
Scott has skated on that reputation for a couple years now, but over the past few months, people have started coming around to just how flat the Pac-12 has fallen compared to the other major conferences, particularly the SEC and Big Ten. Talking about money in college football is tiring and lame, but the torrent of revenue people projected the conference would get from the Pac-12 Network hasn't even remotely happened. But, this being America, Scott finessed the Pac-12 for over $4 million in salary in 2014, according to the conference's latest tax return.
$4 million. For doing, uhh well [mumbles under breath then coughs]. There have been many sports executives that have finessed their way to undeserved riches, but few have done it with the same ratio of income earned to actual accomplishments as Scott. In case you were wondering, yes, Scott makes more than any other college conference commissioner.
Outside of the actual football games, maybe the most competitive part of the college football world is comparing conference balance sheets. Granted, this is incredibly dumb, but this sport is overflowing with stupidity. Alabama got a koi pond in their locker room, so now your school MUST get one otherwise it'll be a disaster. And TV deals are just big koi ponds when you really think about it. The Pac-12 is something of a victim of signing their TV deals before the other conferences re-upped with the full pressure of the cable money firehose, but let's not let context get in the way. The Pac-12's revenue is going up, but not nearly as fast as it is for the Big Ten and SEC.
This isn't to say Scott should feel bad. He shouldn't. He isn't the first executive to make too much money, and he certainly won't be the last. I'm in favor of people getting as much paper as possible, whenever they can. Maybe Larry Scott isn't the type of guy you think of when you tell encouragingly tell someone to Get Money, but I will never, ever knock the hustle.