Comments on the development of the Pac-12 on and off the court (and off the court)…
Rising: Pac-12 supports NIL
The latest news from the conference office announced earlier this week is an administrative move that is unlikely to make headlines or resonate with fans. Only a few hours or days away from the kick-off, the focus is on the court.
However, the decision to license Pac-12 Networks videos to athletes for their name, image and likeness (NIL) opportunities may affect what we ultimately see on the court.
This is because NIL allows athletes to profit from promotions and endorsement opportunities, which are now a key part of the recruitment and retention process.
The more effective the sports department helps athletes develop profitable partnerships, the more likely they are to attract recruits. (NIL itself cannot be used as a hiring incentive. But potential opportunities are clearly a huge part of the equation for top potential customers.)
So what role can Pac-12 play in the world of NIL? Well, the network has a lot of videos through game broadcasts and personal behind-the-scenes footage.
This video can benefit any athlete trying to obtain a NIL arrangement-it may be part of a marketing campaign to potential business partners.
(Pac-12 is the only major conference to fully own its network, and the only major conference to take this step forward. Will ESPN allow SEC athletes to use SEC online video in their NIL pursuits? Fox about Big Ten Athletes? Worth tracking.)
NIL is largely a local economic issue: every school and every team must strive to maximize NIL’s opportunities-whether it is a quarterback participating in a charity golf tournament or a point guard sponsoring a pizzeria.
The conference is essentially a role player, but an important role: it must formulate policies to support the campus’ efforts at NIL in any (legal) way.
The Pac-12 network was created to do just this—sell meetings, promote schools, and benefit the athlete experience.
Fall: Nick Rolovich’s fault tolerance
Washington State’s second-year coaches have recently attracted attention for refusing to be vaccinated. After the state mandates vaccination for educators, this decision may cost Rolovich’s job.
Now there is a second unwanted klieg light:
Rolovich has been sued by former player Cassidy Woods for violating the constitutional rights of the receiver.
You may remember Woods. Last summer, after claiming that he participated in the #WeAreUnited movement and decided to quit this season, he left WSU.
(A taped conversation with Rolovich confirmed his situation.)
We will not start to guess how the legal process ends.
And how Rolovich handles the task of vaccines, we will not start to guess.
Actually we will Take a guess: Rolovich will not be vaccinated before the October 18 deadline, which makes him likely to be fired.
So, in the past six weeks, the football project has suffered a series of negative attention-all of which were created by Rolovich.
In our opinion, the end result is that Rolovich’s pressure to win has increased exponentially. If he does not win, the university’s patience with Rolovich will decrease accordingly.
There are countless examples of athletes or coaches breaking the law or embarrassing employers. Always, the better they are, the more successful they are and the longer the belt.
Rise: Pac-12 AD Continuity
When news broke early last month that Michigan State University needed a new athletic director, we wondered if Pac-12 would lose one of its own.
Martin Jarmond of UCLA has worked for the Spartans for seven years and has more contact with the top ten teams during his tenure at Ohio State University. Dave Heeke from Arizona is from East Lansing. Several others are rooted in the eastern half of the country, and they are all happy to receive an annual allocation of $55 million from their conference office.
(By the middle of this century, the top ten schools will allocate more than 75 million U.S. dollars to their schools each year.)
It turns out that only Jarmond was involved in the MSU search process-and only him Refusal of interview opportunity, According to the Detroit Free Press.
Compared with the broader question of continuity, the specific details of the situation are not so important here.
The Pac-12 campaign directors have been consistent over the years-partly because of the unity formed by the pandemic and partly because of changes in conference leadership.
ADs believe in the new commissioner George Kliavkoff and are encouraged by his determination to cooperate with the campus.
(In a recent conversation with the hotline, more than one campus source said that his/her advertisement was “more dynamic than what I have seen over the years.”)
This is the key moment of the meeting:
Decisions made in the next six to nine months regarding football matters, media rights, and NCAA governance will shape the future of Pac-12.
The more continuity of the campus, the better.
Fall: The Normal State of the University of Southern California and UCLA
For the Pac-12 football project, this will never be an old normal, but thanks to the vaccine, many people may experience a new normal in 2021.
After the latest Los Angeles County restrictions, Trojan horses and brown bears were put into a category, these restrictions may be based on some kind of mixture of science and politics, or just hijacked from the latest Tim Burton script.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the new agreement “allows vaccinated athletes who have been exposed to COVID-19 to continue to participate in training and competition as long as they remain asymptomatic and test negative for five consecutive days.”
So you are considered a close contact, you are vaccinated, you have no symptoms, you are participating in outdoor sports… Do you have to test negative for five consecutive days?
Can anyone pass bleach?
The vaccination rates for both programs are as high as 98%, and both have cut teeth from the COVID agreement during the Los Angeles hell in 2020.
But higher standards have created more opportunities for the roster to run out.
For this reason, Pac-12 is smart enough to grant Kliavkoff the power to dictate confiscation on a case-by-case basis.
If a team’s COVID problem leads to cancellation, it is wise to ask for a collective share of the financial burden.
Imagine that since COVID restrictions do not apply anywhere else in the meeting, the Trojan horse or the Brown Bear did everything right and lost the offensive line within 48 hours before kick-off…
Pac-12 confiscated their slaps.
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