Report: Pac-12 felt USC ‘had one foot out the door’ for decades
Maybe former Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott has had a pleasant last few weeks. Maybe he hasn’t. Surely his ears have been burning.
Since USC and UCLA went public with their plans to exit the Pac-12 in 2024 and join the Big Ten, Scott has been the target of quite a bit of frustration from Pac-12 fans and left-behind administrators. In the blame game, Scott is target No. 1.
But, according to a recent report from Pac-12 insider John Canzano, Scott had a plan to infuse some cash into the league’s coffers back in 2018 and that plan was nixed.
Scott presented a proposal to the Pac-12’s presidents, called the “Pac-12 NewCo” to sell an equity stake in the league to a private firm.
From Canzano’s reporting:
Turns out, there was a deal on the table. Just not one that the presidents and chancellors could agree they should take.
The Pac-12 was offered $1 billion for 15 percent equity in the conference by a private-equity firm, per sources involved in the process. The biggest pushback to making the deal came from two particular camps — USC and UCLA.
“The Trojans have had one foot out the door for two decades,” said one source.
It is interesting that nugget comes out after it’s revealed USC is exiting the league. Sour grapes? Maybe a little of that going on, but how different might the league’s current situation be if that sale had gone through?
Of course, the “what if” game can be played with quite a bit of Scott’s decisions throughout his tenure.