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February 12, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Pac-12 may tweak conference schedule

During an interview with KJR-AM this morning, coach Lorenzo Romar said the Pac-12 is exploring ways to tweak the conference schedule.

“Right now they’re in the early stages of talking about it,” he said. “Maybe when you play Wednesday and Saturday, Wednesday is a home game and Saturday is an away game or vice versa to just kind of break that up a little bit.

“But again, this is new. This is the first year that this format has been this way. I’m sure there will be some tweaking going on.”

Pac-12 coaches have enjoyed the exposure and money from its Pac-12 Networks and the $3 billion, 12-year TV deal for football and men’s basketball with ESPN and Fox.

However, the new television contract forced the conference to abandon the old Thursday-Saturday scheduling format in men’s basketball. Teams play games Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. And tip-off times vary from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Coaches have been reluctant to grumble too much publicly because everyone knew they would need to adjust. Besides how can you complain when your school is receiving $21 million annually for the next dozen years.

But with four weeks left in the regular season, coaches have admitted they still don’t know how to navigate the schedule as it pertains to arranging for practice times and travel. It’s been tricky adhering to the NCAA rule that requires players to have at least one off day. It’s been difficult knowing what to do when teams play on the road for Wednesday-Saturday or Thursday-Sunday games.

Coaches thought chartering flights home between the road games would allow students to miss fewer classes, but it’s been a burden on practice.

For instance, Romar arrived home 3:30 a.m. after charting a flight to Seattle following Sunday’s game at USC. Romar said it was a long day for players and the late arrival left little time for players to sleep before morning classes.

Washington took off Monday and has just one day to prepare for Wednesday’s 8 p.m. game against No. 23 Oregon. Meanwhile, the Ducks played Saturday giving them two days to get ready for the Huskies.

“You hope it all balances out by the end of the year,” Romar said last week. “If everybody has to go through it, then OK. You live with it.”

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