CBSSports.com has an interesting look at how the Pac-12 is far behind other like conferences in distribution of its bullish revenues to member schools. The league kicked back only 68 percent of its income to member schools in the fiscal year 2012-13, considerably behind the other conferences.
There’s an easy way for the league office to explain it, and that’s the early growth of the Pac-12 Networks, wholly owned by the league as opposed to, say, the Big Ten, which partners with Fox on the Big Ten Networks.
That’s a reasonable explanation, but it’s also apparent that Larry Scott’s regime is more than willing to spend money to make it. Awhile back, when the Pac-12 released its 990 tax form for 2012-13, I noted the sharp, maybe even astronomical, increase in salaries for Scott and his highest-level employees over his predecessor, Tom Hansen. Scott made $3.3 million in that year, considerably more than SEC commish Mike Slive, for example, and his Pac-12 Networks president, Gary Stevenson (who has now moved on), pulled down $1.3 million.
In their heart of hearts, you wonder if Pac-12 presidents have some mixed feelings. They gave Scott a mandate to get the league into the 21st century in revenues and enterprise, and without question, he has done it. But the cost of some of it, at a time when most of the presidents are wrestling with financial woes in higher education, might be making some of them squirm a bit. For now, we’ll have to assume that Scott’s $900,000 earned in bonuses in 2012-13 speaks to their approval.