Recently, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott visited all 12 of the conference's campuses, visiting with student-athletes and finding out how the conference can improve, especially on the time strain it puts on those student-athletes. Today, the conference announced a few key changes in policies that will go into affect for the 2016-17 school year.
Fewer Night Football Games
We all like Pac-12 After Dark, right? Well, we might enjoy it, but those who are actually playing in the games probably aren't too fond of it considering their long days. Presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 schools approved a reccomendation made to cut down on the number of night games played. Now, a Pac-12 game can start at either 2:00 pm or 6:30 pm and overlap with an exclusive window held by FOX or ESPN.
Oregon athletic director Rob Mullens made the following statement about the change.
"The Pac-12 has some of the most loyal fans in college athletics and we appreciate our television partners working with us on this important issue for fans. The increased exposure and revenue from our contracts with ESPN and FOX Sports have been instrumental to our success, but we continue to work hard to minimize as much as possible the negative impact late start times have on our fans who travel great distances to see our teams in person."
No More Storming the Court/Field
In an effort to enhance safety for players, coaches and officials, an institutional fine for fans storming the court or field was also approved. Starting next season, if fans storm the court or field at the end of a game, the university will be fined $25,000 for the first offense, $50,000 for the second offense and $100,000 for the third offense.
Do you think playing video games isn't a sport? The Pac-12 now disagrees with you. Starting next year, eSports competitions will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks. Schools will compete in a specific game and will be hosted in studios. There will also be a Pac-12 championship tournament. The games which the teams will play will be announced in the coming months.