With Tom Hansen set to step down at the end of the year there was a lot of speculation and little actual news as to who would be the next Pac 10 commissioner. Today, we got the answer. The job will go to the CEO of the Women's Tennis Association Larry Scott. Scott will take over the Pac 10's top post on July 1 after time with the ATP, the men's tennis tour and having spent the past six years ad chairman and CEO of the WTA.
Scott started with the WTA in 2003 and helped transform the tour, including engineering the largest-ever sponsorship deal in women's sports, a six-year, $88 million title contract with Sony Ericsson. Under his leadership, the WTA also obtained the largest television agreements in women's tennis history, both nationally and internationally.
Scott will bring his TV skills as well as his work with women's sports to the job.
Many in the Pac-10 have been unhappy with the conference's bowl and football television contracts, which are less lucrative and provide less exposure than the SEC and Big Ten.
Scott's background as a tennis player and leader of a women's pro sports organization probably eased fears among women's and non-revenue sports advocates that the next commissioner would be all about football.
"Our search committee was most impressed with Larry's broad range of leadership experiences in both men's and women's sports, as well as his extensive success in representing the commercial interest of men's and women's tennis," Bob Bowlsby, athletic director of Stanford and head of the search committee, said in a statement.
Scott wasn't the conference's first choice according to the Sports Business Journal. Greg Sheehan, a VP at the NCAA in charge of basketball and business strategies was offered the job, but declined.
SI.com also provides some other information on the job Scott's done with the WTA.
Under Scott, the tour says it has seen a 500-percent increase in sponsorship revenue, a 250-percent increase in overall revenues, a 40-percent increase in prize money and $710 million in new stadium investments.
UPDATE (N): Tom Hansen was the Steve Lavin of BCS conference leaders. In other words he was utterly worthless. So it shouldn't be that difficult for Larry Scott to improve upon the woeful performance of the current commissioner, who turned a BCS conference full of championship caliber programs often irrelevent in national scenes.
The resume detail about being able to secure television agreement is encouraging. However, we will find out whether he can deliver in the near future as we wait to see what unfolds with future tv Ks wrt football and basketball. We don't need to go into detail about the pathetic job Hansen job had done with the tv Ks in this conference. Not to mention the caliber of officiating in this conference in both football and basketball games has been butt of national joke for number of years now.
So while we are encouraged at the initial signs, we will reserve our final judgment and wait to see how he rebuilds the profile of this great conference with a dull and stale image thanks to years of incompetence of Tom Hansen. GO BRUINS.