We have absolutely destroyed the Pac-10 conference over the past few years and for good reason. The Tom Hansen era was an embarrassment to the country's winningest conference. Poor TV contracts in all sports from basketball to football to non-revenue sports held the conference back for years. Impotency in the conference office regarding rules violations rightfully angered fans and the conference saw stagnation in a time when college sports took off and every other conference capitalized.
The hope was that new commissioner Larry Scott would change the conference for the better. Scott came to the conference from the WTA, where he was Chairman and CEO. His work with the WTA was extraordinary as purses, fan support and most important to the conference, TV contracts, were all improved. He had one major fault though (although some considered it a positive) in that he had never worked in collegiate athletics. He lacked the experience most would prefer, but before his first year is even over, he's already taken a huge step to make up for his lacking in that department.
Today, the Pac-10 announced the appointment of Kevin Weiberg to the position of Deputy Commissioner and COO. Weiberg is the former commissioner of the Big 12 oversaw the conference's massive growth from 1998 to 2007 when the conference's revenues doubled. He then moved on to the Big Ten Network, where he was the executive of the network. An impressive resume to say the least and a man who addresses Scott's biggest fault and the conference's biggest fault as well.
Success cannot be guaranteed for the conference as a result of this hire and any significant improvements won't come immediately because the current TV contracts have two more seasons on them in addition to the current one. It is encouraging to see the conference acknowledging its faults though and aggressive moves to bring in proven leaders is something that was noticeably absent in the Hansen era. It will take patience, but it appears as if the Pac-10 is primed for unprecedented growth.