Two steps forward, one step back.
While Pac 12 commissioner Larry Scott has been, or will soon be, a boon for the bottom lines of athletic departments up and down the west coast, it's sad to hear that while he may be both penny and pound wise, he is morally bankrupt.
Today, Scott issued a pathetic statement defending the rampant, blatant, unprecedented level of cheating Southern Cal engaged in over the past decade plus, expressing his disappointment in the results of Southern Cal's rejected appeal on behalf of the conference:
"We join the fans, alumni, staff and leadership of USC in being extremely disappointed with today’s decision. I want to state emphatically that our conference is committed to adhering to the highest ethical standards and compliance with NCAA rules. USC’s new leadership has certainly demonstrated this with its handling of the sanctions and by establishing a new culture of compliance for its athletic programs with its win-by-the-rules approach.
"I respect USC’s decision to take the high ground and not pursue any further recourse to the NCAA ruling. At the same time, I fully expect that every NCAA member institution be held to the same high standards. These sanctions, notably the postseason ban, have a devastating effect on current student-athletes, most of whom were in elementary and junior high school at the time of the alleged violations.
"To me, that is a source of great frustration and disappointment. Going forward, we can and need to do better in terms of the enforcement process."
First of all, Larry, let's drop the word "we". The remaining Pac 10 schools that played by the rules have no reason to be disappointed in justice having played out. You do not speak for the law abiding among us, you only speak for those who you have brought in to run things who let their bank accounts do their thinking for them.
It's so nice that Larry is so impressed with Southern Cal's change of heart on matters of cheating and paying players. I'd like to state emphatically that none of what Scott characterizes as "new leadership" has anything to do with this appeal being upheld. Just because you find religion in prison doesn't make your sins or your accountability for them disappear. But Larry knows that. He's only afraid of what this is going to do to weaken his hand in negotiating terms for the Pac 12 network.
I do, however, respect Larry's ability to bury his head in the sand and lie through his teeth. I mean it takes a certain kind of person to characterize dragging your feet during an investigation, trying to settle things out of court in order to silence key witnesses, blatantly obstructing all attempts to obtain information, and appealing a decision that had little to no chance of being overturned, as "the high ground". Maybe that's the high ground where Larry comes from. If only we could all get undue credit for things we have no choice but to accept.
Unfortunately, with this statement, Larry revealed something about himself that he didn't intend. He made it clear that "we" as a conference, under his leadership, value our financial position over our integrity. That we're willing to be morally bankrupt as long as we get a payday in the end.
That's what prostitutes do, Larry.