Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott’s meeting with conference athletes on Thursday reportedly went poorly, and some of the players involved in the call said the commissioner was dismissive of their concerns.
Last Sunday, The Players’ Tribune posted a statement credited to “Players of the Pac-12,” in which athletes demanded increased health and safety protocols as well as increased economic benefits under the hashtag #WeAreUnited. The players threatened to opt out of the season if their demands were not accepted.
Scott accepted a Zoom meeting with the players, and was joined by athletic directors Mark Harlan of Utah and Ray Anderson of Arizona State. Several of the players involved told Billy Witz of the New York Times it did not go well.
“He boasted how progressive the conference has been in giving the players a voice, but the way he treated us didn’t reflect that,” UCLA defensive tackle Otito Ogbonnia said. “I don’t think he thought of us as people who were making a legitimate case.”
California offensive lineman Valentino Daltoso added that Scott “made it very clear that he does not want to meet again.”
Witz adds that at one point, Scott dismissed the players’ public statement as a “misguided P.R. stunt.” A source confirmed this to Riley Gates of 247Sports, saying those were Scott’s words “verbatim.” The source also told the site that Scott “lost his temper multiple times in the meeting” and had to be calmed down by Harlan and Anderson.
Scott, 55, has been the Pac-12’s commissioner since 2009. A recent report said he could be pushed out by school administrators due largely to dissatisfaction with the league’s financial management.