Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott visits ASU

Scott discussed different topics within the Pac-12 on Tuesday night at Phoenix Municipal.

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott visited Phoenix Municipal Stadium for the first time Tuesday night to see the Sun Devils take on the Wildcats for some midweek conference play.

"There's a proud tradition of baseball in our conference as well as for these two schools, so it's good to be here," Scott said. 

He called Phoenix Municipal Stadium "a real upgrade from where ASU was playing before" and said he believes it's one of the most fan-friendly baseball venues he's seen in the conference.

The Pac-12 is the only major conference that does not have a conference tournament for baseball. Scott said that he has discussed with coaches the possibility of having a tournament. 

"I love the idea of tournaments because they're a focal point, especially when you have a long season," Scott said. "I'd love to have a conference championship because I think from a marketing perspective and getting national attention it's easier to get the country's focus and the media's focus on what's going on here around the tournament."

"One of my favorite stats is in 2012 at the London Olympics, had the Pac-12 been a country, we would have finished fifth in the medal count ahead of Germany."

Scott did say that there is so much play during the season that he believes coaches do not feel the need for a tournament in order to make it to the NCAAs, but will continue to discuss it.

Pac-12 icons were also discussed by Scott, specifically Olympians, with Michael Phelps at ASU coaching and training, and Missy Franklin who went to Cal, pointing out the "Pac-12 is a destination for Olympians."

"One of my favorite stats is in 2012 at the London Olympics, had the Pac-12 been a country, we would have finished fifth in the medal count ahead of Germany," Scott said. 

On ASU specifically, Scott said he is "really impressed" with what Sun Devil Athletic Director Ray Anderson has done for the University's athletics.

"I think it starts with the vision of President Michael Crow," Scott said. "He's got a very bold vision for this University in general, very innovative, forward looking and creative."

Scott had nothing but praise for Anderson and the innovation he has spearheaded in his two years at ASU.

"Ray is a dynamic leader," he said. "To see what he has done in a short period of time in terms of raising the money to remake facilities here, the coaching staffs here and the success that's being had, and what (sports are) getting added."

Scott briefly touched upon the recent decision by the NCAA to ban satellite camps. He discussed the Pac-12's opposition to the decision, explaining that the conference wanted to look at other issues in football that they felt were larger than the camps.

Overall, Scott is pleased with where the Pac-12 is at and where it is heading as a whole. 

"The combination of new facilities, great coaching staffs and exposure through our TV agreements is what I see as a virtual cycle of where we're recruiting well and we're doing well," Scott said. "We're coming off our best year we've ever had in football, and men's and women's basketball. Never been deeper ... I see this is the beginning of a virtual cycle." 


Reach the reporter at haley.stesiak@asu.edu or follow @haley_stesiak on Twitter.

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