Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott wasted no time weighing in Thursday after the NCAA Division I board of directors voted to allow the 65 schools from the so-called Power 5 conferences to make many of their own rules.
“We are delighted that after years of debate, a consensus has emerged that the time has come for a modern approach to governance that recognizes the need to give more flexibility to those conferences prepared to do more for student-athletes and, at the same time, preserves the collegiate model which works so well for the vast majority of Pac-12 student-athletes,” Scott said in a statement. “This is a great day for the 7,000 current student-athletes in the Pac-12 and for generations of future student-athletes who will benefit from the educational opportunities and life lessons made possible by college athletics.”
According to Scott, the Pac-12, ACC, SEC, Big Ten and Big 12 will work together on proposals that will be submitted to the NCAA this fall. Much of what they'll work toward was outlined in a 10-point plan outlined in a letter from Pac-12 university presidents to their counterparts in the other four conferences in May.
A statement from the Pac-12 says, "Those goals range from financial concerns of scholarship to injury prevention and health care, while insisting upon the preservation of the primacy of the universities’ educational mission." They will also consider providing scholarships that cover the total cost of attendance.
"This new model will allow our conference, which has always coupled academic and athletic excellence, to continue to maintain those high standards while adapting to the changing needs and expectations of our student-athletes and our universities," Washington State president Dr. Elson S. Floyd said in a statement. "We plan to address needs across the full range of sports, for both men and women, and reinforce something all of our university leaders emphasized earlier this year: education must come first.”