Pac 12: Fear, FBI, Loathing and Sailing in Larry Scott's Las Vegas

Photo from the Oregonian

Pac 12 schools embroiled in more scandal as league prepares for men's basketball tournament in Sin City

That “buzz” surrounding this week’s Pac 12 basketball men’s tournament in Las Vegas turned out to be a fly in commissioner Larry Scott’s suite at the swanky ARIA Resort.

The in-house butler, provided as part of the $7,500-per-night package, located the insect in an upper corner of the 3,370-square foot room.

“James” took it out with a t-shirt gun.

Scott then focused on an irritating gnat, columnist John Canzano of the Oregonian, who continues his daily takes downs of the man some call “Limo Larry.”

Canzano on Tuesday posted a picture of Scott’s expensive digs and wondered if this was a good look for a man running a league for amateur athletes.

Never minding that the suite is likely part of a comp package: Answer: it’s not a good look.

Thank goodness Scott moved this once-tired event out of Los Angeles to Las Vegas, where Pac 12 players over age 21 can, in their school uniforms, place bets on the NCAA Tournament at (or around) the MGM sports book.

The good news is no Pac 12 team is likely going to be involved for long. The conference, last year, didn’t make it out of the first weekend.

Also, the Feds are so tied up with other Pac scandals they couldn’t possibly mobilize for points shaving.

Any Pac player who bets on his own team, by the way, is simply a numbskull.

Regular-season champion Washington is listed, by, at 66\1 to win the NCAA championship.

Eleven-time title winner UCLA is a 150-to-1 longshot, which puts it comfortably behind Wofford at 100\1.

Cal, claimer of the 1959 title over Jerry West Virginia, is off-the-board and should be back in Berkeley by Wednesday night.

UCLA and Arizona, poster-dunk stanchions of Pac hoops since the expansion of 1978, failed to place a single player on the conference’s first-team squad.

UCLA and USC, last weekend, were swept at Colorado and Utah—why did they let those schools in conference?

The optimist says the Pac 12 could get three teams in the NCAA field if a school other than Washington or Arizona State wins the Vegas Invitational. The pessimist says the Pac 12 could get ONE team.

Tournament optics are terrible and will be mostly unavailable, for better or worse, on the Pac 12 Network.

Scott, in turbulent times like these, can usually turn to his arsenal of non-revenue, Olympic sports.

But no Ferrari-leather couch in his POSH hotel could have comforted him for Tuesday’s breaking news of yet another scandal involving conference members.

This one is an FBI whopper involving rich parents scamming with administrators and coaches to get their sniffling snowflakes into prestigious places like Stanford, UCLA and USC.

The opposite of affirmative action, helicopter moms and paid test takers dubbed this operation “Immediate Action!”

Who, until Tuesday, even knew Stanford had a sailing team that could be corrupted?

Also: how do you strip a sailing school of its national title flag? Lower it to half-mast, or reel it down in one pull? Do you then fold it up and hand it to the commissioner?

Or maybe bury it at sea?

Service staff posted at Scott’s luxury hotel door reportedly heard a man mumbling lyrics from an old mariner’s song.

It may have had to do with Stanford.

The first mate he got drunk

And broke in the Cap’n’s trunk

The constable had to come and take him away

Sheriff John Stone

Why don’t you leave me alone

Well, I feel so broke up, I want to go home.

USC, having a tough enough time fielding football and basketball teams, is so hip-deep in this latest scandal the NCAA may soon to apologize for Reggie Bush.

Feds allege a senior associate athletic director accepted $1.3 million in bribes to phony kids into school as recruited athletes in several non-revenue sports.

USC immediately proclaimed itself a victim and promised its full cooperation. USC is getting so familiar with the FBI it will soon open an Efrem Zimbalist Jr. Wing adjacent the administration building.

UCLA also has a soccer coach involved that could senselessly divert rapt attention and fawning away from women’s gymnastics.

Scott has made a concerted effort to get more Olympic sport news printed the Los Angeles Times. But an A-1 Wednesday story on Stanford Sailing, which would have sounded great a week ago, is not what he had in mind.

Stay tuned for more turns from the conference of indictments and subpoenas.

And more turndown service news for Larry Scott.

No. 1-1

Spot on in so many ways; cheers. Thought I was the only one who had OD'd on distaff gymnastics, though Las Vegas would be the venue choice above all others for that Pac12 Championship event!