Pac-12 commish: College basketball as one-semester sport 'intriguing'

ByMyron Medcalf ESPN logo
Thursday, October 15, 2015

SAN FRANCISCO -- Turning college basketball into a one-semester sport is an idea that the game's decision-makers should consider, Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott proposed Thursday.

"I think that's an intriguing concept that we absolutely ought to explore," Scott said during the conference's media day event.

He added that he doesn't want to diminish the mass appeal of March Madness at the conclusion of the season, but he said that a one-semester college basketball season would create advantages for the game and help the sport avoid the "overlap" that unfolds each fall.

He mentioned that "overlap can be a challenge," with college basketball's start intersecting with the MLB playoffs, NFL, NBA, NFL and college football.

"As part of that consideration, we have to realize that March Madness is something very unique," Scott said. "I do love the idea of making college basketball a one-semester sport, a little bit more compact. That all makes sense on a lot of levels. I think the balance of that is what would it do to the way the college basketball season ends?"

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany also acknowledged preliminary discussions about a new-look college hoops calendar, but he saw potential conflicts with other events and the NCAA's television partners as a likely obstacle to change.

"Can we move it into a middle of December start time?" Delany asked. "If you pick up a month there, you're talking about a month on the back end. You're talking about competition with NBA playoffs. You're talking about the start of the baseball season. You're talking about conflicts with [The Masters]. ... I don't think it's an easy answer at all."

Scott said the recent rule changes, including the new 30-second shot clock in men's basketball, should also affect the game's national following.

"I'm completely supportive and have been pushing for the rule changes," he said. "A more free-flowing game that creates more balance between offense and defense -- I think that will be more positive for college basketball and its overall popularity."