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Pac-12 gave Larry Scott a sweet severance package, one more operational failure

Whatever else you might think about Pac-12 Commissioner George Kliavkoff, this much can be acknowledged: He had a very big mess to clean up in the Pac-12, a mess so big it wasn’t going to be taken care of in one year on the job.

Kliavkoff is approaching the two-year anniversary (July 1) of his arrival in Pac-12 offices. USC and UCLA left for the Big Ten the day before the first anniversary of his tenure. The gears were in motion. The process which carried the Trojans out of the Pac-12 had already begun to take flight before Kliavkoff could really do everything in his power to keep USC in the fold. Pac-12 instability is not his fault; it’s the fault of his predecessor, Larry Scott.

That’s why new details on Pac-12 finances, collected and analyzed by Jon Wilner of the Wilner Hotline, are so noteworthy. We start with an item on Larry Scott himself:

LARRY SCOTT SEVERANCE PAYMENT

Sep 28, 2018; Boulder, CO, USA; PAC 12 commissioner Larry Scott talks to the media before the game between the UCLA Bruins against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 28, 2018; Boulder, CO, USA; PAC 12 commissioner Larry Scott talks to the media before the game between the UCLA Bruins against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Wilner reported that Larry Scott received a $1.5 million severance payment from Pac-12 presidents. That’s a lot, considering that Scott was already taking in a lot of money for doing a less-than-great job.

LARRY SCOTT END-OF-TENURE COMPENSATION

Scott received $4.1 million in compensation for January through June of 2021, a six-month span. This has to drive Pac-12 fans and residents absolutely bonkers, and it’s the kind of thing which will reaffirm USC and UCLA fans in the belief that they needed to get out of this conference as soon as possible.

KLIAVKOFF COMPENSATION

Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks before the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks before the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game between the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

George Kliavkoff’s compensation is less than Larry Scott’s, and it’s part of a more prudent financial picture in the first years of his tenure. Wilner noted that Kliavkoff received $1.8 million in compensation for his first six months on the job in 2021. That’s $2.3 million less than what Scott received for a six-month period in 2021, before Kliavkoff took over.

PAC-12 COST CUTTING

Escaping the costly San Francisco office rental payments of the Scott era, plus refusing to replace a pair of executives who pulled in hefty salaries, could save the Pac-12 something in the area of $6.5 million in the coming years.

PAC-12 NETWORK

Pac-12 Network generated a $40 million surplus, which translates to $3.3 million per school. That’s not nothing, but it’s a lot less than optimistic, higher-end forecasts. Pac-12 Network plainly did not become a huge revenue engine for the conference.

REVENUE DRIVERS

The Pac-12’s huge NCAA Tournament performance in 2021 generated a lot of win units which translated into money for the conference. That offset the failure of Pac-12 Networks to a degree (but only partially).

PAC-12 CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

December 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Travis Dye (26) is brought down by Utah Utes defensive end Van Fillinger (7) and linebacker Karene Reid (32) during the second half in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
December 3, 2021; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Oregon Ducks running back Travis Dye (26) is brought down by Utah Utes defensive end Van Fillinger (7) and linebacker Karene Reid (32) during the second half in the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 drew 56,511 to the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game between Oregon and Utah. That attendance figure was far higher than recent title games in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The move to Vegas was and is an obvious success story for the Pac-12.

DISTRIBUTIONS

Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A general overall view of the Pac-12 Conference logo at midield at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 2, 2022; Las Vegas, NV, USA; A general overall view of the Pac-12 Conference logo at midield at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The good news: The Pac-12 distributed $37 million to schools in the 2022 fiscal year.

The bad news: That number is still last among the Power Five conferences.

POWER FIVE NUMBERS

Power Five dollar distributions for fiscal year 2022:

Pac-12: $37 million

ACC: $37.9 million to $41.3 million

SEC: $49.8 million

Big Ten: $58.8 million

Big 12: $42 million to $44.9 million

Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire