Pac-12 athletic directors have frequently grumbled about the expenses incurred by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, like his $4.8 million salary (more than the Big Ten and SEC commissioners make combined) or the $6.9 million in annual rent for a headquarters in San Francisco.
So, naturally, Scott is staying at a 3,300-square foot luxury suite featuring two floors and a private butler in Las Vegas during the Pac-12 men’s basketball tournament, per The Oregonian’s John Canzano. The suite typically runs around $7,500 per night.
The suite is reportedly comped by the casino for the conference’s past expenditures and choosing of Las Vegas as the site of the basketball tournament. And yet, it’s not a great look for the commissioner of a conference facing a litany of competitive, financial and legal troubles.
Larry Scott’s swanky Las Vegas suite
Obviously, we’re going to want to check out this suite, called the Sky Villa and situated near the top of the Aria Resort and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
For starters, the interior looks like this:
Per the Aria’s website, the suite also features the following:
24 Hour personalized butler service
Fully stocked bar with exclusively selected wine, spirits and champagne
Complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne and chocolate covered strawberries upon arrival
Access to a private elevator, check-in lounge and “sky pool”
Complimentary iPad/laptop use during stay
20” LCD television in bathroom
Marble jacuzzi soaking tub
One can only wonder if Scott was planning to leave during his stay. After all, he’s reportedly planning to host a Pac-12 meeting at the Aria on Saturday morning.
Larry Scott’s combative relationship with Pac-12 athletic directors
Per Canzano, Pac-12 athletic directors met with Scott in January and requested a budget review to question expenditures like, say, a single employee’s hotel bill of at least $30,000 for a four-day basketball tournament. It apparently didn’t go well.
From The Oregonian:
“It’s been a constant topic for the last few months,” one Pac-12 AD said. “We’ve talked at length about it. There have been phone calls back and forth.
“We’re not trying to be difficult. We’re just in cost-containment mode and there are some who want to compare the financials of our conference and others.”
Scott shot them down.
Said a second Pac-12 Conference athletic director: “We, as ADs, were told that we didn’t have the authority to request a budget review. Only the presidents and chancellors can do that.”
That’s pretty similar to a reported, and even more revealing, past exchange five years ago in Las Vegas between Scott and then-Utah athletic director Chris Hill.
Hill, dissatisfied with revenue, pressed Scott on the financials of the conference. He was cut off by the commissioner at the knees, according to others in the room.
Scott sniped: “You’re lucky for what you get.”
It seems that, for now, the Pac-12 will be stuck with Scott and his budgetary decisions. Scott’s employment isn’t in the hands of the athletic directors whose budgets depend on Pac-12 payouts that lag behind other Power 5 conferences. Instead, it’s the presidents of the schools who make the decisions.
Meanwhile, every player at the basketball tournament Scott is in town for will receive a whopping zero dollars in payment for their efforts.
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