Con­fer­ence im­ple­ments im­prove­ments

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Kyle Fredrick­son

LOS AN­GE­LES» Pac-12 com­mis­sioner Larry Scott opened foot­ball me­dia days at the Hol­ly­wood and High­land Cen­ter on Wed­nes­day with sev­eral news­wor­thy state­ments about the fu­ture of the league in 2017.

• The Pac-12 is im­ple­ment­ing a cen­tral­ized com­mand cen­ter in San Fran­cisco to as­sist with in-game re­play of­fi­ci­at­ing and de­ci­sion­mak­ing for all 12 pro­grams. “Our team in the com­mand cen­ter will work in con­cert with our in-sta­dium re­play of­fi­cials to man­age the re­play process for all Pac-12 home-hosted games,” Scott said. “We ex­pect this is go­ing to lead to even more con­sis­tency in re­play re­views.”

• Dur­ing non­con­fer­ence games broad­cast on Pac-12 Net­works, there will be fewer com­mer­cial breaks, a re­duced half­time length (20 min­utes to 15) and other pro­duc­tion tech­niques aimed at re­duc­ing TV time­outs and short­en­ing other breaks. “We know fans are feel­ing the im­pact of longer games,” Scott said. “We sup­port the on­go­ing work of rules com­mit­tees that are work­ing na­tion­ally to ex­am­ine this is­sue and look at pos­si­ble rule changes that af­fect the pace of the game and the length of the game.”

• The Pac-12 has ex­tended its part­ner­ship with Levi Sta­dium in Santa Clara, Calif., to host the league’s con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game through 2019 with an op­tion for 2020.

Coaches mixed on two-adays.

The NCAA ap­proved a mea­sure to elim­i­nate two-aday con­tact prac­tices — a de­ci­sion prompt­ing mixed re­ac­tions from Pac-12 coaches.

Ore­gon State coach Gary An­der­son: “I would rather have two-a-days. I think that there is some­thing to two-adays. One thing we will do this year is we will have two-a-days, but we just won’t hit and bang. We’ll still have those tax­ing men­tal prac­tices … which are so very, very im­por­tant.”

Uni­ver­sity of Colorado coach Mike MacIn­tyre: “I like it. I’ve been push­ing for it for years. … Foot­ball is the most phys­i­cal sport. Why do we prac­tice twice a day? Why do we hit twice? That makes no sense.”

New out­look.

UCLA quar­ter­back Josh Rosen threw for 3,668 yards and 23 touch­downs as a true fresh­man in 2015, set­ting sev­eral pro­gram records, but he suf­fered a sea­son-end­ing shoul­der in­jury six games into his sopho­more cam­paign.

Rosen, ex­pected by many to be­come a high 2018 NFL draft pick, had be­come known for his bold and bois­ter­ous per­son­al­ity dur­ing his first two years at UCLA. But Bru­ins coach Jim Mora be­lieves in­jury rehab has al­tered Rosen’s fo­cus.

“I think it re­set him a lit­tle bit emo­tion­ally and men­tally as to the im­por­tance of foot­ball in his life,” Mora said. “Things had come prob­a­bly pretty easy to him, and now all of the sud­den he didn’t have it. So a lit­tle bit of a re­set, and I’ve only seen pos­i­tives be­cause of it.”

Quotable.

Ari­zona coach Rich Ro­driguez on the new, early sign­ing date (Dec. 20) for in­com­ing prospects: “The early sign­ing date is bet­ter than it was, but I don’t think there should be any sign­ing date. I think we make the process way more com­pli­cated than it needs to be. I just think we treat it just like a tal­ented mu­si­cian or artist or some­thing — two sides come to an agree­ment and then sign, whether that guy is 14 years old, 4 years old, or 20 years old. If the head coach is not the head coach in the kid’s se­nior year, then he can get out of it. It pro­tects the stu­dent ath­lete.”

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